|Logo'd chalice filled with Publican|
Do you like IPAs? Well I love them! It seems like it's almost a requirement for every new brewery that pops up to have an IPA, especially in San Diego which is widely known for perfecting the style. The big problem is most get their IPAs wrong. Too much crystal malt, too many types of malts, hops that just don't play well together. The end result is a beer that while bitter, lacks a lot of the subtle nuances that makes a good IPA great.
A perfect example of a new San Diego brewery that understands what it take to make a great IPA is Societe Brewing Co. Founded in 2011 by Travis Smith and Doug Constantiner, both of whom have a rather impressive brewing pedigree having work at such icons as Russian River and the Bruery. In the short time since they opened (May/June 2012) they have been knocking beers out of the park and their IPAs continue to be some of the best I ever had.
I remember the first time I was finally able to have one of their beers. It occurred while enjoying dinner at Churchill's Pub. I had heard a lot about The Pupil so I was jazzed to see it on the menu. I can clearly recall the first sip, it was very reminiscent of the experience I had when I first tasted Alpine's Duet as I was blown away by the perfection of the hop profile. Absolutely one of those transcendent beer experiences that I'll always remember. I even took Bonnie to Churchill's the next day so that she could try it.
|The world's nicest growler|
A couple of weeks later, as part of a larger bachelor party, I planned a brewery crawl for my buddy. I set it up to stop at a lot of breweries from Orange County in San Diego with the ability to cut breweries out if need be. There were however a few breweries that I insisted we stop at one of them was Societe which was a perfect transition location for the evening.
Getting to see the brewery and try their Belgian inspired brew really drove home the point that these guys get it. My buddy Daniel was especially geeked out by their very in style Belgian inspired beers. He was able to pick up the yeast they were using commented about how great water profile was. He was so impressed that we are planning a Tao of Fermentation pilgrimage back on the 22nd of June.
During the bachelor party visit I unfortunately confirmed that they have no plans on bottling their IPAs as they want to maintain complete control of their freshness. If you do want to get their beers to go you have an option of a glass growler with a pewter handle or a stainless steel one, on my second visit with Bonnie we opted for a stainless version filled with the Publican. When I go back down on the 22nd I'm hoping to grab a fill of the Pupil.
The next frontier for them is their wine-barrel aged sours which have been quietly aging in their barrel room for a while. Given their track record with everything else, I can't wait to try them.