Last Friday, after a nice bowl of ramen at Yakyudori, we headed a few blocks down Clairemont Mesa Boulevard to stop in at Societe Brewing Company. They haven't officially opened yet (the grand opening is this weekend), but their tasting room is open Wednesday-Sunday and their beers have started popping up in the more respectable drinking establishments around town.
As soon as you step in the door, you can see that these guys aren't messing around - it is an impressive operation for a brand new brewery:
We bellied up to the nice wood bar and tasted a flight of the beers they currently have available. On the right are their three IPAs - The Dandy, The Apprentice and The Pupil. On the left are their Belgians - The Harlot and The Widow.
Societe's IPAs are solidly in the version of the west coast style I love - light in color and body and very hoppy, but emphasizing aroma over straight bitterness. They remind me of Alpine and Russian River. And that is a very good thing.
The Dandy, at 6.4%, has the lowest ABV of the three IPAs, but it still packs a nice flavor punch. The Apprentice is targeted at the center ABV spot, but it apparently came out stronger than expected. When we first had it at the Tap Room, I believe it was listed at 8.8%. They are gradually bringing the alcohol level down to where they want it.
The Pupil is the hoppiest of the IPAs - so much so that it has a bit of a green tinge and a touch of astringency. Very good beer, but I think I prefer the Apprentice.
On the Belgian side, The Harlot is a nice, drinkable Belgian Pale. We first had it at Cali Kebab's new Pacific Beach location and it was a perfect match for a sunny evening sitting outside.
The Widow, a Belgian Dark Strong Ale, is a very nice version of that style - nutty and raisiny without being too sweet or boozy.
We brought a growler of The Apprentice home with us:
We're looking forward to getting this guy refilled on a regular basis.
Societe Brewing Company 8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 858-495-5409