As one would expect from a brewery, there are plenty of Societe staffers who know how to make good beer, but what you might not be aware of is how many of our folks know their way around a kitchen. On any given day, there are multiple home-made goodies gracing our offices, a number of which incorporate Societe beer. Rather than keep these treats to ourselves, we’ll be sharing some of our favorites, starting with the one with the best name: “Debu-Tots.”

Named for the beer that’s incorporated into its recipe, The Debutante Belgian-style Amber Ale, this dish is a take on the classic Canadian street food, poutine. Instead of fries, good ol’ freezer-section tater-tots form the base for adorning with cheese curds, bacon bits, chives and, best of all, beer gravy made with The Debutante. The result is a down-home symphony of delectable flavors and varied textures that, not surprisingly, also pairs exceptionally well with our abundantly food-friendly Belgian amber.

DEBU-TOTS
with Bacon, Cheese Curds & The Debutante Beer Gravy
Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 strips bacon, chopped
  • ¼ cup Wondra flour
  • 2 Tbsp yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 3 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 1 cup The Debutante Belgian-style amber ale
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 32-ounce bag frozen tater tots, cooked per on-bag instructions
  • 8 ounces cheese curds (or chopped queso Oaxaca or crumbled queso fresco, to substitute)
  • 2 Tbsp scallions (green parts only), chopped

Add the bacon to a cast-iron skillet or large sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook until it is crispy and its fat has fully rendered. Remove the bacon from the pan and, if necessary, remove some of the fat so that there is ¼ cup remaining in the skillet. Whisk in the flour until it is fully incorporated with the fat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the stock, beer and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the rosemary and cook until a gravy consistency is reached 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Strain the mixture into a gravy boat and set aside.

To serve, divide the tater tots into serving bowls. Place the cheese over the tater tots and ladle with warm gravy. Garnish with the reserved bacon and scallions. Serve immediately.

NOTE: This recipe originally appeared in the December 2017/January 2018 issue of West Coaster Magazine.

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With a name like Wine Enthusiast, one might expect the publication to focus solely on the liquid exports of vineyards, but this national magazine and online outlet pays close attention to all adult beverages, including spirits and, yes, beer! They’re astute enough that they even keep tabs on little guys like us. In fact, one of our beers, The Savage Feral Dark Ale with Cherries, made it all the way to #14 on the Top 25 Beers of 2017 list in their annual best-of issue. As one can imagine, we were touched and elated. Here are the nice things Beer Editor Lauren Buzzeo had to say about this beer (that we happen to be pretty keen on, too).

Societe The Savage Feral (American Wild Ale; Societe Brewing Company, CA). This blended-barrel ale is matured in wine barrels and aged with cherries. A beautiful and well-balanced sour, it pours an expected reddish-brown color, with a light head that falls somewhat fast. The nose packs some punch, with assertive notes of sour cherries, sweet oak, plum sauce, balsamic and vanilla bean, alongside shadings of pepper and baking spice. The palate is full but lifted, with bright acidity and vinous tones to counter the rich chocolate-dusted cherry and sweet wood flavors. This savage is worth seeking out. 92 points

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We received an early Christmas present when the beer connoisseurs from Paste Magazine named our humble operation one of the 10 best breweries of the entire 2017 calendar year. It’s always an honor to receive accolades from individuals who truly care about beer (and if you have read Paste‘s coverage, you can tell that they harbor both an affinity and devotion to craft ales and lagers), but in introducing us and explaining why they selected us, writer James Vorel had some particularly nice things to say. He’s really taken the time to get to know us beyond the foamy surface of our beer portfolio, and that means a lot to us. We were so touched we wanted to share his words with all of you.

Societe Brewing Company, San Diego, CA: Societe is a brewery that has not yet placed at #1 in a Paste blind tasting…but it’s also a brewery where it feels like it’s probably only a matter of time. They’re just a consistently impressive San Diego outfit, whether they’re turning out clean, crisp IPAs or lovely barrel-aged wild ales. Every year at [the Great American Beer Festival], they always seem to bring something that captures my attention in a way that is unique—this year it was their hop-forward stout, The Volcanist, which seems to be on a mission to revive one of the industry’s most neglected beer styles, the “American-style stout.” They just do everything well, from pilsner to imperial stout, and all of those beers tend to have one thing in common—they are pristine and immaculate in terms of their execution. Clean, crisp beer is the trademark we’ve come to associate with Societe, and it’s part of the reason why their entries seem to score well in every blind tasting they enter. They make a pilsner that is a great example of west coast pils, and a session IPA that is a great argument in favor of why we should bother making and drinking session IPA. All that, and they’ve got some of the best-looking labels, iconography and growlers in the game today. Societe is a very complete package.

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Last year, thanks to the generosity of our patrons, we were able to collect a whopping 23,153 pounds of needed provisions for the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. That’s more than 11.5 tons and equates to an incredible 19,294 meals! We knew we had awesome fans frequenting our tasting room, but this exceeded our wildest dreams for this charity effort. The 2016 drive saw an overwhelming 366% increase in donations from the previous year’s campaign. We know it won’t be easy and we’re biting of quite a challenge, but we’d like to attempt to collect even more food this year than last year. We’re ready to put our money–and our beer–where our hearts are, and provide plenty of incentives to reward the people who help us help San Diego families in need.

This year’s drive will take place from November 20 to December 31. That equates to six weeks. We currently have six Feral (barrel-aged wild) ales available in our tasting room. The cost per 500-milliliter bottle is between $17 and $18, but each week we will select a Feral Ale of the Week (see schedule below). What does that mean? We’re glad you asked! For every 25 pounds of food someone donates from the Food Bank’s most-needed list (see below), they will be entitled to one bottle of the Feral Ale of the Week for the extremely low price of just $5. And bringing in any amount of food from the most-needed list will entitle customers to $1 off every full beer they order the day of their donation. But wait…there’s more. If we do surpass last year’s total donation poundage, we will reward everyone who comes to our tasting room by reducing the price of all of our beers by $1 for the entire month of January 2018! Everybody wins, but most of all, our friends and neighbors who are hungry and require our help.

The following is the San Diego Food Bank’s most-needed items list:

  • Canned Meats & Tuna
  • Canned Soups
  • Canned Fruits & Vegetables
  • Canned or Dried Beans
  • Dry Cereal
  • Rice
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Spaghetti
  • Infant Formula
  • Peanut Butter
  • Powdered Milk

Last year, we offered a $5 bottle of The Urchin, our barrel-aged Feral ale with cranberries–which originally retailed for $50–to patrons who donated 50 pounds of food. This year, we wanted to lower the donation amount by half, but keep the same big discount. We will kick off our Feral ale of the week with the 2016 vintage of The Urchin, followed by the brand-new 2017 vintage of our barrel-aged Feral blonde ale, The Swindler. All of our current Feral ales will get their own week before we close out with the delicious 2016 vintage of our Feral dark ale with cherries, The Savage. There are plenty of diverse and delectable reasons to do what folks as nice as you would have done even without a reward, but we think you deserve one and appreciate you making such a positive difference in our community. Cheers and happy holidays!

Weekly Discounted Feral Ale Schedule:

Can’t make it to our tasting room, but still want to contribute? No problem. A bunch of our brewing-industry friends have setup collection buckets at their tasting rooms specifically for this food drive. Here they are:

  • 32 North Brewing, Miramar
  • Alpine Beer Co., Alpine
  • Arcana Brewing, Carlsbad
  • Burgeon Beer Co., Carlsbad
  • Eppig Brewing, North Park
  • Green Flash Brewing, Mira Mesa
  • Groundswell Brewing, Grantville
  • Groundswell Brewing, Santee
  • Longship Brewery, Mira Mesa
  • The Lost Abbey Confessional, Cardiff
  • The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing, San Marcos
  • Mike Hess Brewing, Miramar
  • Mike Hess Brewing, North Park
  • Mike Hess Brewing, Ocean Beach
  • Pariah Brewing, North Park
  • Plan 9 Alehouse, Escondido
  • Rip Current Brewing, San Marcos
  • Rouleur Brewing, Carlsbad
  • Savagewood Brewing, Scripps Ranch
  • Second Chance Beer Co., Carmel Mountain
  • Second Chance Beer Co., North Park
  • Thorn Brewing, Barrio Logan
  • Thorn St. Brewery, North Park
  • Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing, Chula Vista
  • Toolbox Brewing, Vista
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While some fear the approach of All Hallow’s Eve, we harbor a freakish, nay, frightening love for Halloween. Enough that we’re stretching our celebration of things that go bump in the night to five days, each with its own special activities and promotion. Read on and mark your calendars (in blood) appropriately!

Friday, October 27 | Price-Slashing Password: Check out our social-media accounts before coming to our tasting room. We’ll post a not-so-secret password that, when uttered to our pintsmen and pintswomen, will result in you receiving $1 off every beer on your tab for the evening. This includes our Fearal…er, FERAL barrel-aged ales, too!

Saturday, October 28 | Sugar Skull-duggery: Show off your individuality with a display of artistic flare. We will have sugar skulls for sale as well as a veritable treasure trove of art supplies for you to decorate those sheet-white cranial canvases. It’s fun for the entire family with spirited arts and crafts…and craft beer, of course!

Sunday, October 29 | Pumpkin Paring: Spend a Sunday taking your aggression out on autumn’s harvest. We’ll have carving tools and Societe character stencils, as well as some nice prizes for our most creative craftspeople. This is a BYOG (Bring Your Own Gourd) event, but we will have a limited number of pumpkins for sale. Can’t make it and still want to carve a bad-ass Societe character into your pumpkin. Click the images below to download the stencils and print them at home!

Monday, October 30 | Movie Monday: Mondays are already scary enough, but we’re upping the fear factor by projecting silent vintage horror movies against the wall of our tasting room. Apt beer pairings for this one-night, pop-up theater of the macabre include The Butcher, The Savage and The Highwayman!

Tuesday, October 31 | Half-off Halloween: Candy’s dandy, but beer is cause for Halloween cheer. Celebrate All Hallow’s Eve with us and our enthusiastic crew. Come in wearing a costume and enjoy any of our beers for a whopping 50% off. From Hollywood-grade make-up to a sheet with eyes cut out, all disguises merit a mark-down!

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Psst. Hey, you? Looking for a good time? We know that forlorn look. We’ve seen it a million times. But fear not, we know someone who has the remedy for your lonesomeness: The Madam. She has the in on the sin in this town. No need to be coy. Many are the man seeking a scratch to the proverbial itch; carnal agitation and unrequited desire are realities as common as they are widespread. They feed her livelihood while she feeds their sufferers’ primal urges. Consider The Madam the physician with the tonic to cure what ails you. Like a medicine-man, she’s carefully cultivated a stock of rather attractive antidotal options, so surely there is one that will stroke your fancy.

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We wear our enthusiasm for beer and the history of brewing on our sleeves, but one glorious sixteen-to-eighteen-day stretch during the onset of autumn, we get to affix that amour to a colorful pair of lederhosen. We are referring, of course, to Bavaria’s epic folk festival, Oktoberfest, during which Munich residents and the many who flock to that German city participate in communal revelry fueled primarily by traditional lager. Being members of a busy brewery half a world away, we aren’t at liberty for a cross-Atlantic trek, but rather than lament geographical shortfalls, we hold our own festivities at our tasting room (this year’s Societe Oktoberfest will take place Saturday, September 30 from noon to 10 p.m.), an essential component of which is our own Oktoberfest Lager, Die Kellnerin. Easy-drinking and exhibiting vibrant floral and mineral notes introduced by industrious lager yeast, it’s a taste of the mutterland in the heart of San Diego.

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We have a great deal of goings-on in our tasting room this month; the class of events for which one marks their calendar in ink lest they miss out on surefire merriment.

SOCIETE OKTOBERFEST
Saturday, September 30 | 12-10 p.m.
For a single day, our tasting room will undergo a metamorphosis, becoming a German-themed bier hall decked out in blue, white and every earthen shade in the SRM spectrum. Enjoy beers served in commemorative steins—including DIE KELLNERIN Oktoberfest Lager—along with a beer-infused menu of reimagined German classics devised by our culinarian friends from Biersal. Neither euros nor a linguistic grasp of the German language are required to partake. Admission is free and all nationalities of beer will be celebrated!

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A man of the people more concerned with his constituents than himself. ‘Tis a sadly difficult concept to put stock in these days, yet such noble individuals do, indeed, exist. Take, for instance, The Statesman. For years, the masses have been in dire need of this humble-yet-profound individual, but most had resigned themselves to the harsh reality that he may never take a run at the muck-strewn political arena. But just as all hope seemed lost, he tossed his bowler into the ring, eager to show up the gubernatorial flash-in-the-pan flavors of the week what a downhome, pure-of-heart stalwart and pillar of the community could do to return some semblance of a finer and simpler time to his present-day countrymen.

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She’s petite—almost waifish—but don’t let her slightness of size fool you. The Damsel has a lot to offer, and despite literary lore, she is not in need of rescuing. She can (and does) hold her own. But while others pound their chests, proclaiming their superior strength, she keeps her head down, maintaining a low profile and the gracious nobility that is her trademark. She needn’t announce her many virtues, for those who would most appreciate them will take the time to unearth them and hold her in the high regard she so richly deserves. Until then, she extracts sufficient satisfaction from her own inner-might and self-reliance.

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