A Playlist for Societe Brewing

January 06, 2018

By Pat Evans, January 06, 2018

For the owners at San Diego's Societe Brewing Company, music is in the beer.

The beer brewed on any given day often dictates the music played at the brewery.

"If we're brewing our imperial stout, The Butcher, we're playing metal," said Doug Constantiner, one of Societe's two founders. "If we're brewing a lighter, more delicate beer, like our Belgian blonde, Harlot, it's bluegrass."

Still, whoever gets to work first, Constantiner or co-founder Travis Smith get to put on the music.

Smith and Constantiner have had a "bromance at first sight," since they worked together at The Bruery in Orange County, California. They overlapped shortly while working there, but when Smith left to work for another brewery, they realized they missed each other.

They would get together for beers and realize they both desired to open a brewery together and began planning Societe seven years ago.

The brewery opened in May 2012.

The pair chose San Diego, one of, if not the best beer city in the country for their fledgling brewery.

"We wanted to play on the biggest stage, we didn't want to be a big fish in a little pond," Constantiner said. "Not from an arrogance point of view, but we wanted to be surrounded by great brewers who would elevate us."

Additionally, neither owner sees themselves as marketers, so coming to a market where some of craft beer's most recognized companies call home made sense. Companies like Stone Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing and AleSmith Brewing have all helped convert the San Diego population into craft beer drinkers.

With the average beer drinker in San Diego possessing an advanced palate, it also challenges the Societe brewers to maintain a solid collection of beers – which for them means a collection of West Coast IPAs, Belgian-style beers, a few stouts and an extensive sour program.

"The amount of craft beer consumption in San Diego is astonishing," Constantiner said. "The beer has to be good to succeed and having that pressure elevates the game. We don't want to reinvent the wheel, we just want to focus on quality and make the beer work for us."

Societe Brewing

The beers are only on draft – save for a few bottles of sours – and self-distributed only in San Diego.

The taproom offers an inviting place for many San Diego residents and tourists alike, something they set out to do with five highways within three miles of the taproom. The property is also three times the size they planned, so they made large investment into making the taproom a place people would want to spend time.

"We wanted it to be a good communal gathering place open seven days a week," he said. "It's worth it. It's easy to get to from anywhere. During the week, there's no residential around us and it's all workers or commuters. On the weekends, it's more beer tourism."

No matter where a person came from, they'll enjoy a beer with the music selected by the Societe employees. Whether it's while being made or being enjoyed, Constantiner believes beer should always go with music.

"We want to play the music to the beer," Constantiner said. "If you can pair beer with food, I don't see why you can't pair beer with music.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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