Societe Brewing Shares GABF Thoughts & Aspirations
We are a month out from the Great American Beer Festival (September 24-26 in Denver,CO). In previous years, The Full Pint has gathered basic info such as what’s being poured and what’s being entered into competition. We’ve realized that after you list a couple hundred of those posts, it gets blurry. This year, we are going to let the brewers tell the story of their journey to Denver. Why are they going? What makes them stand out? What are the goals in mind? Stay tuned from now until the big show as we give you a behind the scenes look into the biggest industry trade show of the year. Are you an attending brewer who wants to share the story of your journey? Email us now!
Today we talk with Societe Brewing – San Diego, CA, answers provided by Mike Sardina.
Why did Societe Brewing choose to attend the Great American Beer Festival?
Societe: It’s called the Great American Beer Festival for a reason. It’s the collective coming-together of our industry. It’s all of us under one roof, for one weekend each year. It’s a snapshot for history, demarcating this moment in time for [craft] beer in the United States. It’s an opportunity to network with brewers from around the nation, and it’s a chance to support the Brewers Association and the work that that organization does on behalf of all the brewers in the US. It’s national exposure for a brewery like us, who really only sees limited distribution outside of a few markets in California.
Why should GABF attendees visit your booth?
Societe: We’re involved with the Meet the Brewers section at this year’s festival, we are booth X12. That means our crew will always be there, hanging out at the booth. Without volunteers involved, we get to present the beer the exact way that we want to. If you want to come ask the brewer a technical question about our beer, he’s here to tell you what malt and hops are in the beer. He’ll talk to you about mash temperatures or fermentation. We can talk Societe Brewing or San Diego beer too. We’ll be pouring a nice representation of the beers that we brew and the beers that we like to drink. We might be biased, but it’s a pretty good representation of the beers that are exciting folks in San Diego these days. We’re pouring The Pupil, our 7.5% IPA with Citra and Nelson Sauvin hops. The Apprentice, our 7.5% IPA with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. The Pugilist, our 4.2% Dry Stout. The Harlot, our 6.0% Belgian Extra Ale. And, The Butcher, our 9.8% Imperial Stout.
Is GABF the best way for small to medium sized craft breweries to shine?
GABF is certainly a platform for small-to-medium sized craft breweries to shine on the national stage. But that doesn’t mean that every brewery takes advantage of the opportunity provided by the platform. We make the absolute most of our trip, trying to highlight our beer and our brewery in as many ways as possible. That’s why we participate in the (new) Meet the Brewers booth. That’s why we will be a part of Paired, working with Chef Kyle Mendenhall from The Kitchen in Boulder. We’re even going to be involved with Craftbeer.com’s Beer X Art Project, where we will partner with a muralist to create mural artwork inspired by one of our beers, The Harlot.
Why did Societe choose to enter their beers into the GABF Medal competition?
The competition is a fun way to get involved with all of the other breweries in the United States, all gathering together on one stage to recognize some of the best brewers in the country. Its important to enter the competition because the more entries that are judged, the collective end result is more likely to be representative of a world-class beer for that particular style. If you believe that you are making quality beers and if you neglect to submit entries, then you would be doing a disservice to the other breweries that enter the competition.
What are Societe’s expectations for GABF medal competition?
No expectations for Societe in the medal competition, and most likely, we will not win any recognition this year. I do, on the other hand, have high expectations for the brewers here in San Diego. Look for medals from the greats like Pizza Port, Jeff Bagby, Tomme and the Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, and AleSmith. I wouldn’t be surprised if Alpine brought home a medal or two this year as well. Beer in San Diego is so on point right now, this county deserves the title of “Capital of Craft. But, I also feel strongly that L.A. is going to turn some heads this year. Julian, Gabe, and Ian have already proven that they are killer brewers, and I can see them crushing it again this year for Beachwood. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see awards go to folks like Evan and the crew at Noble or Alex and the crew at Three Weavers.
What does Societe think could be done to make the competition more fair and an accurate portrayal of the best beers in the industry?
Just ensure that the people judging the beers are the best beer-minded people around. Make sure that the judging process is fair, and keep the spirit of the competition true to what is so great about beer. Less focus on the particularities of the style guidelines, more a focus on how skillfully brewed is a beer and how enjoyable is the drinking experience.
Besides the festival floor, where can fans meet up with Societe in the Denver area during GABF week?
Our team focuses pretty hard on the festival experience. We want to make it worth our while to attend. That said, we always take the time to hit up Falling Rock. Then, you can find us drinking the amazing lagers at Prost or sipping on world-class sour beers from Crooked Stave.