Beer lovers must believe that San Diego really is “America’s Finest City.” Unofficially dubbed the “nation’s craft beer capitol,” more than 100 breweries call SD home. When you think about it, it makes sense. Our city’s laid back coastal lifestyle pairs perfectly with an ice-cold brew. They just go together like beaches and bikinis…the proverbial match made in heaven.
And, what else goes really great with beer? You guessed it. Pizza.
“There are so many breweries in San Diego and Southern California, it’s hard to keep track of what every brewery has to offer,” said Doug Ritz, owner and operator at Wheat & Water. “We should make it easier for people to try them... bring the brewery to them, instead of the other way around.”
And that’s the simple idea behind Wheat & Water’s “Get to Know a Brewery” Series. It’s an easy way for you to sample the best local breweries have to offer, one pint at a time.
The beers featured during each series are hand-picked by the team at Wheat & Water. The goal is to feature signature beers, ones that are rare and/or interesting, or ones that go down easy. But, they all have one thing in common, no matter the brewery: they all go great with pizza.
“We’d like customers to enjoy the flavors of their beer as much as they enjoy their pizza,” said Doug.
Wheat & Water kicks off the series inaugural event on Friday, April 28th with Societe Brewing out of Clairemont Mesa, San Diego. Followed by Doug’s long-time friends at Hess Brewing on May 19th and Modern Times on June 23rd.
Be sure to mark your calendar and snag a signature glass while supplies last! The kegs will be tapped at 6pm at Wheat & Water in Bird Rock, so please call for a reservation 858-291-8690, or put in a reservation request here.
And now it's time to...
Get to Know a Brewer: Societe Brewing Company
Societe Brewing was founded in 2012 by Brewmaster Travis Smith and Brewery Curator Douglas Constantiner. (June 24th is Societe Brewing’s 5 year Anniversary Party, but good luck getting in—with 2 months to go, it’s already sold out.) The founders met while at The Bruery in Placentia, which brings into question - how the heck did two guys meet at a brewery that doesn’t brew IPAs, team up to open a brewery known for IPAs? Prior to the Bruery, Smith was the first production hire at Russian River Brewing, and after a year of training, he was a full-time brewer. In addition, Constantiner left his New York City investment-banking job to work at IPA-focused brands like Pizza Port and Green Flash. With such a high-level of training and experience in IPAs, they shared a hefty amount of IPAs outside of The Bruery. Good conversation ensued, and a strict and ideal mission was created:
Based on the simple principles of high-quality ales and lagers built to advance beer’s reputation and place in the modern world by remaining true to its Old World roots, Societe aims to strip away all barriers to beer enlightenment and enjoyment and, in the process, start and perpetuate meaningful conversations.
Societe self-distributes, and they limit the accounts with their brews on tap. It was a nice ego boost to Wheat & Water, when they came calling. Ted Cochrane, founder of Wheat & Water, and Chris Anderson took a trip to Societe's brewery to do a little research and development. After a brewery tour from Societe's Kyle Shockney and a tasting of Societe's current offering, a business partnership grew into a welcomed friendship. So, what better way to celebrate than our Societe Brewing Night!? Come in, drink some brews, make good conversation, and keep the glass. See you here on Friday, April 28th!
The Harlot Belgian Extra Ale
- The Harlot sits perfectly between a Czech lager and a Belgian Ale. It starts with a pilsner recipe then is fermented with Societe’s ale yeast. A light, crisp beer with that well-rounded and complex Belgian body. Perhaps it wasn’t a style that was meant exist, but we’re sure glad this beer does.
- ABV: 5.6%
- Named 2013 Beer of the Year by The Brewing Network.
The Apprentice IPA
- The Apprentice focuses on hops from the Pacific Northwest with Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo all hailing from Washington. The result is an assertively bitter and piney (Simcoe) brew with floral notes (Centennial) and grapefruit and orange (Amarillo).
- ABV: 7.2%
- Hops: Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo
The Pupil IPA
- As with any West Coast IPA, the focus is on the hops. The floral notes of Centennial in combination with the grapefruit-citrus notes of the Citra create exactly what you’re craving. (In the weeks preparing for the Societe Tap Takeover, we pulled in The Pupil, and we’re learning it’s difficult to keep enough Pupil kegs in stock!) The kicker here is the Nelson Sauvin, and if you read about or attended our Green Flash-Alpine Brewing Tap Takeover, then you know how rare and celebrated these New Zealand Nelson hops have become. It’s the strong white wine (see – Nelson SAUVIN) astringency and tangerine and grapefruit notes that keep beer-lovers asking for more.
- ABV: 7.5%
- Hops: Centennial, Citra and Nelson Sauvin
The Bachelor IPA
- The Bachelor is an exploration in hops. Each beer is brewed with a base IPA recipe and a single hop varietal, thus isolating the hops unique characteristics.
- Version 26? Hop: We don’t even know yet! So we’re also looking forward to Friday!
- ABV: 6.5%
- Previous versions featured: Cascade, Centennial, Mosaic, Motueka, Chinook, Citra, Azacca, Amarillo, Rakau, Sorachi, Ace, Jarrylo, Simcoe, El Dorado, Northern Brewer, Galaxy, Hallertau Blanc, Mandarina Bavaria, Eureka!, Idaho 7, Calypso, Nugget, African Queen, Nelson Sauvin, CTZ.
The Coachman IPA
- IPA-lovers shouldn’t skip over The Coachman Session IPA. One might think this is why the marketers over at Societe have referred to it as a “Really Small IPA” in order to differentiate it from the stigma of Session IPAs—“hop-flavored water.” We’ll start with Simcoe for bittering and piney notes and Mosaic for floral and tangerine and berries. In the Coachman we also have the noble hop varietal of Saaz, a noble hop for adding those earthy aromatics and crisp spiciness of lagers and pilsners. The result creates a floral and hoppy brew than doesn’t fall flat in the end--instead you get the crisp, herbal finish and the low ABV.
- ABV: 4.7%
- Hops: Saaz, Simcoe and Mosaic
- 40% malted wheat in addition to the malted barley
- 2015 Great American Beer Festival Gold for Session IPA
The Pugilist Dry Stout
- To break up the tasty list of IPA, we've added Societe's Dry Stout. It's a very drinkable, extremely low-alcohol stout that doesn't skip on the roasty malt aromatics and earthy hop-bitterness in the finish. i.e. Save room for dessert!
- ABV: 4.5%
- 2014 World Beer Cup Classic Irish-style Dry Stout Silver Medal