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The Pupil - Societe Brewing Co.

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The Pupil
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75 Reviews
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Reviews: 75
Hads: 770
Avg: 4.44
pDev: 7.21%
Wants: 239
Gots: 75 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Societe Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 05-31-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Hads: 770
Photo of mbixler
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just a great single IPA, right up there with Sculpin. Had it at the brewery. Pours a little cloudy, maybe its unfiltered. The smell is outstanding! You can smell the nelson hops, and a liitle graperfruit. The taste is crisp and super balanced. I have had Pliny, Topper and Younger & this beer is right up there with the best.

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Photo of luisitoelmatador88
4.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first review and I'm starting off with a stellar beer from my current favorite Brewery in California. I'm going to keep this straight and to the point for now.

Appearance: substantially clear and transparent. You can see right through this clean, beautiful beer. Moderate white head. Thins out quickly.

Aroma: this aroma really does put you in a coma. The smell is pure ecstasy. Tropical as hell. I smell Mango, pineapple, fresh hops, some citrus. I'm not even sure what else but it's incredible. Best nose a beer can emit.

Taste: Flawless. Balanced masterfully. I don't know how Travis and Doug do it. 7.5% ABV is concealed in an excellent fashion. This beer is utter bliss to my taste buds. I'm not going to lie, I don't know all the hop varieties that compose this beer but they are an incredible combination. I love the piney goodness and the bitterness level is hit right on the nail for this one. Of course there is some citrus and grapefruit notes. Not sure how the taste could improve much more.

Mouthfeel: oral orgasm. smooth. silky. yummy. dry crisp finish.

Overall: I cannot say enough great things about this beer. It's overall the type of beer I seek and it's a shame its not very easy to find in Orange County, particularly Irvine where I reside. This beer has everything I look for in a quality craft beer: quality hop flavor, not so much weird maltiness that can distract from the hop and pine action and perfect medium carbonation and mouthfeel. The Apprentice is also ridiculously tasty and amazing but I feel the Pupil might be ever so slightly better. (pretty much a tie)

Go to Societe in San Diego pronto!!!

These guys and Alpine are the best breweries in SoCal.

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Photo of Hendry
4.96/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Arrived in an impressive stainless steel growler, pours a hazy golden yellow, 1 finger of soapy white on top. lacing is nice but not incredible.

Aroma is one of subtlety: the hops are front and center though not aggressive. Amazing nose is Hawaiian pineapples with a touch of pine needle. Perhaps one of the most subtle and mouthwatering aromas an IPA can produce.

Taste is of carbonated pineapple juice infused with fresh pine: a real treat in every respect. Quality hops are beautifully showcased here. Little to nothing to improve on in the taste department.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, impressive carbonation (particularly for being shipped cross country in a growler), fabulous bitterness rests on the back of the palate. Dry and crisp, no malty overload to get in the way of the hops. Never degenerates into that "crackery" session IPA aftertaste, and the 7.8% abv is masterfully obscured. This is one that every fan of "tropical tasting" IPAs should get their hands on, and considered to be a Southern Cali masterpiece in my book.

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Photo of SavvyStudent
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: Low transparency, good legs and a pale yellow color
S: Awesome freshness that you look for in a good IPA. I cannot pick up the different hop types but there is a nice balance of freshness and depth.
T: Surprisingly one of my favorite IPA based solely on the taste. I get a hit of pine, slight Belgium mustiness, and citrus. It was difficult for me to slow down to sip this one
M:It is a full mouthfeel with medium carbonation. It sits a little heavier than some IPAs but still stellar.
O: While on a Stone tour and talking about different Hops a few of the induction specialist said this brewery was a must go while in San Diego; It did not disappoint. This was my favorite of the 8 IPAs they had on the menu. Overall the IPA here were AMAZING and worth a visit if in the area since they currently are not outside of San Diego.

7.8% abv

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Photo of pda22
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had this for the first time at the Stone 17th Anniversary Party-- phenomenal. This is a beer with great balance and an awesome hop flavor. Born in San Diego, land of the IPA, this is one of the best. The aroma is fantastic, the taste is even better.

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Photo of EliotRosewater
4.89/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - Pours a hazy, golden hue. Minimal lacing with about a finger of head.

S - citrus, pine, resin, juicy. Just a ton going on here. Salivary glands going crazy with just a whiff.

T - One of a few IPA's where the taste actually exceeds the smell. Tons of citrus and tropical fruit along with some pine and bitter herb flavor. The bitterness is so well integrated. Probably the most balanced IPA I've had.

M - Bitterness is present but not overpowering. Smooth mouthfeel and nice, lingering finish.

O - This is the most enjoyable IPA I've had the pleasure of drinking. You can only get it on tap or to go in a growler so I've only had it super fresh. Simply the cleanest, purest flavors. I could easily knock back an entire growler just because it is so enjoyable to drink. World class.

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Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Headed to Societe after the DDG release to see what all the fuss was about.

Started with the stout which was fantastic and then moved on to the Pupil.

Nothing to exotic on the color, nice yellowish mellow orange. Two inches of head and excitement all around me. The smell was a nice fruity tropical mellow pine. The taste.... wow, damn, holy smokes. There is virtually no malt and rich tropical fruit, mango, guava just lingering on the taste buds. Moderate/perfect carbonation and an incredible mouthfeel that leaves you begging for more. I just couldn't stop drinking it. It reminds me of Pliny mixed with the first generation of Sculpin that was heavy in tropical fruit.

This is something very special. When they start bottling I will unfortunately be making the 100 mile trek weekly. Must try for any IPA lover.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank this on tap at Churchill's in November 2012, then at the Societe taproom in February 2013.

Big time yellow pour, tons of haze, small 1/3" head on the top. Some of these mega hopped SD west coast ipa's now look eerily similar to a hefeweizen (albeit without the same head, lacing or retention).

Aroma, huge, the best of both worlds, you get the citra and the nelson hops in all their glory. Name the fruit, you can probably close your eyes and envision it in this beer. Mango, guava, pine, pineapple. Pretty much every tropical type of fruit out there, comes out in the nose (and taste, but more about that in a sec). I smelled the shit out of this beer, ramping up expectations until I could actually taste it.

The taste is very smooth, for all the hop glory in this, it has zero abrasive bitterness to it. Extremely light and dry cracker like malt addition to just stay the hell out of the way of the hops. Juicy. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. Very light bodied, high hopped, low bitterness libation. Tangerine and mango just rolls off the tongue. Very reminiscient of Pliny and Alpine.

This is the #1 beer you haven't drank. This is now a must stop spot when in San Diego. If it was anywhere else in the world, it would be the talk of the town, homerism effects etc. . . but since its SD, there's plenty of stuff to divide loyalties and keep these guys under the radar on the national scene.

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Photo of Kelmcl
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Brewed in the San Diego IPA style with the over the top hop character. Nelson Sauvin hops give the beer a settle rye like spice. Strong citrus and floral notes. Beautifully balanced with a crisp clean maltyness. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in the middle of the epic San Diego beer scene, grab one of these as a classic example of the West Coast Style IPA. You will not be disappointed!

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Photo of rand
4.82/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap and El Take it Easy in San Diego, poured into pint

A: Hazy orange in appearance, slightly opaque, forms a fluffy head that's wispy yet sudsy.

S: The nose is tropical at the front. Really tropical, like there's a large amount of Nelson hops added (I'll have to look it up, this smells really Nelson-y). Plenty of honey-sweet malts propelled by ample alcohol volatiles round the bouquet.

T: Tropical-citrus up front, as expected, mango and guava and lemon. A touch of piny astringency meets a robust malt-backbone, chewy and honey-sweet. The alcohol isn't masked but doesn't overtake, as all of the flavors play supporting roles, leading to a somewhat singular
flavor profile. The finish is refreshing, almost no aftertaste.

M: Viscous and oily but light and effervescent on the palate

Living in San Diego, you can become a little jaded and skeptical of craft upstarts. Well, color me convinced - this is one of the best IPA's I've had. I cant stop thinking how much this tastes like Kern's amazing Citra. I'm gonna stop typing now so I can have another.

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Photo of warrendietrich2001
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Light gold. No carbonation. No had to speak of. Mild lacing.
Dank reminded me of college and smoking a bowl.
Societe has many IPA this one stands out.
Very crisp and clean.
will drink this all day every day when it's bottled.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours a golden hay color with a strong grassy hop presence coming across. The flavor shows more grass with a light, chewy yet clean finish. Hop forward West Coast IPA done up exceptionally well.

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Photo of SDHoffers
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on tap twice now I'm sad to say that it's almost gone after only a few precious days. I can't believe that we aren't gonna see this one again til September. Damn those unattainable Nelson Hops! Oh well, I will still enjoy this while I can. Although The Dandy and The Apprentice are wonderful IPA's, The Pupil has that little extra whack in the face that all of us in SD have grown to love. Thanks guys for making great beer and thanks Mark S. for keeping us in supply.
Cheers, Michael (Hoffer's)

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Photo of rhong187
4.76/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Don't do many beer reviews, but this beauty deserved it...

Served from 64oz growler (big thanks to Sarge3130 for sharing)

A - looks like a hazier pineapple juice, light head which faded quickly

S - unbelievable, huge citrus, mango and pineapple bomb. The pineapple stood out the most and I wish they would make an air freshener with this aroma

T - soft and incredibly smooth. Very slight bitterness without it punching you in the face. One if the best IPA's I've had

M - medium carbonation, just wonderfully crafted!

O - i don't enjoy many IPA's in general, but this was incredible. Perfectly balanced with amazing flavor. I wish I had better access to these guys, and will certainly be seeking them out in future trades

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Photo of Mikeyk12
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

At being a piney, resinous, clear bodied, West Coast IPA, it excels tremendously. Compares to Pliny but I think this is better. All around fantastic flavors and aromas.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Clear yellow in color with a near-white crown that leaves lined lacing down the glass. The color is lighter than most typical San Diego IPAs. It reminds me of Alpine Nelson's appearance. A great thing to be reminded of.

Nice balance of citrus, floral, and malty aromas, with some grapefruit character leading the way. There's a bit of juice-like sweetness present as well.

Citrus and floral hops are the most dominant flavors, along with floral and earthy hops, and a moderate level of bitterness. There's some cracker and sweet malt flavor as well and a juice-like characteristic that is quite nice.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Crisp. Incredibly drinkable. Obviously well-crafted. Perfect.

A world-class IPA. I'm excited to try more from this group.

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap at the brewery and then found the next day and had a pint on tap at pizza port
this beer is a golden color with slight head on top
the smell is overpowering awesome hint of piney and hoppy
the taste burst into your mouth overwhelming hops from piney to fruity
i would put this down as a top ipa it is what you are wanting from
hoppy to slightly fruity to piney and a great finish
this is a beer that can be drank on a regular basis

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Photo of jamex
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery.

I've had this about 5-8 times now and it never fails to impress. It looks and smells amazing. The beer is brewed with Citra and Nelson hops and tastes like a Rye-less Nelson (from Alpine Beer Co.) A real stand-out beer. Good job Societe.

Beer grade: A
Their growler prices and/or CA stupid growler law: F.

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Photo of BreweryRun
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Have had this beer several times and it never disappoints. Light golden in color without much lasting head. Smell is slightly dank and grassy with some light fruityness. On the whole the aroma is mild but very pleasant. Taste again has that earthy, grassy hop character with some tropical fruit flavors mixed in. Bitterness is there, especially in the dry finish but it doesn't overpower at any point. Body is light but not watery at all. Overall an amazing IPA with a ton going on in the flavor department but one you can enjoy anytime without your palette being completely wrecked. Awesome beer!

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Photo of hopjake
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the Societe taproom. My only Citra-heavy beer before this was ZD, so I was looking forward to this one.

Half-inch of fluffy white head, yellow - orange hazy appearance. Very appealing.

Lots of citrus fruit and of course, hops jumping out at you. Honestly I was too eager to taste it than spend a lot of time smelling it - it just smelled good...

Still learning the different hop flavors, but the Citra is now recognizable to me, and stood out immediately. Very tropical, a light malt backbone, just enough bitterness to remind you its an IPA, no booze. Fairly clean finish. Very smooth - could drink a few of these.

Medium carbonation, pretty light body - nothing unexpected after the aroma and taste.

Wish I had more than one, but I was visiting from out of town and wanted to try their other offerings. Visited a few other places in SD, and this was definitely the best beer I had during a short 3-day stay.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.66/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at Societe

A-Very hazy yellow straw with almost 1/2 finger head but yet leaves a nice lacing.

S-Mango, light tropical fruits, and oranges. This carries a seductive smell but found it rather weak and you really got to work the nose.

T-Oranges and mangos strike first, light cotton candy and a hint of pine bitterness towards the end.

M-Light pretty much all the way around with a hint of bitterness.

O-Very excellent IPA they need I bottle this stuff!

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Photo of fuhnoo
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From the growler, which was filled the night before last.

A: Transparent and yellow with a good amount of visible carbonation. There's also a good amount of lacing on the glass. It looks a little deceiving as the appearance resembles a lager with lacing.

S: I can smell a pleasant mixture of hops (smells like nelson-sauvon and citra). Some fruitiness mixed with dankness... I love it.

T: This IPA tastes fantastic. The hop flavors come rushing forward without overwhelming the palate. This smells like it tastes, but more amplified. Wonderful!

M: A light, crisp, dry mouth feel that I love in IPAs (much like all their IPAs). A good amount of carbonation which goes perfectly with that dank, nelson flavor that I love.

O: This is one of my favorite IPAs in San Diego. Every time I stop by Societe, I fill 2 growlers (their growlers are awesome, by the way). This beer is reminiscent of a few VT beers I've had, but slightly less juicy and more dialed down. I wish I could get this in cans, but I'm always happy to stop by the brewery to get my fill. If you're ever in San Diego, get this beer!

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Photo of MarkDeming
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First beer from Societe and I am thoroughly impressed. Hops, heavy citrus, and some pine. Tasty and well balanced. Very East Coast, a la Alchemist and Trillium.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at Society. IPA made with Nelson and Citra. That's all I know.

A: Yellow gold with an inch of white froth. Nice color and good clarity. Solid head retention and lots of scattered lacing.

S: Big white grape and gooseberry Nelson profile with mango, guava, orange, and grapefruit. Floral aromatics blend with earth and crackery malt. The hop aroma is outstanding.

T: White grape with mango, nectarine, gooseberry, and lightly spicy grapefruit. The fruit is mouthwatering and juicy. Apparently blending Nelson and Citra makes for an awesome flavor. Smooth moderate bitterness. Malt is crackery and lightly biscuity. The beer is dry with no alcohol flavor. Bitterness waxes in the finish.

M: Lower medium body with upper medium carbonation. Dry and sticky mouthfeel.

Overall: If you like Alpine's Nelson you'll love this. Excellent and highly drinkable. To me this is a step above The Apprentice. I immediately got a growler of this after my first glass.


6/2/2012 - Had this from the growler and I'm dropping the flavor by .5.


6/22/2012 - Had another glass at the brewery and I'm raising the score back to the original.


7/20/12 - I guess I'm updating my score again. The second batch of this beer is even better than the first batch. Apparently they wanted to take the beer in a different direction and go heavier on the Nelson. I'm going to be conservative and just improve the nose, but this second batch blew me away. By far my favorite beer from Societe.


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Photo of mschantz
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Bottlecraft SD. Pours a beautiful bright yellow. About as clear a beer as you can have with a nice head that holds up well. The nose is huge tropical fruit - in addition to the mango and pineapple notes, I dug out guava to go along with the fantastically balanced hops. Clearly several hop additions going on with this beer given the complex yet subtle flavors happening here. Mouth feel is perfect. All in all a lovely beer.

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The Pupil from Societe Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.