The Apprentice | Societe Brewing Co.

25 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Societe Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Schmaltzy on 05-21-2012

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 400
Photo of captaincoffee
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very light straw-gold with a small head and some spotty lace. Nose is fresh west coast all the way. Clean and classic, but not huge. Taste is light for 7.6%. Crisp, with a nice firm bitterness that doesn't try to melt enamel from your teeth. Citrus end of the spectrum...I didn't feel it was very resiny. Dry-ish with a light malt backbone. Overall, a solid IPA you'd be hard pressed to complain about, but not super-memorable.

 442 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler purchased at Societe Brewing Co in San Diego, CA.

This one pours a light yellow-ish orange, with a small head, and a bit of lacing.

Smells like a classic and delicious West Coast style IPA- with delicious pine resin, grapefruit rind, with no real discernible malt character.

This a pretty stereotypical West Coast style IPA. It's got a really nice bitterness to it, piney, fresh and resinous, and quite clean. There's no much malt, except for a slightly crackery backbone. There's a mild and zesty fruit character, mostly grapefruit, and some mango, possibly.

This is lighter bodied, and very crisp, with a good level of carbonation.

I could definitely drink a lot of this stuff- it was quite nice.

 711 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Type: 6-oz. draft
Glass: Tall, clear, slender glass
From: Societe Brewing in San Diego, Calif.
Price: $3
Purchased: Nov. 3, 2016
Consumed: Nov. 3, 2016
Reviewed as: American IPA
Misc.: N/A

Not a huge fan of Societe and really think they are very overrated overall, but I still snuck over after picking up something for work nearby. I had tried The Apprentice before, giving it a 3.50 on Untappd, but admittedly saying that I was sick with a cold. Time to give this one another chance.

Poured a medium yellow clear color with two fingers of frothy white head when I got it. A few bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Excellent uneven foamy lacing. Very good lacing. (Sight - 4.25)

First thing I thought on the smell was dry-hopped. Also got pine, citrus, resin, lemon, a grapefruit punch, Citra, maybe Cascade, floral late, lime and dish soap. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted better than the nose with resin, wet sappy pine, hints of Nugget, floral, Citra, earthy grapefruit peel, lime, lemon, dish soap and some spiciness, maybe Simcoe? Definitely dry-hopped. Pretty boozy as well, tasting stronger than 7.2 pct. ABV. (Taste - 3.75)

Light body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, boozy bitter finish. (Feel - 3.50)

This was better than the last time I tried it, but still not that great. A bit too bitter and boozy, especially for 7.2 pct. ABV. Would like more balance. (Overall - 3.75)

3.76 | 85 | B+

 1,422 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

32oz stainless steel swingtop growler, freshly filled, poured into a Societe willibecher glass.

The beer pours a fairly clear, copper and gold color, a thin white head, about a finger high that has good retention and yields great sticky lace. The aroma is very piney, loads of grapefruit peel, some juiciness, citrus and tropical fruits, lots of sticky malt counterbalances the bitter hops nicely. The flavors are very good, really classic example of the "San Diego IPA." Plenty of citrus rind, tropical fruits that is countered with really earthy pine, hops spice, resinous, assertively bitter with sticky and some sweet maltiness that lingers. The mouthfeel is good, thick, full bodied, zippy with nice carbonation and a crisp, dry, bitter kick at the finish.

Verdict: A nice IPA from Societe, very true to the style and a great representation of the "San Diego IPA" that really helped me get into craft. While this isn't the most intense IPA, it's very well made and very nicely balanced.

 994 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz nonic pint at HG.

A: Served a clear light golden with a dense, fluffy, and bright white head that took forever to faded into really thick fuzz film that lasted the whole beer through. Sheets of soft lace were left down the glass.
S: Dank hops dominate alongside notes of lime and a touch of tropical hops. Smells like the hop fridge on a brewey tour. Super fresh. Smells super "green".
T: A mixture of tropical, dank, and grassy hops. Sweet, grassy, and herbal with a touch of sweet fruit nectar and very mild citrus. The finish is full of grass, pineapple, and herbs, and the aftertaste is lingering with flavors of very super fresh hop cones. Bitter as heck very delicious.
M: Greasy and oily mouthfeel, bubbly standard carbonation that's on the softer side. Medium full body with a nice chew to it.
O: Hard to find fault in this. While not my favorite ipa this is incredibly hoppy and drinkable. I enjoyed this hop blend. Dank and fruity. Exceptional.

 960 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I interpret this as Societe's take on a classic West Coast IPA. It's big, it's piney/citrus, it's bitter. Perhaps a bit too dried out and bitter, but overall a pretty accurate stab at the style and mostly enjoyable.

 215 characters

Photo of mschantz
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Taste on tap at Beercraft SD. Very solid west coast style IPA, but in no way surprising or distinctive in my opinion. Very hop forward and not as citrusy as some WC IPAs. Just don't feel that overthinking this one is warranted.

 230 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

the apprentice feels more like a traditional west coast ipa than does the pupil. its less balanced sure, but it also has a lot more bitterness and a lot more of the fresh hop characteristics, including a rich resinous texture and an oily hop sweetness indicative of the west coast style. its far less delicate, but not any less well honed. the hops are just colossal in this, and the bitterness cant be helped. still a rather light grain complexion in terms of color and sweetness. there is a slightly crusty bready center to this, which keeps the body in line, but there isnt much barley malt flavor in here at all. the hops do most of the flavoring, with pine needles being strong here. the booze in this one shows just a bit, but its not distracting. i like it a little less as it warms up too, gets a touch harsh in the finish, but what an outstanding brew. i may like the pupil a little more for its balance and smoothness, but this is right there with it in terms of hoppy brilliance.

 990 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Straw gold, huge head, slightly murky. Head slow to leave and lots of lace.

S - Bitterness is the primary smell. Can't really discern much else.

T - Light malt profile and definitely lots of bittering hops. Lots of citrus.

M - Mouth is on the light - medium side and in spite of the huge head, the beer itself feels somewhat under carbonated. Balance good and finishes pretty clean.

D - Good beer to try. A new brewery for me. Tried a few other taster while there. While not one my favorites, always fun to check out new stuff.

 535 characters

Photo of reebtaerG
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Societe

A-Pours a clear, light golden straw with a nice finger of white head that thins to a skin. Great lacing.

S-Great aromas of tarragon, lemon pepper, and sharp grass are up front. Tropical fruits, pineapple support.

T-Taste has a lemon, grass and grapefruit first. Strong bell pepper in the middle. Some grapefruit, dough and spice. Light malts. Ending is dry with lingering malts.

M-Light tacky body with a light to medium acidic and faintly sweet palate. Mild carbonation.

O-Overall a great IPA. Very smooth and tasty!

 549 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft service into a tulip glass at Stone Bistro in Escondido.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Grain is evident, mildly toasty and somewhat rustic, while hops qualities tend to lean toward the tropical. Metallic sharpness is a persistent and slightly distracting feature.

T: Begins dry, with savory herbs and restrained papaya. More pine and onion emerge into the middle where acidity is high. The finish is moderately bitter, retaining the same savory overtones as the early profile and adding some earthiness as well.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, oily and slightly resinous on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This beer seems to strive to be some different IPAs at the same time, and is fairly successful. The recipe comes across as modern, with a mix of bold and appealing hops qualities that also yield food-friendly depth.

 946 characters

Photo of corby112
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Churchill's in San Diego, March 2013.

Pours a hazy, pale golden yellow color with a one finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring.  The glass is left coated with large sheets of soapy lacing.  

Floral, slightly earthy and oily resinous hop aroma with pine needle and tons of tropical fruit. Lots of grapefruit, papaya, pineapple and orange peel countered by pale biscuit malt, toffee and graham cracker.  

Full bodied with a slight creamy texture and a blast of earthy, piny hops countered by a boat load of tropical/citrus fruit notes and a pale makt backbone.  Grassy pine needle and earthy bitterness along with a ton of grapefruit, mango, pineapple and lemon peel.  Really complex and delicious hop profile.  Light pale malts underneath with biscuit and graham cracker.  Really well balanced and way too easy to put down.  I could drink this all day.  Awesome beer! I tried several Societe beers on my last trip to SD and this was the most flavorful. Highly recommended!

 1,026 characters

Photo of Hendry
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Clear honey colored pour,one finger bone white head,solid lacing in the snifter.

Aroma is a combination of moderately juicy hops and a slight whiff of alcohol.

Taste is an improvement over the aroma: soft tropical flavors with a nicely rounded aftertaste that borders bitterness and savory.

Mouthfeel is really nice, appropriate carbonation and a pleasant creamy texture.Goes down nice and easy with no trace of alcohol that was detected in the nose.

Solid West Coast IPA worthy of trying if you are able to get your hands on it.

 533 characters

Photo of standardcherry
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Growler thanks to ehammond1!

A: Murky golden/orange color. Creamy white head.
S: Not as strong as I expected. Citrus, pine and floral but not much.
T: Now the taste is a different story. Love the malt sweetness, can taste a tiny bit of honey. Quite hoppy but well balanced. Bitter grapefruit, orange, mango and pine resin. Moderate bitterness (certainly a bit more than Pupil).
M: Fantastic mouthfeel. Medium bodied with nice, creamy carbonation. Crisp finish. Insanely drinkable.
O: Another great offering from Societe. Even though I prefer Pupil, I would gladly take either one any day.

 593 characters

Photo of jdhowe
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Field in San Diego, CA


A: Very pale, 1/2 finger off-white head dissipates to film, plenty of lacing. Just a little light on color.

S: Yummy citrusy hop character, a little malt, but mostly citrus.

T: Delicious. Follows nose. Citrusy hops and a clean malt backbone lead into a finish that is bitter but not overly. A really great IPA.

M: Medium body with good carbonation. Refreshing and easy to drink. Very good for its style.

O: Really impressed by this. I often find IPAs lacking in flavor when compared to their DIPA cousins, but this one really stepped it up. Maybe it's because at 7.6%abv it's damn-near a DIPA, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how much this beer had to offer. My first Societe brew had been a very pleasant experience.

 781 characters

Photo of SavvyStudent
4.81/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

O: Take the pupil and make it more cloudy, a little stronger hop on the nose and a little heavier mouthfeel and you have The Apprentice. It is just different enough from the Pupil but quite a few similarities between the two beers (not a bad thing in this case). Another home run from Societe and one of the top IPA in CA.

 322 characters

Photo of KevT
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had this beer at Societe on a recent trip to San Diego. The beer was a dark yellow color and had a mild hop aroma. The hop flavor was more pronounced than the aroma would make you think and was nicely balanced with the malt finish. This was one of my favorite Societe beers.

 276 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.01/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Consarnit! Another stuffed bra beer! Raul had hella hopes for Societe, but like Mount Vesuvius, this beer is dormant! No nose. No nose what-so-ever! Taste? Lingering. And then lingering on nothing.

I'm sad. I'm sad to say it, but it's just an average one, my children.

 269 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25


SS growler poured into a Moonlight pint glass and a snifter.

A: A pellucid and attractive burnished yellow gold color with an inch of frothy white foam. Lacing is scattered. Nice color.

S: Resinous pine, marijuana, orange, spicy grapefruit, gooseberry, and catty notes. I pick up a little tropical character, redolent of guava, pineapple, and mango. There's some melon in there. Malt has no detectable influence on the aroma and no alcohol is evident.

T: A whisper of crackery malt with not even a trace of sweetness. The first couple batches I had of this were very dry but also very astringent and a bit rough with the bitterness. They seem to have abandoned that approach, intentionally or otherwise, which makes for a much more enjoyable IPA. The bitterness is firm but smooth, devoid of harshness. There's plenty of hop flavor on display and this reeks of freshness. I could look up fruit in an encyclopedia and throw descriptors at you all day, but the main characteristics I take away from this are orange pith and flesh, grapefruit, white grape, and tangerine. The nose was a bit of a tease in the tropical category, but there are ample pine notes. The last few batches of this beer have been slightly above 8% but alcohol is undetectable. The finish is dry, clean, and moderately bitter with lingering citrus.

M: Upper light to lower medium body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and sticky with a touch of astringency.

Overall: I've had this beer a few times before, mainly from the earlier batches, and I found a lot of variation from batch to batch, almost like the beer was searching for an identity or the brewers weren't sure which direction to go with it. It was always a pretty good beer, but nothing about it was memorable and nothing stood out for me. I figured I'd give Societe some time to dial in the recipe before I got a growler and reviewed it. And to be honest, I wouldn't be sitting here with this growler if they would have been doing fills of The Pupil, which was the reason I went to the brewery, but they were on their last keg and the sample of The Apprentice I tried was better than the earlier batches so I figured I'd give it a go rather than leave empty-handed. I'm happy to say that I'm enjoying this beer. It's a well crafted, quality IPA. Recommended.

 2,329 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap @ Societe

10oz pour

A: Super clear golden amber body that is effervescent with tiny bubbles forming a tight off-white cap. Light persistent head with some real clingy sheets of lace down the glass.

S: Profound aromas of grapefruit and gooseberry. Real fruity with mango like tropicals and a bit of catty herbals. There is a light caramelized malt cracker to the background. Overall a really great nose with a fresh tropical hop medley.

T: Bold fruit flavors of gooseberry, grapefruit, and bitter melon. Pine with some restrained white grape and herbals. Real nice but a little less tropical than the nose. Malt is dry cracker with a soft suggestion of caramel. There is an upper moderate level of resinous hop bitterness and just a slight alcohol kick in the finish. Not distracting however. This is really nice and perfectly sweetened. Not terribly mind blowing flavor wise but showcases some real nice craftsmanship at practicing balance.

M: Moderate to lower feel overall with a nice crisp drying lift in the finish. Carbonation a touch on the higher side with some prickly bite. A bit of puckering residuals of hop oils and sugary bits.

D: A really nice offering. Awesome nose and the balance of flavors here are impeccable. Very drinkable with some nice “new” hop flavors. Has a Citra/Nelson thing going on but not in excess.


 1,375 characters

Photo of argock
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Shaker pint at The Taproom (San Diego, CA).

A: Hazy pale yellow with 1/2-to-1 finger of nearly white tighly bubbled, frothy head which retained well and left a few random lines of lacing behind.

S: The aromas are mainly pine, grapefruit, lemon, and some resin with some light crystal maltiness trying to hang in there

T: Good flavor with a big resinous finish. The bitterness is moderate for this beer, which treads in the unchartered territory between Am IPA and DIPA. The flavor is hop-dominated for sure, with a blast of pine, grapefruit rind, lemon, and floral orange but finished with lip-smacking resin. The malt backing is solid and probably a simple bill, with mainly 2-row pale malt and light-to-light-medium crystals. A really solid flavor with a little alcohol character. It does not showcase any tropical fruit characer which I really enjoy in this style.

M: Medium-bodied with even carbonation and a slightly sticky-tacky feel but very drinkable -- I was in a little bit of a hurry but I still think I finished my pint in about 10 minutes, no problem.

O: I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this beer, as I had no preconceived notions and was just trying to have something I could never find back home in VA. A very good IPA/DIPA in which I would love to see a little broader hop profile.

 1,342 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Clear golden and orange with a small head, eventually leaving irregular lines of lace down the glass. Nice clarity, very pretty IPA.

Very nice aroma, but the flavor shines significantly more than the aroma. That being said, this still smells great: citrus notes, a bit of pine, along with some floral hop character as well. Complete.

The flavor is quite exceptional, with a hop-forward yet balanced approach: bitter grapefruit flesh along with other assorted citrus (orange and mango?), mild pine, moderate bitterness. A delicious IPA.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Crisp and incredibly drinkable. Perfect.

A fantastic IPA. I prefer The Pupil slightly, but The Apprentice isn't at all far behind.

 767 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchill’s Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear gold with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, and malt. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

 475 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's

A: Clear golden color with a thin eggshell white head.

S: pretty substantial piney hop aroma with a nice floral overtone. A bit of jasmine and a touch of yeast in the back.

T: Tried my first beer from them, The Harlot, a few weeks back and wasn't impressed at all. This is much better, though a lot different than most San Diego IPAs. Pine and grapefruit pith upfront with a lot of dryness throughout. A big dose of bready malt and lemon on the finish. Much more an English IPA than an American IPA to me. Mouthfeel is medium and perfect for the flavors. A solid beer.

 591 characters

Photo of DubbelBastard
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The other guy said it better, but I figured I'd review it since it's so new.

I'm at Neighborhood, San Diego, and they have it on tap. This place is pretty good, so for full disclosure, I just had a bottle of Russian River Supplication (sour) and a Lost Abbey Devotion (Belgian blonde/pale).

Appearance: light gold, a little hazy. Head was white and lingered for a while. Still some foam on the sides of the glass.

Bouquet: Not as powerful as I'd expect. Typical grapefruit and other citrus-y "nose flavors".

Taste: This is what won me over. It's quite hoppy, and not balanced out with honey, agave, or any of the other latest trends. It leaves you with a good bitter taste on the palate and lingers for quite a while.

Mouth: well, there's not a ton of body, but that is commensurate with the IPA. It's definitely not weak, yet does not have the body of the less-pale-strong-ales that tend to be prevalent around the region.

But yeah, nothing super surprising with this beer, but it tastes better than it looks. I'd give it a try. Next, I'll go back to the Pliny the Elder they also have on tap before returning to Michigan.

 1,130 characters

The Apprentice from Societe Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 400 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.