The Publican
Societe Brewing Co.

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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #102
Ranked #3,423
4.14 | pDev: 8.94%
Societe Brewing Co.
California, United States
Notes: Small IPA
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 220 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this at the brewery, pours yellow, 1/2" white head, above average retention, especially for a hoppy beer. Aroma popped hops, not the most pungent ones from Societe, but still above average in the dry hopping category.

Taste, light bodied, light hopped (for them) affair. Still going to be bitter and pungent to the uninitiated (i.e. not nerds). Its a pretty standard pale ale, lightly toasted pale malts, hops of a variety of proprietary and traditional. Mild citrus notes. Seems like Simcoe is the most noticeable. Plenty dry malt throughout. Has a crisp and relative light feel throughout. Grassy and sessionable every time. Usual grapefruit bitterness.

Nov 26, 2017
Photo of corby112
corby112 from Pennsylvania

3.27/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly hazy, pale golden yellow color with straw colored edges and a one finger pillowy white head that quickly settle into a thick, lasting ring. Splotchy lacing left behind.

Earthy hop aroma with subtle resin and a clean pale malt backbone. Hop profile is sort of one dimensional with a ton of fresh cut grass. Could use some more pine resin character or some fruit sweetness. Pale malt backbone wih bread and biscuit. Pedestrian but the grassy hop presence is pleasant.

Light body and similar to the aroma with dry, earthy bitterness countered by pale malt and light fruit esters. Dry and bitter with lots of sticky, grassy hop flavor followed by biscuit, bread and cracker along with apple and pear sweetness. Very easy to drink with no heat. Sessionable but not all that interesting. Hop flavors are one dimension but pretty flavorful. Light and lacking in complexity but decent enough and pretty easy to drink.

Nov 29, 2015
Photo of xhuskr
xhuskr from California

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light in color and a good way..great hoppy beer on a warm evening in S. Ca. Went for one but stayed for two. Hoppy in all the right places, good body, but lighter and more refreshing than many out there. This is being added to my rotation list when I see it.

*on tap at Beachwood BBQ-Seal Beach

Apr 14, 2015
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps from Oregon

4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean, crisp with grapefruit, tropical fruit, pine. Great palate with bright citrus, pine and mild tropical fruit. Light in body with a clean bitter finish with lingering pine. Great stuff.

Dec 30, 2014
Photo of breadwinner
breadwinner from California

3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one got a bit too grapefruit juice-y for me tastes, with the ample bitterness getting overwhelming by the end of the pint. Reminds me a bit of the astringency that I can get with some VT-style hoppy brews.

Dec 16, 2014
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Societe Brewing Co. in San Diego, CA.

A- Clear straw-yellow, golden body with half finger white head. Lots of sticky lacing, not much retention time.

S- Grapefruit, oranges, pine. Bready crackers and biscuits in the background. For the most part, grapefruit dominates the aroma. Nice hop-forward aroma, especially given this being an APA.

F- Grapefruit and pine, not so much the oranges or tangerines. Pine is quite a bit more noticeable here, especially on the finish. But the grapefruit is still the dominant hop aroma. Moderately juicy and dry; the grapefruit isn't kept down all that much by the crackery malt backbone. No surprise.

M- Medium-thinner bodied, expected moderate carbonation levels. Crisp, dry and a bit more bitter than a typical APA. Very drinkable.

O- Very nice APA; it's not quite The Pupil, and it doesn't measure up to Hoppy Birthday, but it's a good APA that I would drink if presented the opportunity.

Final score: 4.13

Dec 14, 2014
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

3.35/5  rDev -19.1%

On tap at Notorious Burgers along with a damn fine burger, my first taste of a brewery I’d targeted during my work-time out west. 10 or 12 oz. pour, or something.

Beer arrives in a glass, pale, sunless, like cleavage yearning for the sun. Nose isn’t much to write home about, a few hop leavings & pale malts.

The Publican leaves me as lukewarm as an English cask. Most noteworthy is the mouthfeel, thick & creamy for a pale ale, much different than the regular light fare. Hard bitterness is hardly held at bay by a twinge of orange pulp, light sweetness from the malt, that’s it. One glass’ll do me, thanks.

Really not much going on here. Love the thickness, but other than that, nothing to make me ask for another glass. I’ll expect more out of my next Societe brew. Pretty good.

Aug 23, 2014
Photo of charlatan
charlatan from Scotland

3.51/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Special batch brewed at Adnams for Wetherspoons. An amber coloured beer with a standard head. It smells like Waldorf salad (it took me a long time to work that out). The flavour is some kind of tropical fruit (maybe passion fruit) and celery. It is tangy, but not sweet, and rather earthy. Good, but definitely a sipper.

Jun 07, 2014
Photo of Nugganooch
Nugganooch from California

4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the brewery - 04/23/14

A: Straw yellow body with a smidge of haze going on to an otherwise effervescent appearance. A half finger of bone white stubborn suds slowly squanders down to a chunky collar. Leaves behind some nice scattered patch work of stick all the way down the glass.

S: Vivacious hop flowers with pronounced apricot and peach notes. Nuanced with grapefruit spice and pine resins. I am getting a distinct passion fruit quality as well. Perhaps some Galaxy hops used here? Cactus fruit even with some kind of tropical spiced flare to it. Some light malty cracker quality on the backend but it is subtle. Overall it is not pungently aggressive but definitely has some really fresh and vital hop aromatics that I am digging.

T: Initial mix is all tropical hops with gooseberry, mango, and spiced guava at the forefront. I am getting some lesser notes of grapefruit, earth, and evergreens but its not very dank as other Simcoe IPA’s come across. Has a very subdued malt cracker backing with a kiss of honey like sweetness dropping in some sugary bits to balance the hops. Bitterness is restrained and there is no alcohol coming through in the flavor. Just a really well balanced brew throughout. Light, dry, and hoppy making for such a refreshing drink.

M: Light body with less filling. Nice even carbonation provides a smoothened texture. Light peppery bitterness across the palate. Very dry at the finish and slightly resinous but pretty clean overall.

D: This is some tasty shit and likely one of the best damn APA’s out there. Definitely a positive deviation from the original O’Brien’s anniversary brew I have had. Such great balance with every component in unison.
Societe is just killing it with their finely crafted brews.

Apr 30, 2014
Photo of reebtaerG
reebtaerG from Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on draft at Societe

A-Pours a hazy yellow straw with a very thin head. Decent lacing.

S-Tropical fruits and a ton of pineapple, some mango, pine needles a hint of biscuit malt but this is mostly fruits.

T-Light pinapples with lime residue, grapefruit and light crystal malt.

M-Light pretty much all the way around this is crispy with an amazing hoppyness to it and never becoming aggresively bitter.

O-Light, hoppy and super refreshing, such a great pale ale.

Apr 11, 2014
Photo of rand
rand from California

4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A tasty pale brewed with the bar owner in mind (specifically Tom Nickel of O'Brien's SD), full of hoppy refreshment but light in ABV. The straw-yellow, clear beverage was served with a huge frothy head, as wafts of tropical and citrus notes streamed from the pint. It tastes distinctly tropical, with traces of citrus rind and honeyed biscuits rounding the palate.

I'm not a huge pale ale fan, but this is about as good an example you're going to find. Eminently drinkable with with a light body and moderate alcohol, you can swig on this all night.

Mar 23, 2014
Photo of cbutova
cbutova from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Ritual Tavern during my trip to San Diego recently. Reviewed from notes.

A -Golden bodied pint glass pour fresh from the keg. Frothy white head rises to about one finger high. Good retention and the head eventually falls to a creamy ring. Webs of lace all down the glass after each sip.

S- Juicy tropical mango fruitiness with some citrus rind. Just hops off the top. You can tell it is an APA, it just doesn't pack the aggressive punch of most modern IPAs.

T- Smooth and flavorful hops packed into a sessionable brew. Hops bring good grapefruit citrus and tropical mango juiciness. Some floral and pine, small sweets and Cali ale yeast round it all out.

MF- Creamy light bodied overall texture. Carbonation is moderately high, silky smooth feel. Slight bit of bitterness remains on the palate.

Juicy tropical fruits in a sessionable American Pale. Not quite an IPA level of hops but still enough to satisfy.

Nov 13, 2013
Photo of T100Mark
T100Mark from California

3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Ocean Beach Pizza Port. Poured into a shaker pint glass

Appearance - Bright yellow. A bit hazy. Good stickage on the inside of the glass.

Smell - Hoppy. Citrus.

Taste - Hoppy. Citrus. Clean finish.

Mouth - Fizzy. Oily.

Overall - The beer is nice but very one-dimensional. Imagine an American adjunct lager with an extra dose of hops. Not bad but not great.

Aug 28, 2013
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very pale golden in the Imperial nonic. Nice foam to start and a pleasant spritziness on the tongue. Hoppy and meaty with a hint of miso. Really thin body. Taste is resiny and thoroughly dry. The malt can only be described as unobtrusive.

This seems even lighter weight than the modest alcohol content would indicate. The hops provide a fragrant flavor but get bitter quickly. Still, it doesn't end up unpleasantly bitter. Seems like the stand-up hoppy session beer and it goes down in a nice gulp. On tap at California Kebab in Pacific Beach.

Aug 01, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Societe Brewing Company in San Diego, CA.

Pours a hazy yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and herbal flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a solid hop presence in the aroma and flavor.

Jul 28, 2013
Photo of popery
popery from California

4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale, yellowish gold color. Quite clear. Medium-sized white head. Fine bubbles. Some lacing, decent retention. The aroma is a mix of bright, lively citrus and floral hop flavors. It smells fresh and overflows with hoppiness. Tangerines, sweet lemons, pepper, grass, honeysuckle, and a touch of juniper. Little to no malt character. The taste is similarly all about the hops. It's dry with a gentle but firm bitterness. Lots of hop flavor on the tongue. Just a hint of simple malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is effervescent. Carbonation a touch higher than normal. Light on the palate. Excellent hoppy pale ale. Very easy to drink. Société is doing excellent work.

Jul 04, 2013
Photo of KevT
KevT from California

4.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had this beer at Societe during a recent trip to San Diego. Beer is a pale yellow color with a nice head. If you like the smell of Simcoe hops you will want to take a bath in this beer as it has a lovely hop nose! Bitterness was mild with a clean finish. This is one of my favorite Societe beers!

May 27, 2013
Photo of ehammond1

4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Societe Brewing Co.
San Diego, CA

Clear golden and yellow. Moderate off-white head. Lots of sticky, irregular stick left down the glass. Gorgeous IPA.

Lots of citrus in the aroma (orange and grapefruit) along with some pine notes. Just a bit of bready biscuit, but this is certainly an expressively hoppy IPA. Fantastic, especially given the stylistically low ABV.

This is most certainly an expression of hops in the San Diego style. Fairly bitter for the style and the known ABV, along with lots of grapefruit zest and flesh, juicy citrus (orange and mango), and just a bit of a bread backbone. Well balanced the San Diego way, meaning very hoppy but remarkably drinkable!

Lower medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp, expressive flavors. Fairly disappearing.

Fantastic. If I didn't already have far too much beer to drink at home, I'd have filled up a growler of this.

Apr 28, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84 from California

4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5


Supposedly a continuation of O'Brien's 10/19 (hopefully permanent) but with Simcoe and a couple other hops added. I think they've improved upon the O'Brien's beer with The Publican. Had it on draft yesterday at Societe and now I'm enjoying a growler my fiancé fought traffic to get for me (she had my growler or else I would have done it, maybe).

A: Great looking beer. Pale yellow with a huge white mass of froth. Good retention and lots of lacing. Perfect clarity.

S: Orange, mango, grapefruit, a touch of passion fruit, and pine resin. Highly expressive. No sweetness or malt attributes I can pick out. The nearly nonexistent malt profile is merely a vehicle for the hops. Just a massive flow of vibrant hop superiority with a light, dry body.

T: Spicy grapefruit, zesty orange, earthy and pine notes. Super dry with really no malt influence to speak of. There's a touch of lemon. The beer is dry but at no point is it astringent. The finish is crisp, dry, clean, and full of hop vitality that lingers and lingers. There's a light spiciness present as well. Lower moderate bitterness throughout.

M: Light body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and crisp.

Overall: A damn good hoppy pale ale. I hope they make this all the time.

Apr 27, 2013
The Publican from Societe Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 220 ratings