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BEER AND NOW Jeff Hammett

Jeff first noticed craft beer early in college when a friend introduced him to Stone Brewing Co.’s Pale Ale. After graduating from UCSD with a degree in Philoso- phy, he moved to Santa Cruz where he frequented Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and Seabright Brewery. Jeff would journey up to San Francisco to visit Magnolia and Toronado every chance he got. He started blogging about beer in early 2009 while living in Durango, Colorado. For a town of only 20,000 people Durango boasts an impressive four breweries. Jeff quickly became a part of the brewing scene and in January 2010 was invited to work with Ska Brewing Co.’s Head Brewer Thomas Larsen to formulate a recipe and brew on Ska’s pilot system. In addition to his love of craft beer, Mr. Hammett is an avid cyclist and can be seen riding on the road or trails most weekends.

an Diego County has no shortage of breweries. The San Diego Brewers Guild lists over 30 member brewer- ies on their website, and with the addition of the few breweries that aren’t listed, it’s safe to say there are currently close to 40 breweries in the county. On top of that, there a few more are in the planning stages, including Societe (pronounced “Society”) Brewing Company, which is scheduled to open in early 2012. Societe is the brainchild of Doug Constantiner and Travis Smith, both are veteran brewers now living in San Diego. While they both home brewed before brewing professionally, Smith got his start at Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa when the brewery was just a few months old. “Vinnie [Cilurzo] taught me most of what I know about making beer commercially,” Smith says. After about five years at Russian River, Smith and his family moved south to Placen- tia where he became Lead Brewer at The Bruery, meeting Constantiner in the process. Before landing a position in the cellar room at The Bruery, Constantiner’s first industry jobs included working in the Bottle Shop at Pizza Port Carlsbad, intern- ing at Oggi’s and bottling at Green Flash. Constantiner worked his way up to

Societe Brewing Company Announced S

By Jeff Hammett

Societe’s Doug Constantiner (left) and Travis Smith address the San Diego Brewers Guild during the January 20th meeting at AleSmith Brewing Company

Jeff writes for San Diego Beer Blog at, and you can also follow him on twitter @SDBeer Editor’s note: We just confirmed that

Matt Akin of AleSmith will be taking over brewing operations at La Jolla Brew House. Check back for more information as it comes.

brewing at The Bruery, and began carpool- ing to work together with Smith. It was then, while in traffic, that they started talk- ing about each of their plans to eventually open a brewery of their own. In September 2010 when Smith left The Bruery to take over brewing operations at La Jolla Brew House, those plans were little more than something off in the distant future. The two continued to talk about opening their own breweries but not too seriously until things started to go downhill at La Jolla Brew House. Smith left after just three months and they decided to start making the dream come true.

Smith is currently working about fifty hours a week on the logistics for Societe Brewing Company while Constantiner is helping transition in a new brewer at The Bruery. Soon he too will be working full- time on making Societe a reality. Travis Smith and Doug Constantiner announced Societe’s opening at the recent San Diego Brewers Guild meeting on 1/20/11. Both brewer’s warn that since they are in the early planning stages, and as such, things could change. They’re currently looking at some spaces located in the Kearny Mesa/Miramar/Mira Mesa area. Societe will be a production brewery with a tasting room onsite, but no food. As for the types of beer, Societe will brew a wide range that should excite any beer geek. They’ll have IPAs to satisfy the hop heads as well as Belgian styles. They also plan on a large barrel-aging program for sour beers, a category that is somewhat lacking in the local scene.

How do they feel about entering such 4-

a large market? They see it as a healthy competition. “The more competition, the higher the bar is raised for everyone,” says Constantiner. “We want to give San Diego what they want, while at the same time offering what isn’t already offered.”

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