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Societe Brewing
Societe Brewing brings craft light beer to the beach. Photo via Facebook
Cheers! North County Columns Food & Wine

Cheers! North County: Societe Brewing cuts the grass

What’s that? A light beer? Um, no thanks. I only drink craft beer…unless I’m on a golf course. Or a wedding. Or, obviously, ice fishing. Oh, or if I’m at Uncle John’s, but no, thank you. No light beer for me.

What did you just say? Societe Brewing made it? (Squints suspiciously) I’m listening. What’s it called? It’s called, “Light Beer.” Really? A little on the nose, but okay. So it is a light beer, but somehow also a craft beer? I’m sorry, but I just don’t really understand. Try it? I mean, I guess it can’t hurt.

Hey! That’s not too bad? Yeah, I could drink that. How did I get on this lawnmower? Wait…does this mean I’ve always liked light beer? No, that can’t be right. I’m a craft beer drinker…but, hmm. I have some thinking to do.

It is true. Societe Brewing, long known for its well-crafted beers often themed by style, has broken with its own tradition to craft a light beer. Co-founder Douglas Constantiner was kind enough to tell me why.

Cheers!: Why make a light beer?

Doug: The reason we made Light Beer was the desire to craft something that is an accompaniment to your activity versus part of the activity (eating or drinking) or the whole activity (specifically tasting). Light Beer should be the beer you’re drinking when you just want to take your mind off things and hang out with friends.

Whether it’s hiking, golfing, camping, etc. this is a great tasting beer that is light in ABV (Alcohol By Volume), but still has enough character to know it was made at a local brewery. While we make other beers that are low in alcohol they’re designed to pack a lot of flavor in a small package. That is why Light Beer is different from those.

Societe Brewing
Light Beer from Societe Brewing. Photo via Facebook

Cheers!: This beer is very clearly marketed as a light beer with its own branding and design unique in the Societe line-up. It seems that was clearly intentional, and designed to make a statement to craft beer drinkers that this is a light beer and Societe is evolving. Is that the case, and what was the motivation behind that?

 Doug: Design and branding? You are correct. We started Societe with a very turn-of-the-century branding theme, and over the years it has unintentionally and slowly drifted away from that. When we began looking into canning a couple of years ago it gave us the opportunity to refresh and evolve the look and feel. We love beer and the history of beer. Light Beer celebrates what beer looked like when it began being packaged in cans. The concept of a “lawnmower” beer goes beyond the branding. It was the driving influence to create a drinking experience along with its visual look.

Cheers!: What else should I know about this beer?

Doug: This is a no-frills, easy-drinking beer that still has enough character to keep it interesting in case you plan to consume a few over the course of an afternoon. [End of interview]

Dog-friendly Light Beer. Photo via Facebook

I just wanted to point out that I wrote the line about being on a lawnmower before I getting Doug’s response! Societe Brewing isn’t the first to get into the light beer arena.

Eppig and Bagby Brewing often have lighter German Helles-style lagers, but Societe is really going after the casual light beer drinker with some bold branding and design on their 4.5% Light ale.

Do you listen to podcasts? Are you interested in interesting things being done by interesting people in North County San Diego? Be sure to check out the most recent episode of the Cheers! North County podcast with Matthew Vasilakis, co-Director of Policy at Climate Action Campaign.

We talk about climate, what CAC is working on & how they manage the emotion of climate change. Stream it now on The Coast News online or search for it on your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Thanks for listening, and for following Cheers! North County on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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