San Diego’s greatest IPA is... March Madness contest dribbles to a bitter, sweet end


Your palates have spoken! After a month of fierce competition, sampling and scrutinizing 32 IPAs, readers have tapped the region’s best: The Pupil.

In the Mash Tun March Madness championship, Societe’s IPA squeaked by Swami’s from Pizza Port. The Pupil is often at the head of its class — in 2014, it won a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the International-style Pale Ale category.

While San Diego is known for hop-forward IPAs, my colleague Daniel Wheaton noted that this contest underscored the depth and range of local versions. The finals pitted Swami’s classic rendition with grapefruit and fresh pine notes against The Pupil’s juicier, more tropical version.

In the end, The Pupil won by a nose — and a taste bud or two.

Societe Brewing Company: 8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Kearney Mesa, 858.598.5409,


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