Societe Brewing helps collect 23,153 pounds of food for needy

There were many food drives across San Diego this past holiday season, gathering all types of canned and packaged foods for families in need. One in particular stood out, however, and in true San Diego style, it was a brewery. Yep, Societe Brewing Company successfully collected over 23,000 pounds of food this year at its food drive, partnering with The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

How did they manage to pull off such an impressive number of donations? Some creative effort made all of the difference. First, they offered discounted beer: Patrons who brought in any amount of food on the day they came in received $1 off each beer they purchased. Next, they decided to offer one of their rare “feral” beers (meaning wine barrel-aged) for cheaper - much cheaper - than retail price to those who donated 50 pounds of food.

The Urchin, a barrel-aged cranberry ale, was released as a part of the food drive at a price of $50 per bottle. Societe’s feral bottled beers are typically sold for $20 a bottle, making this beer pricier than usual and just as rare for fans to get their hands on. So, to inspire customers to bring in food donations, Societe announced a promotion: If someone donated 50 pounds of food, they would pay only $5 for the bottle. During the food drive, 323 bottles of Urchin were purchased, which correlates to 16,150 pounds in donated food from the bottle shares.

Last, Societe offered a permanent decrease in the price of its feral beers from $20 a bottle to $18 if they met a goal of 20,000 pounds of food donated. They had reached the 15,000-pound mark and decided to offer this one last permanent “gift” for donating. Within a week, 20,000 was reached and now the prices of their feral beers are permanently decreased to $18 per bottle.

“Making quality beer that people enjoy and appreciate has been the driving force in my career,” Travis Smith, Societe’s co-founder and brewmaster, said in a press release. “It is uniquely rewarding and incredibly fulfilling to see the beer we work so hard on help us give back to the community in such a large-scale, meaningful way. We are floored and humbled by the response we received from our fans, and happy to reciprocate with this token of our appreciation.”

Kudos to the Societe Brewing Company team for this important and admirable accomplishment!

Societe Brewing Company, 8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Kearny Mesa.