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Tartare - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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95 Reviews
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Reviews: 95
Hads: 534
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 23.08%
Wants: 181
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Berliner Weissbier |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ChrisPro on 11-19-2011

One of the world's classic sour beer styles, Tartare is Bear Republic's interpretation of Berliner Weisse, the tart, low-alcohol beer style dubbed as "The Champagne of the North."

Bronze medal at the 2011 Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer in the Wild Beer/Acidic Category
Winner at 2013 Good Food Awards, Adventurous, Barreled, Big, Bawdy, & Belgian Beer Category
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 95 | Hads: 534
Photo of Greenplastic615
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Canal St. Pub in Reading, PA - 12oz into a tulip.

A - Pale golden and somewhat bright, compared to other, more cloudy berliners I've had before. Looked really nice in the glass.

S - Outstanding. You could smell the tartness, along with some lemon peel and a bit of vinegar.

T - Wow. Quite sour, bordering on wild ale sourness. I was a bit taken by surprise by the first sip, just because this was that much more sour than the majority of other berliners I've tasted, but once I was ready for it, I loved every minute of it.

M - Medium-high carbonation and lip-puckering sourness. Excellent, crisp finish.

O - This is, hands down, the best berliner I've ever had. The previous record holder was Funky Buddha's Passionfruit, and this one beats it handily. I didn't know this one was barrel aged, but after reading the description, I can totally see how the chardonnay barrel helped this one out. Would love to have again. Relative to other beers in the style, I couldn't give this beer anything but a 5.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4.99/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Umm let me preface this with the fact that I love sours, and for a Berliner weissbier, this is very sour. It has the acetic qualities of a geuze, and I can hardly detect wheatiness in the flavor. It is straight up lemon, lime rind, unripe peach skin, and Apple cider vinegar on the nose and on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium carbonation and nice medium flavorful body, more than I expected at 4% abv.

All I can say is that I love this beer. Try it whenever and however you get a chance.

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Photo of PerHops
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome beer! I had this on draft today at the pub and it blew me away. Unfortunately so did a couple of their other beers and I opted for a different growler. I regretted not getting this one the minute I left. I can only hope I will be able to try it again.

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Photo of Ysgard
4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had this on tap in a 12oz pour at The Birch in Norfolk.

I've got limited Berlinerweiss experience, only having sampled 1809, and having had the Oarsman and Bahnhof's offerings, as well as what I believe was a Berliner from Sun King. I've had a great deal of sours in general though, so I'm judging from a broader perspective.

A: Straw yellow, very pale, with a luminescent cloudiness that is markedly different than Hefe or Wit. A present yet subdued bit of head around the edges of the glass.

S: Lactic, lemon zest, a subtle touch of that bright velvety clove and orange melange of Imported Hefe's such as Ayinger Brauweiss. A pleasant pilsner and wheat twangy aroma.

T: Aggressively tart, with largely lactic flavor, again those subtle hefe cues of spice and citrus, pils and wheat. A tiny bit of funk, and a sweet white oakiness ties things together.

m: The oak does work here, giving a thin beer a soft fineness on the tongue. It gives it substantialness without taking away from the drinkability.

If you are lucky enough to come across this, get it and savor it.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronados

A: Pours a hazy lemonade color with no head. Kind of looks like that Lemonade flavored Gatorade.

S: Tons of lemony tartness with some funk, oak and a touch of cocktail sauce. Crazy.

T: I'm quickly falling in love with this style and this is by far the best I've had. Lemon Warhead sour upfront with a ton of lactic sourness. Tastes like biting into a lemon. Some light wheat on the finish. Amazing stuff!

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Photo of Heavenisbeer
4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Church Key in SF.

A: Has the look of a hazy lemonade. No head.

S: Plastic barnyard lemonade funk. I have never confronted a nose like this. Damn.

T: Sour as hell, and wonderful. Like a great gueuze. Citrus, funk, and vinegar. Yum.

M: Tart and extremely dry. Pucker up!

I can't believe I have never had this style before, and I love sours. Such a great beer and style; I hope more American breweries start pumping out berliner weissebiers.

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Photo of Zilaniz
4.81/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

WOW! Was like drinking liquid lemon heads in a good way. Smelled extremely tart and lemony and tasted the same. Extremely mouth puckeringly tart with very powerful acidic and sweet lemon favors. Just how I like my Berliners - overly tart! One draft of this is enough for but boy was it good. Wave after wave of tart acidic candied lemons but was still refreshing. Would love to have again

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Photo of rfgetz
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cloudy but bright golden yellow, bubbly and prickly white head, decent retention and some sticky lacing. Scent hits me across the face with tart lactic sourness, beneath lies notes of earth, grain and watery fruit. Taste brings huge tartness as nose promised. It has some good earthy, grainy and fruit charachter, but its really all about the tartness and funk. Big, bold and bright, aggressive yet refreshing, dry yet quenching. In my quest to drink as many Berliner Weiss' as i can this summer, i've had one that range from lightly tart and graininy, to this big, bold tart and sour one. Fantastic.

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Photo of haazer
4.79/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blue Dog wealth of riches event. This may have been the standout of the day at my table. Everyone LOVED this beer, as did I.

A- A cloudy yet bright yellow pear colored beer. Just the slightest bit of lacing around the glass, but no head when this was brought over.

S- My god. Lactobacillus overload, sour pickle juice. Hay grass, horse blanket, immense amounts of brett. Oakiness is hidden along with perhaps the slightest bit of wheat/pale malt character. A member at my table said it reminded him of "standing in a barn next to a fresh orchard".

T- Lactobacto the FUNK out of this thing. Nice, puckeringly sour and tart. Lemon juice, hay, brett, and the taste of oak but not drying at all. Incredible funkyness to this. Distinct wheat character? Ehh, not so much of a wheat profile but it doesn't matter. The sour/funk is in full effect.

M- Puckeringly tart, medium carbed and light bodied. Very crisp, and suprisingly thirst quenching. Could session this all day long.

O- I know this is a berliner weiss, and I've only ever had one other by comparison, this beer probably doesn't fit the standard mold but who cares. Rating to style would take away from how great this beer is. So I am rating based on my experience which was outstanding. Maybe my favorite beer of the day.

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Photo of dalahodson
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had a 10 oz. pour with dinner. Mouth feel was sharp, and tart. Light hazy yellow color with no head or lacing. The flavors were of lemon and straw, very dry, there is no malt in the flavor at all. It is all about the tartness. Like a very dry wine. went well with my pork loin with a cherry sauce. A classic German sour.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

on-tap, bottleworks, no f*cking syrup

12oz pour - unbranded tulip - slightly clouded straw-yellow beer with a nice fluffy white cap. Aroma is overwhelmingly tart - grassy, lemon rind, sugar. I'm somewhat of a novice in the style, but this was pretty staggering. Easily one of the tartest beers I've ever consumed - sugars, lemon, wheat, lactic. Pretty intense stuff, and from the looks of it, A WHALE

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

7 oz pour at City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA.

Attractive in the glass, Tartare sits with a bright goldenrod body that fades to a hazy pale yellow at the edges. Up top, a well-retained cap of off-white foam holds court. Aroma is incredibly balanced for the style, with a pungent burst of sour citrus backed by bread crust and a tinge of earthy hops.

I've gotta hand it to Bear Republic...they usually win me over with their hoppy beers (e.g., Racer X, Mach 10), but this beer takes the cake. Tartness hits the tongue and refuses to let go, but at the same time it doesn't overwhelm the palate with sour acidity. Lemon, sourdough, and vinous funk are equally in effect. Mouthfeel is ultimately crisp and well-carbonated. The 4% is perhaps the crowned jewel of this beer...so flavorful, yet entirely sessionable all the while. Highly recommended.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On-tap at GBD in DuPont Circle, NW D.C., poured into a 10 oz. tulip glass, drank 9/20/13 over a half-hour.

A: 3/3 - straw yellow coloration, greater clarity than other wheat beer styles, e.g. hefeweizen, received with little head with very subtle glass lacing; moderate carbonation; no alcohol legs

S: 11/12 - really pungent barnyard sour flavor predominate with some background citrus fruit aroma

T: 19/20 - wow, this is one of the most sour but also most complex Berliner weissebiers that I have ever tasted; on the anterior tongue, there's an immediate pucking tartness but, in the middle of the mouth, I start picking up some more complex flavors beyond just Lacto (perhaps instilled by Brett?); don't taste any alcohol but wouldn't expect much at 4%

M: 4/5 - light-bodied and high carbonation makes it tart and refreshing; very pleasant

O: 9/10 - really tart and complex beer; much better than all of the German examples of the syle that I've tasted to date and maybe the best American Berliner weissebier that I have tasted; it really goes beyond just simple Lacto sourness where most of the other examples (including some of the best end); if you're in D.C. and enjoy sour beers, you need to try this on-draft ASAP!

TOTAL = 46/50

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap for the 2nd Anniversary event at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy light yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is super sour, tart, and funky with some lemon and lactic acid aromas. Taste is the same with a fantastic mouth watering flavor and an acidic finish. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is an awesome and refreshing beer and by far the best beer in the style that I have tried so far in my beer tasting journey.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap on the Triple Rock roof during Sourfest. Chunky yellow haze, much like a brighter hefeweizen. Aroma had all the lemon and tartness you could want.

Taste, holy jeez, this is the most sour berlinner weisse I've ever had. And uh, probably no coincidence its also my favorite. Just packs a ton of tartness into this, massive pucker factor going for it, thoroughly enjoyable though. Massively acidic. Everything is massive but the alcohol, oh the joys of a berlinner.

Bear Republic is so hit or miss with their barrel beers, and this is definitely (even if rare) one of the hits, and its a solid home run. Could drink this all day. Nice light woodiness to it.

Please for the love of God, bottle this beer!

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4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

9oz snifter for $6.75
Sampled 04SEP12

Menu description: "Tartare is a dry and tart Berliner-style wheat beer spontaneously fermented in a 2500 gallon oak vessel."

[A] Arrives with a quarter finger of fluffy, bright head that fizzes out after a few seconds. A thin bubbly collar remains. The body is a cloudy pale creamsicle color - absolutely glowing in the glass. No lacing but very attractive nonetheless.

[S] The nose is fantastic and heavily lactic. Lemons mixed with general orange and citrus aromas. While I do miss the Brett character, the nose does just fine without it.

[T] Flavor ends with a relentless lemon-forward acidity, which is great, but the level of refreshment takes a hit. Bright lemony acid rips through the sugar crystal substrate. Lightly dusty on the finish.

[M] Strikingly tart on first sip. And very light and snappy on the finish. The mouthfeel gives the jaw muscles a serious workout, which is great, but does hinder drinkability to a degree.

[O] Berliner traditionalists would probably cringe upon trying this brew but I quite enjoyed it for the enamel and esophagus eating qualities that I experienced.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a straw yellow color, almost a very light orange. almost not head whatsoever and little to no foam forming. what does form sticks around a while. a little bit of haze to it, but mostly clear.

Smell: strong sour green apple, sweet juicy apple flesh, white grapes, lemon acidity, and some berry like aromas.

Taste: opens with an intense sharp and sour green apple skin. as it cools on the sour a little lots of fruity aromas come through. slightly sweet but tart apple flesh, white grapes and light berries come through. an almost syrupy sweetness comes through for just a minute before lemon juice and acid blaze through at the end.

Mouthfeel: mouth puckering. easily the most sour berliner, and possibly up there with the most sours. comes off way stronger than 4% due to the extremeness of the sour. has some refreshing qualities but those are overshadowed by the strong acidity that makes this beer a sipper.

Overall: berliner weissbiers I usually think of as a gateway to sour beers, this one is easy an exception. it is intensely sour. but the flavors are so strong and complex. This is a must have for all who like sour beers and the style.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was really glad to have this on tap at Jons Bar and Grille in Philadelphia.

Tartare looks real pretty in the glass. Right off the tap there is no bubbles to be seen at all, it's all liquid. A bright gold color with some yellow surroundings. Some swirls bring the faintest amount of trying to survive bubbles that die. No stick. Smell on this sucka is wonderful. I get some nice wheat base with some lactic quality. Some pear, apple, white wine characteristics. Some tart lemon spritz in here as well. Integrated and bold nose, wonderful to get into. Tartare is one of the more tart forward berliners out there, this is eye opening. Lemon, apple, lacto, wheat, pale malt, white wine, sour patch kids. Flavors are well integrated, body is light, lactic sourness, very lightly carbed, hardly at all. While the flavor was intene and mind blowing to say the least, it took me some time to clear my glass, the pucker is a bit overbearing, but oh so awesome.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a sharp golden color with a small fluffy white head that dissolves into a ring in short time.

Lots of lacto in the nose. Strong lemon aroma. Don't get much grainy wheat from the nose.

Similar flavors as the nose and it is wonderful. Tons of lemon tartness up front with a little apple as well. Relentlessly sour and puckering throughout it finishes very dry and oaky.

Light bodied, but probably fuller than most berliners with good carbonation levels. Supremely dry finish.

Not sure why this is a Berliner weiss. Scored as that, it would be much lower since it's too tart and oaky with not nearly enough grainy wheat that is standard for the style. As an American Wild, it is sublime and one of the best ones I've had so I've scored it as such. If you want a great American Wild try this beer. If you want a traditional Berliner look elsewhere though.

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Photo of codynevels
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Toronado 12/7/11
Reviewed from notes

A - Cloudy flouresent yellow. The pour came with almost no head other than a thin line hugging the glass.

S - Green apple, lemon, sour citrus.

T - Tart green apple, lemons. This beer is sour but not overpoweringly so. More tart than lip puckering sourness. Citrus flavors and a bit of yeasty funkiness are the highlights.

M - The body is light with a fair amount of carbonation. Goes down easy, but the sour keeps this from going down too easy. Just right drinkability for this style beer.

O - This is a fantastic beer. The best Berliner Weisse that I have been able to try. I will definitely order this again if I see it.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5


Huge thanks to eyebereej for bringing this one on his trip to Florida! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL Hill Farmstead growler into a Weyerbacher pint glass.

A: Pours a very hazy light yellow with a thin white head and a couple streams of visible carbonation meandering up the side.

S: Wow. Huge nose on this one. Very funky and tart, with wet grass and barnyard, tons of lactic acid, some lemony citrus, a bit grainy and sour as well.

T: Big sour lactic mouth-puckering up front, with a solid lemon citrus, funky and tart, with hints of barnyard. A moderate wheat graininess on the exhale, along with some serious tartness.

M: Light body, low carbonation sensation (possibly from the growler serving vessel), and low alcohol presence.

O: Excellent interpretation of a base berliner. This one has some serious tartness. This is probably the most enjoyable non-fruited berliner I've ever had, and this is coming from someone with access to Cigar City, Peg's and Wakefield's stuff. Excellent, and highly recommended. I must get more...

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Photo of mdfb79
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From 08/21/12 notes. Had this on tap at Stag's Head in Midtown Manhattan, NYC. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a murky pale yellow color with no head at all and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour fruits, citrus hops, lemon, wheat, wine, oak, vinegar, acidic notes. Super sour and citrusy, just a really great sour nose.

t - Tastes of very sour fruits, lemons, citrus, acidic notes, funk, oak, vinegar, wheat. More vinegar and even more sour fruit than the nose. Amazing taste.

m - Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Very acidic body.

o - Overall I thought this was an outstanding berliner; I'm struggling to think of one I liked much better than this. I had never heard of it and assumed it was a new BR hoppy beer and was pleasantly surprised to look it up and see it was a berliner, and even more pleasantly surprised to see it actually live up to the reviews and score. Tons of sour fruit and lemon, with some funk in the taste too. Would love to have this one again.

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Photo of Damian
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a cervoise

Hazy straw yellow appearance. The beer had no head and no lacing and looked completely flat.

The nose was one of the most fascinating I have encountered in a beer. Brett-like tartness and fruity sweetness combined in a very unique way. Tons of bright, lemony notes. Kiwi and strawberry came through strong as well. Hints of buttered popcorn. There was also a slight mustiness.

Like the nose, the flavor profile was very unique. Super tart. Kiwi fruit and strawberry notes dominated the front end. I also picked up a slight tropical fruit presence. The beer turned even more tart and lemony in the center. Ultra crisp and somewhat wheaty. Exceedingly dry. Hints of bready malts appeared in the tart and acidic finish.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied and contained a fine, zippy effervescence. Super smooth and fluffy on the palate.

Tartare is a very unique take on an already interesting style of beer. Given its low ABV, I feel like I could drink gallons of this on a hot day. I really hope Bear Republic decides to bottle this sometime soon.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Attempted to rate per my enjoyment in style.

A: translucent pale yellow with low carbonation. Some glass edging surprised me
S: sour and lemon, with an "I must be mistaken" hint of the sea (saltiness) in the background
T/M: mouth-puckering sour bite from the start, I'm loving it. Personally I'm not at the stage of looking for complexity in the sours I have. Grab me with a crisp, biting sourness, add a bit of funkiness to distinguish from straight lemon juice, and I'm happy. This fits the bill.
O: to me, this hits on all that I expect and want from the style. Being a relatively newer style to me, my palate might evolve, but for now, this gets a high rating.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a hazy, cloudy golden color with tight bubbles atop it. Big, tart aroma. Grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed, and just-juiced lemon. The kind that will sting your eyes when you first take a bite. The flavor has a light and delicate tartness—more tart than bitter, but it seems like there’s some bitterness midpoint—and a dry, crisp finish. Good one. I’d like to see this in bottles.

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Tartare from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.