Tartare - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Tartare
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

94 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 94
Hads: 520
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 176
Gots: 17 | 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: 94 | Hads: 520
Photo of braican
3.16/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy yellow. Aroma is overwhelmingly acidic; ketchup, vinegar, some citrus. A bit too intense for my liking. Taste is much the same: a vinegar and sour lemon. A salty characteristic as well that does balance the taste a bit. Not as off-putting as the aroma, but still not my favorite. Just a bit too intense for my taste. (329 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

ACBF pour. Cloudy, yellow. Smell is impressively sour. Lemony aroma with lacto and acidity. Flavor is more of the same but with double the intensity. High levels of lemony sourness. Some barny qualities. Lacto wheat. Warhead like sourness. It really sticks to the lips. High acidity and a puckering element. Easily one of, if not the best Berliner I have ever had. (364 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a light straw color with some haze, no head. Aroma is sour and acetic. Moldy lemon, ketchup, wheat, and a bit of alcohol.

The taste is straight up sour with vinegar and lemon war head candies being prominent. Tart, spicy, savory and certainly wheat like. This is some acidic freaking stuff. It's delicious.

Light bodied, crisp and solid sourness lingers slightly.

Overall this is a very sour Berliner weisse. For fans of puckering sour beers only, for this is one of the most intense I've had. (511 characters)

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. (1,161 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely pale straw color with no head, but still appropriately carbonated. The aroma is very tart smelling- nice lactic aroma, lemony and tangy. Delicious beer! Very lactic and tangy with lemon and yogurt flavors. Creamy and tart in the mouth with good carbonation. Excellent beer! (292 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.51/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

@ Tyler's (Carrboro)

Hazy pale straw topped with a minimal, wispy white head that vanishes, leaving the beer looking rather still. Smells like big-time acetic, lactic lemon. Flavor is sour...like, Warheads sour. Lactic, acidic, crisp lemon juice tartness that obscures whatever other flavors might be trying to poke through. Don't get me wrong, this was fun to try, I enjoyed it like I do overly spicy food; it's just one great big sour kick in the teeth without any grainy wheat for depth. Light, crisp, puckering. Too intensely acidic and one dimensional for the style and I can't imagine drinking more than maybe 10 oz. Expensive too, which in addition to the crushing sourness makes the whole thing seem more of a novelty than a truly sessionable Berliner. (761 characters)

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. (489 characters)

Photo of 01001111
3.04/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: very light yellow. Bubbles flee quickly.

S: Sweet and tart. The malts are far more present than a typical Berliner.

T: Pickle juice with a sweet, malty finish. Quite odd, not typical of the style.

M: Puckering then almost cloying.

O: Not bad but not a great representation of the style. (297 characters)

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. (320 characters)

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 (388 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

one of the sourest, most acidic beers ive ever had. a 10 ounce pour of this was close to way too much for me. as a sour beer, or as something different, i like it a lot, but as a berliner, its terrible. berliners are tart session what beers, there is nothing sessionable about this beer from bear republic. its blonde and sour as the come, clear and with a little body. the head is soapy white, and an inch tall, but its dead in just seconds and the beer appears still at that point. the nose on it is caustic lactic acidity and wheat malt, simple but enormously sour. the flavor is the same, extremely one dimensional, and that dimension is sourness. i have no doubt that this will score highly with sour lovers, and i like it in that context, but its an over the top berliner for me, and was hard to get through frankly. a medium body too seems big, but its slippery on the palate, prickly and stinging from the acidity, like sucking on a lemon wedge times ten. at 8 or 9 bucks a pour down at hops and pie, once was enough for me, it hurt my stomach and sent it somersaulting for hours. i appreciate it, respect it, and am glad to have tried it, but its just too much. (1,170 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.63/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hops and Pie. Bright yellow color, mostly clear, hardly any head whatsoever. Aroma is indicative that this will be tart, vinegar, and I could almost swear a note of tartar sauce but that could be the power of suggestion. The flavor is extremely sour, lemons and vinegar. It didn't taste bad but I have never had a berliner that was this sour, most of the berliner weisse beers I have tasted are only mildly tart. If you are looking for a palate crushing sour than look no further but I felt this deviated a little too far from the style. (547 characters)

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. (665 characters)

Photo of da_beers
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Gainesville HOB - on tap

A - super light straw color. Big two fingers of head. Frothy.

S - you can smell the tartness. Makes the nose tingle. Citrus is prominent.

T - lemon warhead?! Super sour. Amazingly sour. This is amazing for what it is. Sips only on this bad boy.

M - light body, makes the jaw tense up from sourness. Drinkable?? I mean yes and no. Sippable for sure.

O - this is spot on for the type. Bear republic nailed it. (441 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy straw color with no head.

S: Lemon tartness in the nose, and a touch of wheat.

T: Sour and very lemony, lemon overpowers everything else, only a touch of wheat is noticeable. Something syrupy and a touch of funk, as well. Despite the strength of the lemon, it's well balanced.

M: Medium bodied and average carbonation.

O: Recommended if you like sours. I enjoyed it.

Note: Imbibed at the cellar reserve party, from batches that would go on to the various festivals, thus ensuring the beer was in it's prime. (528 characters)

Photo of spoony
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer Sour Night into a snifter.

A-The beer is light-yellowish in color with a thin, white head of less than a finger by the time it arrives at my table. It has a touch of haze but is mostly clear. The head fades quickly, leaving no lacing. Not entirely on style, but not far off, either.

S-Massively tart with lemon-drop-like sour flavors. There is a bit of lactic, funky wheat, too, but the dominant flavor is sour lemons and balancing, candy-like sugar sweetness. Maybe a bit simple, but intense and inviting.

T-The taste, like the smell, is massively tart and wallops with lemons. There is a bit of wheat and lactic funkiness, but this beer is all about the tart. The sourness is barely moderated by a sugary, candy-like sweetness that also suggests lemons. Despite the slightly one-dimensional flavor, it is refreshing and drinkable...even enjoyable.

M-The feel is medium to full body for the style with a soft carbonation than normal.

O-I have somewhat mixed feelings on this beer. On the one hand, I feel like this is the type of sour, lemon bomb that is overdone and scouring in its highly citric, lemony, acidic glory. On the other hand, this beer needs no elderberry syrup because it packs plenty of flavor on its own. A no holds barred Berliner...I guess I'm OK with that. (1,320 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a slightly hazy amber color; the head was really more of a ringlet though it did leave a few strands behind

Smell: Tart elements dominated, but there was a subtle hint of fruity sweetness - lemon and strawberries

Taste: The tartness dominated throughout, though underneath those fruit flavors detected in the aroma added lemon and strawberry to the mix

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I wasn't expecting a beer like this from Bear Republic but they nailed the style with this brew (544 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

3oz serving at FoBAB, was relishing the chance to have this again and to be able to take some notes and finally review this beer. I made sure to get this beer immediately as to have a fresh palate and sound state of mind.

The beer pours a light straw color, hues of gold and copper, slightly hazy with with a light, fluffy white head that has moderate retention and leaves some light, sticky lace behind. The aroma is of light pale grain, soft wheat, lactic sourness with a bit of berry fruit, and citrus zest and a touch of mineral character at the back end. The flavors are in queue, lots of lactic tanginess, wheat, berry and lemon zest, with a softer finish of wheat and pale malt but the mineral like qualities don't materialize, actually for the better. The mouthfeel is very nice, lots of lively carbonation, almost to the point of being a little abrasive, but it coats the mouth well and finishes very easily albeit a bit too dry.

Verdict: A delicious Berliner Weissbier and one of the best examples of the style to be made in America. This has long been the benchmark of the style, and it's deserved. One of the more refreshing but more importantly, delicate examples available. (1,189 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- When I received this beer, it really had no head. If I had to guess, I would guess that it would be pure cotton white. The body is one of the palest I've ever seen. SRM of 1,2, at most, 3? The body is a mix of the weakest lemon and straw that lightens even further to the palest of lemons. No lacing is left behind.

Nose- Soaring tartness that evokes lemon and cherry. There is a bit of funkiness. Isn't full blown Brett but there is a lot of straw, stinky cheese, and mushrooms. Some mustiness but it is a very inviting mustiness.

Taste- At the time that I first tasted this, this was the possibly the most sour beer I had that weekend- a weekend that included Zwanwe Day and a Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze. However, this did not turn out to be true. Starts off with a strong lemon/lemonade tartness that cleans itself up quickly and neatly with its superb dry finish. Some straw, some cherry- not as much funk as existed on the nose. Lots of tingle. I can definitely see the appeal of this beer and the recent acceptance of the style. It's a phenomenal representation of a style that doesn't do all that much for me. I prefer my sour tasting beers to have more punch. But at 4%, this is a pretty alcoholic Berliner Weisse. Straw dominant on the linger. Strawberry and stone fruits abound. Solid, very good beer. Will grade high despite not being my preference. Some grassiness and a linger of cinnamon as well.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with ample carbonation. Very crisp and dry finish.

Drinkability- Tartness is a little prohibitive to me but this will be a delight to someone who likes bright and fresh lemonade.

Overall- Solid beer. Very good. A must try if you like the style or maybe even if you don't. (1,727 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a bright and hazy gold color with a thin white head.

Aromas are very floral, grassy, with some lemon peel. Definite funky yeast going on here as well.

Beer is very tart, and lactic up front. Sharp lemon peel, hints of spiciness, and sweet malty wheat. Finish is crisp and very acidic. Very flavorful and mouth puckering.

Mouthfeel is very full and crisp, with spot on carbonation.

Overall, an excellent sour offering from Bear Republic. I had Cuvee de Bubba once and it was a bit disappointing, this one however was quite good. Reminds me of Love from New Belgium, and strikes me as more of a Wild Ale instead of a Berliner. (635 characters)

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 (1,242 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into tulip at Alamo in Sterling, VA. WOW!
The pour is nothing to look at,,,super yellow - almost looks like lemonade. Smell is super tart and lots of sourness...awesome. Lemony, grainy, and a bit of ever so salty flavor...tart finish with a huge sourness...unlike any Berliner Weiss ive had. This is way more tart and sour than most...but simply awesome. Probably the best BW ive ever had...I hope to have this again one day. (441 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.32/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Been wanting to try this for a long long time. On tap at H&V

A clear straw yellow with a white head that collapses quickly. Juxtaposed with the cantillon iris grand cru , the wheat in this beer is really pronounced. Plenty sour, sharp, lactic with some acetic notes as well, this is cidery, fruity (white grapes) a little husky and yummy. The palate opens very sour with a little bit of solvent and nail polish remover, harshly so. Unripe grapes, some wheat and raw lemons round out the palate. Drying sour and with some oak on the finish, this is a little disappointing, the antithesis of what a berlinerweisse should be. (625 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a glass at the 4th Cellar Party at Bear Republic brewery. From notes. Reviewed 30 September 2012.

A: Milk-pale. Cloudy yellow. No head or lacing.

S: Vinegar and lemon zest. Lemonade. Hint of sweetness.

T: Incredibly tart. Lemon juice pucker. Very dry. Is that a tough of wheat? Peaches? A hint of lingering sweetness.

M: Sour and engaging. It makes me grimace, but in a good way.

O: A great beer, and an excellent example of the style. Recommended, but be warned: It is *sour*. (492 characters)

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. (1,109 characters)

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