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: 3.96%
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 John_M
2.88/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

On tap at Belmont Station the other day.

The beer pours a pale yellow gold color with very light lacing and pretty much zero head retention. Sorry, but it's hard for me to be very impressed by a beer that appearance-wise, initially reminds me of bud lite lime. On the nose, you can tell right off this is going to be one sour beer. There's hint of light clove, lime, lemon and wheat, but it's clear just on the nose that this is going to be sour. On the palate, the amount of sour is overpowering. There's no light tartness that one expects in a Berliner Weisse, as the beer literally smacks you in the face with the level of sour it imparts. I literally get nothing else, other than over-riding sour (maybe there's a hint of lemon and lime, but that's really about it). Mouthfeel is fairly light, but then that's to be expected in a 4% abv. beer. Alcohol is undetectable.

Couple of thoughts and observations. I'm not a huge sour fan, but I've enjoyed the German versions of this style, because the sour component generally doesn't smack you over the head. This clearly does. I guess this beer is remarkable for the level of flavor you get in a 4% beer, but I just wish there was a bit more to this beer than sour, sour, sour... The couple next to me at BS were drinking a flight of left over sour beers from puckerfest, and I was surprised they hadn't gotten a sample glass of the tartare. The guy told me that he was a huge sour fan, while his wife (GF?) said she was a fan, but not to the extent her husband was. So I happily gave them my glass. The woman indicated that the beer was too sour for her, while the gentleman indicated that he enjoyed it, but that it was on the boundary of just how much sour he could tolerate. Don't believe I'll be ordering this one again. (1,776 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 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 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 Slatetank
3.35/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Stakem for sharing this growler, enjoyed from a tumbler chilled.

The color is dull golden with a light haze and quick collapsing white cap with ultra fine bead. Lots of tiny visible carbonation bubbles stream. The smell is a good deal of sour aroma with funky nose and smell like a fresh squeezed lemon with tart odor and slightly vinegary scent. Mouthfeel is super tart and acidic with bitter edge like bile going back down ...it is a sour as stomach acid but has a sweet juicy puckering dry back end.

The taste is like tart lemon juice with the rind ground up and thrown in for extra astringency w/out any sweet flavors to balance -kind of funky with subtle carbonation level and very dry bitter taste with tannic presence and not really any wheat I can gather. Simply sour and acidic with citrus bite and mildly acetic taste with earthy jolt of sour and light nutty finish of wood. Overall not the most drinkable of the style and just sour taste after sour flavor with the bile like bite which I found to be just a bit harsh on the palate. I could not see having more than one which is not what I like from a Berliner. (1,137 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in 10oz goblet for $7. A pint would have been $9. Why is such a low ABV wheat beer so expensive? The beer poured a cloudy pale yellow, think pineapple juice, with virtually no head and absolutely no lacing.

The aroma was properly tart, with a nice wheat base. Same on the tongue, the expected mix grain and sourness, with any particular aspects that made it stand out. The body was on the light side, but still had a subtle substance, and a dry finish. Drinkability was very good, I could have a couple of these on a summer's day, except for the unrealistic price. Overall, a very good and enjoyable brew, and one that's worth a shot, if you can stomach the price. (672 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 JimsArcade
3.58/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a beautiful, cloudy Pinot Grigio with a moderate head. Smells of lemon juice dominate the nose. Taste... an absolute sour bomb. This sourness of this beer rivals, if not exceeds, the most sour of gueuzes and will satisfy those who seek that kind of experience. However, to me it's too sour for the style: like drinking apple cider vinegar cut with Perrier. Still, it had a wonderful mouthfeel like a stellar Berliner Weiss should. In small doses, this is an excellent experience. As for a full glass... maybe a little too much. (538 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 stakem
3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I first had this brew 8 months ago via a growler from a trade. A recent trip to Capones offered the opportunity to try this again on draft. My wildly contrasting opinion of this brew made me revisit this review with a new serving type. Served in a ~10oz snifter, the brew appears a pale clouded yellow with little to no head. A slim amount of bubbles make their way to the surface.

The smell is lemony with lacto. An accenting vinous element is present that drives home almost a burning tartness to the nose. Somewhat champagne-like with slim to no grain inclusion but a hint of alcohol is noted.

The taste is super tart to the point of being down-right acidic and sour. It is lemony and vinous like white grape juice and acid were blended together. There is a faint wheat grain inclusion and a bit of greek yogurt thrown in there.

This is a light bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation. It very tangy and sour for a berliner which cuts back quite a bit on its overall drinkability. Fans of sours will absolutely love this brew. I surprisingly did not enjoy this as much as I thought I would. This is really a take on the style that exceeds the upper limits of how tart a berliner should be. It is worth trying but I cant see myself drinking more than a glass of this at a time. If the style was changed to american wild, id increase my rating across the board but for a berliner this one is brutal. This is a very rare occurance where adding woodruff would have appealed to me. (1,489 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 Knapp85
3.87/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This poured out as a muddy looking yellow color, there was no head retention on this or lacing at all. The smell of the beer was obviously sour it's got a potent amount of tart aromas coming off of this one. The taste is also very tart/sour it reminded me of limes or lemons almost. It over powers the malt base entirely in my opinion. The mouthfeel of the beer is light, a little watery, it's refreshing and dry all at the same time. Overall it's not something I would drink a lot of but it was nice to try. (508 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to yourefragile for sharing this growler. Served in a cervoise. The nose is fairly tart with a bit of wheat in the background, but mostly sourness and light stone fruits. Flavor is similar. It's quite tart, and unfortunately doesn't have much dry wheat character like a great Berliner. Instead, it's more of an American Wild, though a good one at that. (364 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.94/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at the Church Key, Tartare is still straw yellow.

Smell is sweet, lots of lacto.

Taste is brightly acidic, really deep lactic pucker. A little grainy.

Mouthfeel is pretty dry, light bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, if your a sour head. This thing packs a ton of pucker. Actually to much for me to really have more than another. (349 characters)

Photo of musicman575
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now this is a sour beer, true to it's style.

Hazy lemon with no head.

Smells of brett, cherry, green apple, and a littlle banana.

Beneath the zing lies the brett flavor and some earthy funk. Very good for an american version of this style. Better than DFH's berliner weisse.

finishes bright and dry with lingering tart. (323 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 SpeedwayJim
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Stag's Head. Served in a pint glass.

Cloudy with no head, no lace, and seemingly no carbonation. Color is banana. Not the best for the style.

Nose is clean and crisp. Some lemon tartness with lactic acid and some other citrus notes. Solid.

The most tart berliner I've had to date. Big lemon and citrus notes. Some sour peaches also. Finishes off with lactic acidity. Sharp tartness in the aftertaste. Really good.

Light bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Smooth and juicy in the mouth and puckering going down. Messy finish with a slightly lingering aftertaste. This could use a bit more bubbles to complement the flavor.

I don't know if this is deserving of being the #1 ranked berliner. That being said, this is different than any other beer I've had from the style. Super tart and juicy and very refreshing. Surely worth trying. (861 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 ChrisPro
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at FoBaB 2011.

A - Cloudy golden with a foamy white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Nice funk. Some hay, a little earthy spice and some good lemon zest.

T - A bit grassy, then nice lemon tartness. Incredibly drinkable. A bit more tart than other berliners, but I really liked it.

M - a bit fuller than I expected, and felt like the ABV might be a bit high for the style, but it had mild carbonation that worked well.

O - Super drinkable and nice and complex. Lots going on with this beer and I went back for a couple servings. Well made berliner that I would drink often. (594 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from cursory notes; on-tap at Tony's Darts Away - served in a goblet.

Opaque, jonquil/gold liquid with no head or lacing to speak of.

Pungent tart aromatics suggest chardonnay and minerals (didn't realize this beer spent some time in French Oak, but in retrospect this isn't surprising), kiwi and white wine vinegar.

Bracing sourness with a fruit-laden freshness. Dry citrus-y finish with a hint of the mineral character found in the nose. Would hold up to a flavored syrup if served in the traditional manner (apple or pear especially), though it is pleasing on its own if you enjoy sour beers (though this isn't a great place to start if you haven't already been initiated). A good balance of lemon/lactic/wheat adding to the pucker.

Brisk lightly carbonated mouth-feel - perhaps a touch flat but not bad.

A very good version of the style, with some measured creativity on display from the exposure to wood. (924 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 16-oz. draft
Glass: Goblet
From: Bear Republic Brewing Company in Healdsburg, Calif.
Price: $6.50
Purchased: July 17, 2013
Consumed: July 17, 2013
Misc.: Came with an option of a raspberry or green apple side flavoring

Poured a yellow-golden straw hazy color with gray head that dissipated rather quickly. Minimal wet lacing on the sides. Poor retention on the top on the way down.

Smelled sour fruit, curdled milk, tart, kiwi, grapes and green apple.

Tasted tart, Sweet Tarts, green apple, kiwi, sour and green grapes.

Light body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, tart finish. Drinkable and refreshing.

A very good Berliner Weissbier that I would definitely try again. (691 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Toronado San Diego.

Pours a cloudy, dark golden yellow color with a half fnger off white head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Funky, slightly earthy aroma with some citrus acidity,  light fruit and bready yeast.  

Tart, puckering mouthfeel with a decent amount of sour acidity that lingers over the sweet citrus and bready yeast into a lingering acetic, vinegary finish.  Kind of like a sour kvass with lots of bread, citrus acidity and funk. (494 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I am not a huge fan of sour ales or this style at all but this was one of the better beers, not just of this style but of all styles, that I have had. Poured a cloudy yellow with one-finger head and minimal lace on top of an aroma that is mostly sour and tart with touches of sharp, spicy citric. Smooth, light-bodied, easy to drink, tastes like the smell with an extremely sour, puckering, citrusy vibe with some funk and tartness (can't really put my finger on the exact tastes). Finishes real crisp and dry and don't know if I could session this as the sourness could wear but definitely a must try to have at least one. (623 characters)

Photo of Retail1LO
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from draft into a 9 oz snifter. Pours a Mountain Dew'esque shade with minimal head and zero lacing. Nose is fairly subdued, but a powerwhiff reveals the heart of this beast. Lactic sour madness. The taste is akin to liquid sour. Like...if sour were an extract. The mouth is thin with a further tart finish. Solid beer. (325 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64 oz growler into several glasses. Big thanks go to Stakem for generously sharing this with the wife and me during a recent tasting.

Pours a hazed pale gold, topped with roughly a half finger of bright-white head. This mostly retains with a foamy ring around the edges of the glass, leaving back a frothy cascade of lace down the sides. The aroma smells of lemon, oak, acidity, and some light notes of vanilla and grainy sweetness along the back. Dry chardonnay character hangs on the edges of this, adding a bit of alcohol warmth to this.

The taste is lemon tartness with an acidic edge to it that then gets more lactic feeling across the back. The dryness of the barrel comes in off the edges and creeps into the finish of this. The wheat just sits in the background but nearly gets overrun by the tart/sourness here. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied and mellow feeling on the tongue but things do get a bit more sprightly feeling throughout the rest of the body.

Well this was certainly interesting. It’s hard to take this one as a straight up Berliner Weiss experience, as the barrel and funkiness definitely took this to an another place. Still, I’m glad to say that I’ve tried it. It’s a wood-aged Berliner Weiss for CRYING OUT LOUD! (1,253 characters)

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