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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: 530
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 179
Gots: 19 | 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: 530
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. (583 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Good Beer, New York, NY

A: The beer is hazy pale light yellow in color. It poured with virtually no head—just some hints of lacing on the surface.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of sourness in the nose.
T: The overall taste is quite sour and has flavors of oak and notes of grapes. The flavors and sourness especially linger through the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and extremely tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness.
O: This beer is light and refreshing, but takes a long time to sip given the heavy amount of sourness. (587 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 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 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 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 largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, a nice sour from Bear Republic for a change. On tap at Toronado. Hazy straw hued body with a thin head that doesn't provide much stickage. Great lacto and grain aroma, a bit sourdough-like. Little funkiness, too. Bright, sharp, acidic palate, pretty citrusy with a pleasant lacto profile that's extremely refreshing. Touch of pineapple, grain, not much oak or barrel to speak of. Brief, thirst quenching finish. Drank a few of these and could have had more, low ABV with a ton of flavor. Drank this side by side with Cable Car 2010 and found this better. (559 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Early beer at FoBAB '12, three pours in the festival taster glass, around 10-12 oz. total.
Quick review from notes.

Very pale straw color in the glass, nearly a pastel shade it was somewhat hazy and glowed when held to the light. Thin layer of white foam on the surface that stuck around for the first couple sips. Aroma had a whiff of sulfur at first, but this blew off fairly quickly, revealing sour lemon, sharp lacto, and faint supporting notes of grainy wheat in the background. Extremely tart, more of an explosive sourness that builds quickly and vanishes just as fast. Very crisp and clean, puckering lemon and dry like champagne in the finish. A well crafted Berliner Weisse, much more sour than most. Extremely drinkable and refreshing, the low abv was welcome and it certainly stood out as a memorable beer early on, preceeding a night full of booze monsters. (873 characters)

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

On tap at Stone SourFest.

A: Pours a very slightly chill hazed pale yellow with no head or lace.

N: Fruits (grape, lemon citrus, apple), grass and damp hay.

T: Tartly acidic, grainy wheat, lemon zest, faint oak. Like spring sunshine in a glass.

M: Lite body and carbonation. Brightly acidic tart finish.

O: A highlight of the event. Sitting under a tree, listening to the fake stream flow past in the garden. Very nice indeed. (431 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Richard. Thanks!

The pour is a pale straw hue with a short lived white head. An excellent tartness to the aroma. Very sharp lactic acidity to go along with plenty of wheat. A little bit of lemon peel and maybe some popcorn. The flavor is similarly enjoyable. Great lemon peel and lemon juice tartness with an undertone of sweetness from the wheat. Light bodied with medium carbonation. Very well done beer. (425 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)

Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Amesbury Alehouse.

Light fizzy head, hazy pale grapefruit color.

Light tart fruit, lemon, grapefruit tartness, banana and phenols, some lactic acid, hint of funk, little wheat like malt, plenty of toasty vanilla buttery oak, little lemongrass.

Taste very sour, lactic acid galore too, lots of lemon, little grassy, tart grapefruit and little citrusy, hint of light wheat and banana again, a bit of a light sour lemon candy, touch grainy malts. Then a nice light buttery oak with touch of vanilla. Finish is little flemmy, fairly tart and some lactic acid lingering with plenty of lemon lingering.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied, good carb and plenty of acidity.

Overall quite nice, good tartness, fruit and citrus, acidity, lighter on the funk and bready mts though. Nice oak too. (792 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 RblWthACoz
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What fortune. A rainy day says that I can't jump out of a plane, yet I am still able to beer it up and I stumble upon this beer. It's been a long time since I've had a Berliner-Weiss.

This is on the level. Tart and mildly lactic (and thankfully not too much so). Has that sticky kind of thick feel to it that fits to what I've experienced of the style in the past. If you've never had this type of beer before, you may not be prepared for it. Though if you've had legitimate lambics and gueuzes, you'll probably be okay. Regardless. This is an intense beer that does not cut corners. A pleasure to be able to try this one. (623 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Served in a tulip glass, a dull and slightly hazy yellow-pineapple-juice color with no head other than a thin ringlet of bubbles that fizzled out in a couple minutes. Tart and lactic in the nose, funky and slightly floral. This is reflected in the taste: quite tart and puckering at first, lemon and grapefruit, citric and lactic acid, not so much acetic, though there was a slight vinegary presence in there, secondary flavors of biscuity malts, white grapes and grassy funk, but the sourness/tartness was clearly in charge here. Medium body, quite good for the style. Definitely a tasty brew worth revisiting. (653 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served on-draught into a 4 oz taster glass at the Churchill's Finest Hour 2013 release at Churchill's pub. Reviewed from notes taken standing up in the overflowingly crowded pub, so this review as not as detailed as I would have liked.

A: Pours a beige colour floater ring; no real head at all. Perhaps this is because of the taster glass; I've had this issue with a few beers now. Body colour is a clear pale lemon-yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. A bit weak, but generally appealing.

Sm: Light clean sourness. Crisp, fresh, and appealing. Pale malts. A mild strength aroma. Very good for the style. Inviting. Alive.

T: Sourness. Pale malts. Clean. Refreshing. Nicely tart. Lemon. Lactic as hell; I love that. Great fresh zesty taste. Perfect balance. Great subtlety. Amazing complexity for the style. I'm very impressed.

Mf: Soft. Light. Refreshing. Smooth. Wet. Perfectly carbonated. Has an ideal body for the style: clean yet full and refreshing. Great presence on the palate. Complements the flavour profile obscenely well.

Dr: Very drinkable. Near perfectly executed for the style. I love it. I would definitely have it again; it's easily the best berliner weiss I've ever had. I need to revisit this beer in a better environment to really go as in-depth with my review as it deserves. An amazing offering from Bear Republic, and highly recommended.

Low A (1,396 characters)

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. (1,008 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Long time want right here, hand delivered to my house in growler form by the yourefragile himself. Served in a Bear Republic shaker pint.

Beer is yellow and hazy with no head, no lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is lactic and sharp, very sharp.

Beer is very sour, almost one note sour, very lactic, mildly succinic, an interesting and grainy bitterness on the finish. A nice berliner for sure. I do enjoy it and glad I got to try it. (439 characters)

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

Served on tap at The Beer Authority in New York, NY

A: Pours a hazy pale straw yellow in color with some very light amounts of visible carbonation and almost glows when held up to the light. The beer has a quarter finger tall fizzy sode-like (almost like a ginger ale or Sprite) head that quickly reduces to a few scattered bubbles on the surface of the beer - essentially nothing. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The aroma starts with a strong almost brett-like sourness/funkiness with underlying notes of wheat, citrus hops, lemon, and vinegar. Additionally there is a light presence of oak and grape.

T: Similar to the smell but even more sourness is present. IN addition to the sourness (which is almost brett-like), you can definitely taste the oak and grape from the barrel aging of the beer. There are also strong flavors of sour fruit, vinegar, and lemon citrus. Very delicious.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly puckery from the high amounts of acidity in the beer.

O: Very enjoyable but only for someone that truly appreciates the style or sour beers - this is probably the most sour beer that I have had in the style. Not super easy to drink but a nice beer to sip on over the course of an hour or two. (1,258 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Had on tap at the Burgundian.

A: Tartare was a hazy straw/yellow color with a small white head on top which reduced to a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

S: Lightly tart, nice wheat aroma. Light citrus, some lemon and lemon zest, slightly acidic. Very nice.

T: Really nice acidity for a berliner, nice and tart. Some wheat, a bit of apple and pear, light citrus. More sour than the aroma, and I am loving it.

M: Light to medium bodied, extremely easy drinking.

O: An amazing Berliner, probably the best I have had. Great sour/tartness for style with plenty of fruit flavor. (596 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 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. (954 characters)

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

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a hazy yellow with a medium white head. Solid head retention for the style, but doesn't last all the way through the glass.

S: Lots of acid and funk, bit of acetic, smells a bit like a The Bruery sour intially. Fragrant and floral.

T: Lemons and acid. Full-flavoured with a strong citrus component. Very tasty.

M: Medium-high acidity, it's got it, but not to the degree of those around me that had it stated IMO. Light-bodied, refreshing for sure.

O: A really good and impressive Berliner Weisse. Maybe not completely to style, but this was one good beer. (592 characters)

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

On draft at City Beer Store, from notes.

Pours a bright hazy straw golden with a a few fingers of white, creamy head. Fades a to collar with spots of lacing. Grainy, bready nose blends with lacto sourness and mild citrus. Light earth and floral notes in the finish. Light, effervescent refreshing body with prickly carbonation. Flavor is dominated by a sour and tart lemon acidity with a strong sourdough bread presence mid palate. Lemon sourness builds through the finish with light floral notes occasionally emerging. Oak dries out the surprisingly clean finish. Damn Bear Republic, this was a surprise. (606 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kyle is one of the main guys behind the bar at Beachwood BBQ, and when I saw him giggling as he sampled a newly tapped keg of Tartare, I knew this had to be good. On to the beer:

Highlight yellow in color. It almost looks like it's glowing. The nose is simple, yet the intensity and balance of the acidity and tart fruits are excellent. You can say the same for the taste as well; simple and surprisingly delicious. Tart tart tart tart tart. You certainly feel your saliva glands kicking in as the acidity washes over the palate.

Bear Republic is a very good brewery, though it is not known for sour ales, so it was a great surprise to everybody that this came out of Headlesburg. This is a beer that should turn some heads. (727 characters)

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