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: 23 | 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 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 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 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.

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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.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On- tap at Lord Hobo during Zwanze Day '13, reviewed live.

A- Very translucent straw color with no head and fairly minimal carbonation (although my friends glass poured from the same keg seemed to have noticeably more carb).

S- Peaches, lemons, nectarines, some barnyard funk, slight hint of vinegar. Very well balanced, smells awesome for the style, fairly aromatic.

T- Soured peaches, slight hay and straw, finishes with lemons, some berries, and a sharp acidic vinegar kick. Very nice taste for the style, definitely a sipper due to the acidity, nice fruity presence.

M- Medium bodied, acidic, slightly dry.

O- Tartare is a fantastic representation of the berliner Weiss style, and easily one of the better ones I've had. Not for the faint of heart due to the fairly sharp acidity, but a must try for any fan of the style.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Amesbury Ale House.

A - Poured into a Boulevard tulip a not really clear light straw hue with almost no head at all. There is some light fizzy wisps and haloing.

S - Aromas of nice Brett funk, good french oak notes, lemons, light banana, strong lacto cream qualities that are very nice and bright.

T - Taste is just delicious. Super sour and tart, scrape the sweet tart candy residue from your teeth style. Love the light funk, soft lemon, and milky cream flavour. Mmmm.

M - Mouthfeel is lovely for the style. Tart and crisp this beer is counterbalanced perfectly with the lactose.

O - Overall this was a very nice representation of the style. Super sour and creamy this really shines in many levels.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Cloudy yellow with a pillowy, off-white head that leaves the glass messy with sheets of lace down the glass.

Good amounts of lactic sourness, lemon, and wheat: complete and powerful.

The flavor is similar to the aroma with big levels of lemon, sourness, and what making this an incredibly drinkable American berliner.

Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Great stuff!

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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 ColForbinBC
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, served in a chalice

A pale, straw yellow body with a thin collar of foam. No discernible lacing. Slight haze.

The nose is full of lemons, tartness, grape skins, wet hay, and tons of lactic acid.

Whoa. This is easily the most sour Berliner I have come across. Just loads of puckering tartness with each sip. Lactic acid in spades with some lemons and white grape skins on top of a bed of super clean, wet hay.

Light, crisp, and refreshing with high carbonation. Perfect mouthfeel for a Berliner. Tart on top of tart in the finish.

This is easily the best, most in your face tart Berliner I have experienced. A winner in all aspects.

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

On tap at Chuck's Hop Shop - great find!

Pours a nice golden yellow, frothy white foam atop and much higher clarity than I had anticipated. Nose is lacto, grain, hints of soil and hay, a bit of lemon and green grape skins. Flavor packs a punch! Nice and sour with lemon and citrisy acidity. Nice and refreshing with crispy carbonation and a thin body - off dry finish that quickly makes me salivate. This one is probably the best american version I've had to date - really fine job.

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

So excited to see this on tap at this year's Bluesapalooza festival! And not too many people knew they were tapping it, so I got to have like 6 tasters of it. I loved it! Appearance was a straw-like lemonade yellow color with a large, fluffy white head. Scent is very-wheat forward with a ton of funky sour aromas going on. Picking up a lot of lacto and acidic aromas. A lot of lemon as well. Taste is WOW... way more sour than I was expecting. Definitely the most sour berliner I've ever had. Sour lemon flavors with white wine vinegar and sour white grapes. A lot of wheat and funky lacto acidic flavors. Puckering. Mouthfeel was very light, puckering, and refreshing. Drinkability was very high. Overall, my favorite beer of the night. So much sour with such high drinkability. My gums did feel like they were ruined after my 6 taster glasses though.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer. Poured into a 12 oz. straight sided glass.

Appearance - Kind of a urine yellow. Hazy with no head. Not a terribly impressive look.

Smell - Lemon acidity with grainy wheat. A touch citrusy, aside from the lemon. Good, though simple.

Taste - Quite sour. Strong lactic acidity. Lemony. The wheat comes through in the background. Solid Berliner flavors.

Mouthfeel - Light. Well carbonated. Sour, but not the sourest I've had. Balanced and refreshing.

Overall - Excellent unfruited Berliner. I'm spoiled in Florida, but this is quite good.

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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.

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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.

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