Tartare
Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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Style:
Berliner Weisse
Ranked #7
ABV:
4%
Score:
96
Ranked #733
Avg:
4.33 | pDev: 10.16%
Reviews:
104
Ratings:
591
From:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  183
Gots
  33
SCORE
96
World-Class
Notes: 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
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Reviews: 104 | Ratings: 591 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GarrettB
3.63/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

July 23rd, 2015 - The server at Big Sur Tap House had to warn me that the Tartare is a brutally sour beer, and they were right. Both on the nose and flavor it's a tall glass of cold distilled white vinegar mixed with apple cider vinegar and given some bubbles. Pungent, pucking, powerful and piercing, it has a surprisingly short aftertaste for such a screechingly sour brew.

April 7th, 2015 - Out on the road, we stop at Bear Republic and begin a line of tasters. Starting with the tartare seems risky if it is indeed acidic and replete with tartaric acid, but it also has the lightest ABV of today's spread. Cloudy and calm, it looks almost like a lemonade or a shandy, and the aroma is gentle, and soft. There's lots of gentle banana notes at play, like a baby food flavored with banana, and layered with fruit tart custard and a light lemon merengue. The flavor is spritzy, exploding in the mouth with that sweetened essence of banana. Critically, the sourness is enough to offset any of th muddying effects of the yeast's powerful esters, which makes this both weird and wonderful.

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GarrettB from Colorado, Feb 22, 2018
Photo of JBabz
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is so good, especially if you’re a sour lover. Among the more interesting sours out there, while being highly drinkable. Some vinegar taste up front, but not overwhelming like a lambic might be. The taste quickly changes to a buttery finish, reminiscent of popcorn. It coats the mouth so the taste lingers for a while. Feels decadent and refreshing.

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JBabz from Pennsylvania, Dec 17, 2017
Photo of FriedSlug
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Funky and super sour beer. Slightly hazy gold beer with a quickly disappearing head. Smells like sour and lactose and peaches. Taste is really sour and funky but in a good way. One of the most sour beers I've had but it is really awesome.

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FriedSlug from North Carolina, Feb 18, 2017
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Griffon Gastropub in Clarence, NY.

This one pours a dark clear orange-ish color, with a very small head, and no lacing.

Smells pretty bracingly tart on the nose, super super lactic, with some lemon, salt, a little bit vinegar, and slight spicing- maybe coriander?

This actually feels a bit more like a gose than a berliner, as I get a bit of saltiness there. There's a slight bit of vinegar, but it's luckily not overwhelming. It's very, very sour, but in a pleasing way. There's a indistinguishable kind of spiced flavor, kind of coriander like, or grassy.

This is light bodied, fairly crisp, with a good level of carbonation.

This isn't the best berliner I've ever had, but it was still quite tasty nonetheless.

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GreesyFizeek from New York, Jan 05, 2017
Photo of cbutova
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Foundry, Northampton, MA.

A- Draft pour to a tulip with a clear golden body. No head forms, at all, as the acidity probably destroys any chance of foam being born.

S- Acid. Lactic acid and lemony sours dominate the aroma but with time a slight backing of wheaties and old musty horse backs that up. Slight acetic acid too. Old wine grapes.

T- Intense vinegar and lactic acid opens up the experience and it leads into raw wheat in the finish. Honestly tastes like musty soured wine and salt and vinegar chips, in a good way.

MF- Light to medium bodied and boy is it oily slick; explains the appearance. Medium carbonation and a taste bud stripping finish.

Sour wheaty goodness. Like drinking a horses sweat that was left out in the sun for days.

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cbutova from Massachusetts, Sep 20, 2016
Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Sharp sourness with a moderate lemon/coriander aroma.

A: Moderate yellow-straw color, super hazy, light effervescence, with a very thin head that dissipates quickly.

T: Moderately strong sourness, quite clean, with moderate lemon/coriander notes, the beer has a light bready character in the background, lightly dry finish.

M: Light bodied with moderately high carbonation.

O: Delicious; the beer has great lacto sourness with notes of lemon/coriander and a light bready complimentary character. Super refreshing and very easy to drink.

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Phil-Fresh from California, Aug 18, 2016
Photo of Tommo
2.49/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

After having this on draft tonight, i am shocked how highly it is rated. The smell is of balsamic vinegar, and the taste follows in turn. While this is a very tart beer, it is horrendously acetic and undrinkable

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Tommo from Texas, Jun 11, 2016
Photo of Galanis
4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Exceptional. Light golden, almost straw color. No head after the first few seconds on the initial pour. Smell is not representative of the complexity of this beer. It smells faintly acidic, very lemony.

But the taste! Lemon, yes! But also gardenia and oysters. It's very tart at first sip, with no hint of the complexities to follow. But after the third or forth, when the taste buds stop retreating from the roof of your mouth, you begin to taste the barest hint of saltiness and floral. Half way through, the distinct flavors of oyster and gardenia are very apparent.

I'm not a huge fan of sours, but this is the barometer by which I will measure all others. Simply the best sour I've ever had.

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Galanis from North Carolina, May 12, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a bright yellow, brighter than most berliners. Plenty of haze, comes off wit like, which makes sense since they both have wheat right? Aroma was just a grip of lemon and wheat, uber tart, in berliner terms this aroma and taste were both pretty much 10 on the 1-10 berliner sour scale.

Taste was pungent lemon sour, lots of acidity, but it works. This is a big upping of the sour game, has a wild/lambic like content of sourness. Very light body. This is one of those super light body, low abv beers that will cut the palate fatigue like no other. You can drink this after a bourbon barrel imperial stout and it will cut right through. Good at fests with other barrel, big beers.

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Photo of mactrail
3.52/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A classic Berlinerweisse— it's the ghosts of barley malt. That fragrance is quite intriguing with a pale malty hint plus the sharpness of peeling tangerines. Spritzy carbonation.

Lemon juice flavor, but diluted and a little mellowed. Not much fruity flavor is left— it's all about the sourness. Sippable but not much for a drink. On tap at Church Key in San Francisco. [review notes from Jan. 23, 2012 tasting].

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mactrail from Washington, Sep 19, 2015
Photo of braican
3.16/5  rDev -27%
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.

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braican from Massachusetts, May 31, 2015
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts, May 31, 2015
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania, Jan 20, 2015
Photo of SportsandJorts
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
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 Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

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Photo of wedge
3.51/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

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wedge from North Carolina, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of Jack_Malts
4.99/5  rDev +15.2%
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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Jack_Malts from Virginia, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of 01001111
3.04/5  rDev -29.8%
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.

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01001111 from California, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of dalahodson
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
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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dalahodson from California, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of Zilaniz
4.81/5  rDev +11.1%
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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Zilaniz from Pennsylvania, May 24, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.63/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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ArrogantB from Colorado, May 15, 2014
Photo of cjgiant
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
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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cjgiant from District of Columbia, May 14, 2014
Photo of da_beers
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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da_beers from Florida, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of BierJager89
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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BierJager89 from California, Feb 08, 2014
Tartare from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 591 ratings