Tart Side Of The Moon
Brewery Vivant

Tart Side Of The MoonTart Side Of The Moon
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Wild Ale
Ranked #1,305
Ranked #13,487
3.93 | pDev: 11.45%
Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Tart Side Of The MoonTart Side Of The Moon
Notes: Hearty stout is kettle soured and blended for a slight tartness along side big dark chocolate notes and hints of black cherries.
Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 387 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Tripel_Threat
Tripel_Threat from Michigan

3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from howler to tulip. Dark chocolate in color, with a finger of foam that's here and gone. Aroma of roast, baker's cocoa, dark fruit, and a little vinegar. Flavors of roast, bittersweet cocoa, dark fruits: figs, cherries, prune. Some tartness, not sour.

Apr 12, 2018
Photo of Roguer
Roguer from Georgia

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Relatively subdued head production; OK retention for the style. Body is dark and inviting.

Chocolate covered cherries on the nose, topped off with vinegar, molasses, and licorice. Some toffee, banana, brown sugar, and toast as well.

Flavor follows, with a surprising amount of the nose represented. Tons of char, but also thick cords of vanilla and banana lacing through chocolate, coffee, and cherries. Plenty of toffee and caramel. It really comes across as a traditional English stout, with a bit of fruit and tartness.

Surprisingly thick on the palate; quite smooth.

Mar 25, 2018
Photo of JamarcusMarinovich
JamarcusMarinovich from California

4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

wasn't sure what to expect from a 'tart imperial stout' (that's what my can says...others appear as 'Dark Farmhouse Ale'), but impressed. Doesn't strike me as 'imperial' but there is a definite tartness (although mild). Chocolate and cherry notes for sure, tastes and feels more complex than aroma. Does not come across as too malty, really a good balance between tart and heavy.

Feb 23, 2018
Photo of lewdwig
lewdwig from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured opaque black from a can, grey-brown head soon dissipates. Smell like figs; taste of figs with light tartness. Tart aftertaste. Light mouth feel, very drinkable.

Dec 31, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was semi-dark brown almost black in color with a finger’s worth of white foamy to fizzy head that quickly dissipated. Lace is barely there. The aroma had a nice blend of black cherries to a dark chocolate malt. A light sour grape skin trickles out underneath and some signs of grassy hops lay underneath with a settling Belgian yeastiness. The flavor brings about a nice sweet to sour to tart to semi-bitter tastes flowing into each other with a light Belgian yeasty/breadiness strolling in underneath. Blends right on into the aftertaste and slides into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fair sessionable to sipping contour over my tongue. Good carbonation. ABV felt appropriate. Overall, nicely done Belgian dark ale worthy of having again if I could get it.

Jun 16, 2017
Photo of Slack
Slack from Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz
No date

Brown / deep brown in color and clear on the edges. A nice head that settles to a solid ring. Visible lacing.

Nose is sweet, a booze note, chocolate, and mild maraschino cherries.

Taste is sweet chocolate and cherry, a bit of coffee, a bit of wood, and a tart finish.

Mouthful is medium, smooth, a touch creamy. Carbonation is lowish. Finish is semi sweet.

An interesting beer. Blending the sour with a stout works well. This reminds me of Chocolate Covered Black Angel but more stout like. The balance is definitely in favor of stout and not sour. The finish is all sour though but in a mild cleansing way. Drinkable but perhaps a bit too sweet. Still recommended.

May 14, 2017
Photo of Barnoloid
Barnoloid from Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was described to me at a GR bar by the bartender as a 'sour stout', though i've seen it listed as a fair few other styles. As I don't get too hung up on the label so let me enjoy this as it is, and enjoy it I did.

A nice looking brown to black pour with a tan head that lingers for a minute. Yeasty notes pair well along with dried fruit here to combine for a complex and well rounded ale. Not sure of the level of tartness, I mean - this is not a sour ale by the standards that others have set. If anything the sour/tart notes complement rather than overwhelm the rest of the taste profile. So remarkably this is a balanced yet also funky blend of all of its components.

Nov 27, 2016
Photo of BeerSamurai34
BeerSamurai34 from Texas

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was a bit strange. It is a wild ale, but drank more like a Belgian strong ale to me. It was fairly boozy and was very dark. It had notes of dark fruit almost like a quad.

Jul 12, 2016
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had purchased this CAN with a number of other Brewery Vivant CANs that I had CANquired in my travels. If you are ever in the Chicagoland and CAN get to one of their locations, Binney's Liquors remains a CANQuest (TM) source nonpareil! This was a score from my most recent visit. It has been in my backlog/queue/rotation since, but today is the day!

From the CAN: "Freshly Brewed in Michi[CAN -] Special Limited Release"; "Tier 3 Single Batch Release"; "BELGIAN INSPIRED DARK FARMHOUSE ALE This hearty dark ale is fermented with our rustic Belgian yeast strain which gives the beer a farmhouse tartness followed by big dark chocolate notes, and hints of black cherries. Fermentation temperatures often climb past 90 [degrees] F which builds the distinctive flavors. No adjuncts are added to this beer - these robust layers of flavor are yeast driven. Listen to that lunatic in your head, dust off that vinyl, pour the beer into a glass and sip your way into a happy, chilled out groove."; "GLASSWARE & PAIRING A goblet or small tulip allows one to quaff the roasty aromas and fully appreciate the farmhouse qualities of this delicious beer. Stilton or blue cheese, charred steak, black cherries & chocolate cake all work magic on your palate when paired with this beer."

As you CAN imagine, I have the 2011 remaster of "Dark Side of the Moon" playing as acCANpanying music as I CANduct this review, beginning with the Crack! A vigorous in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head that hung in for a while and then suddenly became wisps. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing precisely ZERO light penetration. Nose had an intense charcoal smokiness, underlain by a leathery smell along with notes of dark chocolate; dried dark stone fruits; a subtle nuttiness & blackberries (!). Mouthfeel was unexpectedly big, full, thick & creamy, like a dollop had been scooped onto my tongue. I was really surprised by this and it kind of gave me pause. The taste was very variegated with my initial thoughts being a Cadbury Fruit & Nut Chocolate bar, but made with Dark, rather than Milk Chocolate and then the smokiness began to set in, followed by a slight tartness, like persimmon. Wow! It was on the finish that I really began to sense the tartness, especially along my jaws, underneath my ears, at the hinge. I generally do not like Tart and/or Sour beers, but this garnered a pleasant reaction for me. The smokiness really began to permeate my sinus cavity and after a period, I could not taste much more than some and tart. Where was the alcohol? In mah feckin' haid, that's where, ye daft c**t! F**ksake, it came out of nowhere, like I had fallen asleep on the tracks, only to be awakened by the approach of a fully-loaded freight train! Oi! If several of their previous offerings had been dangerous, this was downright deadly!

Apr 30, 2016
Photo of dar482
dar482 from New York

3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer up front hints of chocolate, roasted malts, plums, sweet dark fruits along with spicy yeast notes as the saison part of the beer comes in. The mouthfeel is medium plus and creamy. The alcohol is extremely well hidden.

Nov 12, 2015
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights; the head is rather modest but leaves some dotty lacing around

Smell: Chocolate, coffee, charcoal, cherry; limited tart tones

Taste: Unlike in the aroma, the tart cherry flavor pops right off the bat, with chocolate and coffee developing underneath; in the middle, the charcoal adds another aspect for a moment, but the finish brings a return to the chocolate and tart cherry elements

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: An interesting beer from 2013 that has held up nicely

Thanks, FlandersNed, for the opportunity

Aug 22, 2015
Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16 oz. can into a tulip glass.
Very dark in color with a half inch cream colored head.
Smell has a mild fruitiness.
Taste is sweet with a sense of mild cherry and a bit of chocolate finish. Tarteness is there but not overpowering.
Feel is medium bodied.
Overall a decent dessert beer, but not something that I would drink frequently.

Jun 23, 2015
Photo of erickehoe
erickehoe from Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This particular can was bought in February of 2013 and stuck in a cellar for 2.5 years. Poured black with a 1/4 inch maroon head which quickly bubbled away into nothing. Smelled great: sweet, dark fruits like plums and dates. The taste and feel were lacking, however, especially when compared to having it fresh. No carbonation or hops to speak of really. While the front end sweetness and dried fruits and yeast and what not are all there, it lacks any real dynamism in terms of dryness or bubbly carbonation typically found in beers of this style. I'll go easy on BV since I loved this beer when it originally came out. Just couldn't cut it in the cellar.

Jun 02, 2015
Photo of pants678
pants678 from California

3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, off-white head.

Subdued roasted malt, chalky.

Equal parts sour, saison and stout. Chocolate, not coffee--the label says black cherries, I'm good with that. I'd prefer it be more stout leaning. Couldn't do this one regularly, still an interesting sipper.

Stout's viscosity.

Apr 13, 2015
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout from Georgia

3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16oz can from IAmJacksHopTongue that I have kept for almost 2 years now. Served in a goblet.

Pours black with a half finger of thin mocha foam that quickly disappears. Looks like a cola with a few bubbles at the edge but no lace whatsoever.

Smells of tart dark fruit, vinegar and mild roast with hints of cocoa in the background.

Full, robust flavors. Dark fruit, balsamic, roasted grains, cocoa, oxidation, vague tartness and a hint of alcohol. It rounds out almost like any aged imperial stout with those soft dark fruits, smooth roasted grains and mild oxidation. I've even had some aged stouts that have taken on a similar (but not quite as strong) tart and vinegar quality.

There is a pleasant creamy feel to its medium body but the carbonation has fallen flat. That tart fruit continues playing on the tongue in the aftertaste along with roastiness and faint cocoa.

Tart Side of the Moon (at least this aged can) is pretty good stuff. I enjoyed the well aged stout with the addition of a nice tart kick.

Mar 29, 2015
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received as an extra in a recent trade.

Pours a dark, creamy looking brown, almost black, with a one inch head, and a lot of lacing.

This one has a slightly off-putting metallic aroma to it. This metallic aroma kind of overshadows the other aromas, which are admittedly good- including tart cherry and chocolate. Unfortunately these aromas seem slightly muted.

The taste has the same problem. I'm not sure if there were any canning issues, but this definitely has a sort of metallic issue to it. It makes everything else seem kind of muted- the "tart" side of the moon here is pretty weak, not much tart cherry or acidity at all. There's a little bit of funk behind some lightly roasted malt, and a good amount of chocolate.

This is medium bodied, with a crisp, slightly creamy mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation.

I had much higher expectations for this one, unfortunately it didn't live up to them.

Mar 15, 2015
Photo of Locke
Locke from Alabama

4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure where they got the idea to include tart in the name. The idea that this was tart was nearly lost on the name, although you do get the slightest bit of sour/tart in the aftertaste. Nonetheless, it is a solid stout and worth a try.

Jan 27, 2015
Photo of ribby
ribby from Michigan

4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Buschbeer's review is spot on with the details, though I liked it more than he did, and I am not a Brewery Vivant fanboy, I detested the farm hand farmhouse ale, as you can see from my review. Might be time to take myself up on the challenge of retasting farmhouse after chugging PBR (but where on earth can one buy a single of effin PBR, no effin way am I buying a 12 of that after the rooskies bought it) Received as a gift, 16 oz aluminum.

Jan 17, 2015
Photo of buschbeer
buschbeer from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1 Pint can
Served in a goblet per directions on the can

L - It is black. No light is getting through this beer. It is topped with a modest mocha head that quickly disappears. There are minute traces of lacing.

S - I notice a tart smell. It is fruity. Cherry comes to mind.

T - The taste is somewhat unique. Dark, tart fruit intermingle with roasted malt. The Belgian yeast comes through with some spice as well. Alcohol is noticeable at times.

F - Full

O - It starts out great with the cherry and roasted malt flavors. The finish is a bit lacking for me. The spiciness of the yeast comes in and changes the flavor, cleansing my palate of what I crave. It is almost like a saison finish to a dark, tart beer. It is an interesting experience, but at $17 a four pack, I will probably not purchase again, unless it is on tap somewhere (I have seen it at Slow's).

Jan 17, 2015
Photo of stortore
stortore from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seems more like a Belgian Stout than a wild ale to me, and it's a very good Belgian Stout at that. Has nice body for the style. A pretty strong, desirable cherry taste comes through, but I'm not getting much tartness. Hides the ABV very well. Strong effort, well worth the purchase.

Dec 24, 2014
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium from North Dakota

1.66/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a can into an Else Wear stem glass.

Dark brown-black pour, looked almost like a stout. Ample head, good retention. Funky, syrupy fruit in the nose, acetic. Blehh...taste was pretty bad, an oxidized mess, dark coffee roastiness, stale fruits, vinegar, used tea bags, medicine, wet cardboard. Massively off, and no tartness whatsoever. Tasted like a bad fruit beer mixed with a bad porter. No real comment to make on the mouthfeel, other than "undrinkable." I'm just glad this was a small sample.

Dec 23, 2014
Photo of SerialTicker
SerialTicker from Michigan

4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

$4.79 pint can poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: Semi-hard pour into the middle of the glass didn't do much. This is just a pitch black beer with some brown/red around the edges. Not much to get excited about. I will say that I really like the label, and the name of the beer is pretty cool as well. (3.5/5)

Smell: Deep, deep roasted malt aroma on this beer straight out of the fridge. Under that is a sour funk aroma that I was looking to dominate the smell. There's also some red grape in there that gives a bit of a red wine vibe. As it warms a bit, some dark chocolate starts to shine through which works really well with the dark fruit/red grape smell. (4.25/5)

Taste/feel: My first impression is that this is that this is what I thought Tart of Darkness by The Bruery would taste like. This has a significant roasted/almost charred malt flavor first and foremost, followed by sour grape accents that I also got in the smell. Near the end it has a wine barrel sort of taste with a little tartness too. The body of this beer is about medium, and there's a moderately high carbonation to bring out some even more flavor. The ABV of this is 9.8%, and it's hidden insanely well. There's absolutely no alcohol on the nose or in the taste, and there isn't any warmth either. There's that inkling that it's at least 7%, but 10%? Phew. (4/5, 4.25/5)

While I wanted some actual roast notes in Tart of Darkness, I want some more tartness out of Tart Side of the Moon. It has more tartness than Tart of Darkness does roast (marginally), but a little more would be perfect. The price may seem high to some, but it's a 16oz can, and it's a pretty unique sour stout combination. The can recommends a charred steak with bleu cheese among other things as pairables, and I think a charred steak with some bleu would be incredible with this brew.


Dec 07, 2014
Photo of PaulyB83
PaulyB83 from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No canned on date.
Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours jet black, maybe a slight amount of light coming through on the edges revealing a milk chocolate looking brown. One finger light brown head that dissipated quickly.

S- Nice sour fruitiness, some dark fruits, some dark roasts.

T- Similar to aroma, the sourness is light but there. Really smooth and no overpowering flavors. Very nice combo of both tart and dark. Has a really sour cherry taste to it.

M- On the light side of heavy, kinda surprised how easy this is to drink.

O- This is definitely the best beer I've had from Vivant. Was really looking forward to this beer and was glad they released to distribution as I believe it was brewery only before. Not as tart as a few other sour dark beers I've had before but really I think sometimes a heavy tartness can take away from the base beer, especially if that beer is a dark one. Here I think the tartness and roasts are right on the same level with each other and that really helps with how smooth the beer is. I'd like to pick up some more of this and see how it ages.

Nov 26, 2014
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a good Michigan guy, tectactoe, for a can of this, a first for me: wild ale, canned, tallboy. What's the world coming to?

The pour is unexpectedly dark brown, rubbing up against black. The nose issues forth another surprise as loads of baker's cocoa clings to the nostrils, with just a touch of coffee/roast. Not much going on, but who objects to roasty chocolate? I'd eat it for lunch & dinner if I could.

Tart Side of the Moon comes at this whole wild thing sideways & backwards. Chocolate is still on top, but barely, as a subtle funk tries to undermine the bitter bakery goodness. Tartness sears the sweetness out of the chocolate in an interesting way, leaving behind a sweet sourness. Brushes of residual sweet sugars, roast, & dark fruit, if one pulls away the curtain, but these just add depth, & do little to dissuade the two tastes wrestling for dominance. I find myself reaching for the glass often, puzzled & pleased.

Confession time: I've let this languish in the fridge because I thought it was going to suck. Well, color me beet wrong. Applauding the unique effort, because this is a very good beer.

Nov 23, 2013
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 10/27/2017. Pours fairly hazy/cloudy nearly opaque dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big lighty tart red/black cherry, raspberry, raisin, plum, red/green apple, red grape, pepper, clove, hay, straw, grass, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, and toasted dark bread; with lighter notes of nuttiness, musty funk, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy/light funky yeast and roast/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lighty tart red/black cherry, raspberry, raisin, plum, red/green apple, red grape, pepper, clove, hay, straw, grass, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, and toasted dark bread; with lighter notes of nuttiness, musty funk, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate peppery yeast spiciness, herbal/roast bitterness, and slight tartness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart red/black cherry, raspberry, raisin, plum, red/green apple, red grape, pepper, clove, hay, straw, grass, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, light funk, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy/light funky yeast and roast/bready malt flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet and yeast spiciness balance; with zero acrid/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from hop/roast bitterness, yeast spiciness, and tartness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and lightly slick/sticky/chalky/acidic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 9.5%. Overall this is an excellent wild imperial stout. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy/light funky yeast and roast/bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV, with the modestly bitter/spicy and lightly tart finish. This feels like a different beer than the one I had in 2013. I remember more lactic/vinegary notes, but this is just straight up Brett with balanced imperial stout flavors. A very enjoyable offering, no complaints.

Oct 01, 2013
Tart Side Of The Moon from Brewery Vivant
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 387 ratings