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Beer Advent Calendar – Day 20: CIB Cheri Tart presented by J Wilson

@brewvana, @cibbrewery

Beer Advent Calendar – Day 20: CIB Cheri Tart presented by J Wilson

To celebrate the Holiday Season, and have teamed up with beer bloggers around the country to host the second annual beer bloggers advent calendar. This is the season of sharing and we intend to share our love of beer with you. 31 Bloggers Blogging – click here for the running list of beers/bloggers.

Let’s see who is spreading holiday cheer today!

Blogger: J. Wilson
Blog Name: brewvana (
Twitter: @brewvana
Beer: Cheri Tart
Brewery: CIB Brewery of Carson, Iowa
Beer Details:

  • Style: American Sour Ale
  • ABV: 7.2 %
  • Availability: Draught and bottles in Omaha, Des Moines and Iowa City, and a sprinkling of points in between
  • Website:
  • Twitter: @cibbrewery

Commercial Description:
Cheri Tart is an easier drinking sour ale, with a light but noticeable sour cherry aroma and flavor. This is one of few CIB beers we recommend drinking extra cold. The original version of this beer was a lambic made with cherries picked by us off a neighbor’s trees, due to short supply the beer was changed to a Sour Ale and contains no cherries. A great summertime beer due to its refreshing tartness.

Why I selected CIB’s Cheri Tart:

With but a handful of Iowa breweries packaging in bottles at this moment, it took a lot of thought to stay local with this Beer Advent Calendar selection. And then it occurred to me: CIB.

CIB Brewery in Carson, Iowa is less than an hour away from me, and it is a year-old (they celebrate their first anniversary on Dec. 22) nano producing interesting beers flying well under the radar. It’s the perfect brewery to highlight. CIB (Chef’s in Black) is a father-son affair putting out high-alcohol, farmhouse-style beers ranging from a double amber ale and quadruple brown to a breakfast stout and this beer: Cheri Tart.

It’s a good name, as Cheri Tart hints at both cherries and tartness in appearance, aroma and flavor profile. Each is restrained, but juxtaposed alongside a wild fruitskin yeast profile that presents both interest and a centerpiece to the beer.

Here’s the backstory, according to co-owner Alex Carlton: There are no cherries in this beer, though cherries were present at this beer’s conception. A year or so ago, Alex and his dad produced a cherry lambic, utilizing the fruit of a neighbor’s sour cherry tree. Recognizing that they’d never be able to put the beer into fulltime production, they harvested and massaged the yeast to capitalize on the wild yeast that the sour cherries brought to the table. The result is this funky beer, which is sourish, but not overly so, cherryish, but not overly so. Though CIB isn’t situated on a rural acreage, they maintain the spirit of a farmhouse brewery with their interesting beers, self-built brewhouse, yeast development and quiet self-reliance.

On CIB’s website, Alex calls this beer a great summertime beer due to its refreshing tartness, but I think Cheri Tart hints at Christmas without being a “Christmas Beer.” The cherry-hints and tart character lend themselves well to the table around the holidays. The truth is that this is a good offering no matter what time of year.

About the J. Wilson:
J. Wilson is an award-winning homebrewer, BJCP Certified beer judge and pretty good dad. Blogging about an ideal condition of harmony, beer and joy at brewvana since 2007, Wilson is the author of the 2011 investigation into the origins of doppelbock, Diary of a Part-Time Monk. Wilson was named the 2012 Beer Drinker of the Year at Wynkoop Brewing Company’s 16th annual competition.

About CIB brewery:
CIB Brewery is a small batch, production-only nano brewery located in Carson, Iowa.

CIB is a farmhouse style brewery. This means all of our beers are fermented using proprietary yeast blends including Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and other wild yeasts. The end result of this brewing process is that all of our ales will be somewhat sweet and tart on the palette and be uniquely flavorful. All of our wild yeasts are harvested and cultured in the brewery in Carson, IA.

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