Friday, August 27, 2010
Dogfish Head Festina Pêche
Number two of the seasonal offerings that I tried this week was Dogfish Head Festina Pêche, a tart peach beer released as a summer seasonal by the brewery in Milton, Delaware.
I read about this beer after I drank it and the idea and history of the style is very interesting. Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, posts a Quick Sip Clip on the website for Festina Pêche and describes the taste.
The site states the style is neo-Berliner Weisse (Berliner Weiße) which is a sour, wheat, low ABV, regional beer from Northern Germany dating back to the 16th century. At one time there were over 700 breweries in Germany producing this style and it was the most popular alcoholic drink in Berlin. Now the style is almost extinct, only two breweries produce a single brand in Germany, but there are several Canadian and American breweries that produce the style and use the name.
Festina Pêche pours into the glass a cloudy straw-yellow color, not golden like most beers, which is the first oddity. It had almost no head from the pour and just a few tiny bubbles while drinking it. The aroma was mild peach and mild alcohol, even though this beer sits at only 4.5% ABV, and maybe a mild sourness. The flavor was tart though not overly so, mild sourness I would say. It had a mild peach flavor with no malt or hops that I could detect. The sourness reminded me of Granny Smith apples and the body was pretty light. It was cool and refreshing and like nothing I've had before.
Dogfish Head sells Festina Pêche during the summer months in 4 packs and on draft where you can find it. I didn't find this in South Texas, I actually bought it in Arizona and brought it home, but maybe next summer we can find some here!
The Bottom Line: The word I would use to describe this beer would be "mild" more than anything. Mild tartness, mild carbonation, mild aroma, mild peach flavor, mild body... all around a mild style! It makes me want to travel to Berlin and find a true Berliner Weisse that I could order flavored with himbeersirup or waldmeistersirup!
Original Release 06/2007