Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dogfish Head Festina Pêche review

Dogfish Head Festina PêcheHere's a beer style you don't see much of these days, a Berliner Weisse. Dogfish Head is known for brewing up some rare and exotic brews and this one is no exception. It is named: Festina Pêche. It's a wheat beer that was styled after a beer that was traditionally brewed in Berlin, Germany during the summer months.

According to Wikipedia, this style is typically a low ABV beer that's cloudy and light colored and relatively sour. The Berliners were known for mixing this beer with syrups or fruits to take a bit of the edge off the sourness. In this case, Dogfish Head mixed in peach juice concentrate in this beer to make it distinguished from all other Berliner Weiss'.

Festina Pêche poured looking like a cloudy pilsner. It's light yellow colored and came with a small 1 finger bright white head that quickly went away. Swirling this beer created a bit of lacing but it was so thin that is is hardly noticeable.

The aroma reminded me of a couple different beers. First, the smell reminded me of a wheat beer only with a bit more funk and a hint of fruit. I don't eat peaches often enough to know what they smell like but whatever that fruitiness was must have been the peaches for sure.

This brew also had a unique yeastiness in the aroma that was hard to distinguish. This beer is supposedly bottle conditioned with a trace of yeast in the bottle yet I didn't notice any floaties in the beer when I poured it into the glass.

Festina Pêche was light bodied with an aggressive tartness on the front of the sip. Upon first taste I was immediately reminded of a sour ale. It was a remarkable tartness that was blended with peach and had a slight wheat kick. It tasted quite clean and gave me a very dry finish. Being light and low ABV (4.5%) this was a perfect drink for a warm early summer night.

I found myself drinking this one quite easily. So much so I opened up a second one and enjoyed two of them back to back. Now this is a style I could really take a liking to. It reminded me of a sour yet also like a flavored witbier. This was just the style I was looking for at this time of year.

I must admit, I enjoyed the taste of this beer much more than the smell of this beer. Normally I have to enjoy both the taste and smell in order to thoroughly approve of it. But in this case, Dogfish Head focused on bringing out a highly tasty and sessionable brew.

Festina Pêche is available here in Colorado in a 4-pack and sells for around $11. Normally I hesitate to spend that much for just four beers if it's just a session brew. It's even a bit pricey for a 6-pack but then again this is Dogfish Head and all of their beers are a bit on the expensive side. I've also come to realize it's still worth the price.

This was one of several beers from Dogfish Head I've tried. I simply loved their 90 Minute IPA and World Wide Stout and was pleasantly surprised by their cocoa infused Theobrama at the GABF in 2009. Festina Pêche was definitely worthy for my tastes and I would seek it out again as a great alternative to a sour ale or a standard session beer. It's that tartness that sold it for me. I really dug that sensation in a beer.

Related articles:
- Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA review.
- Dogfish Head World Wide Stout review.
- The people you meet at the GABF - Sam Calagione - Dogfish Head.
- 2008 GABF video tasting notes (Theobrama).

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com
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