Ironically enough, I’ve reviewed Dogfish Head’s Festina Pêche before—during another Theme Week. Two years ago this month, actually, during Wheat Beer Week. But I couldn’t help it: when I saw it on the shelf at the store, I had to pick up a bottle.
Like yesterday’s Gose, this beer isn’t in the typical discussions of the “summer beer style” (at least, not for many Americans), because it’s brewed in the style of a Berliner Weisse—another wheat ale, very light, and very tart. (Actually, I would call Berliner Weisse and Gose the German summer beer styles.)
Dogfish has applied their own spin to it, naturally: they’ve added fresh peaches (or at least, peach concentrate) to give it a subtle, fresh fruit character. And it’s brewed to only 4.5% ABV, which might make this the lowest-alcohol beer they release in bottles.
Appearance: Hazy delicate yellow, straw-colored, with a minimal fizzy white head.
Smell: Lightly tart with very delicate aroma of fruity fresh peach. Nice and clean.
Taste: Mouth-puckeringly tart—lemon-citric and a hint of ascetic (vinegar). Nice layers of fresh fruit in the mouth, too, subtle but very pleasant. The sour packs a wallop, but the essence of the peaches comes across really well, especially at first (it dissipates as you drink it).
Mouthfeel: Light, puckering and tart, crisp and very refreshing.
Overall: Sour! But very tasty and very much the kind of beer to drink on a hot, hot day.