Summer Beer Week: Festina Pêche

Summer Beer WeekIronically 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.)

Festina PêcheDogfish 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.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of B. On RateBeer, it scores 3.23 out of 5 and is in their 75th overall percentile.

5 Responses to Summer Beer Week: Festina Pêche

  1. Jeremy says:

    I’ve had mixed experiences with the bottled Festina Pêche, but on draught it was excellent.

  2. Big fan of this underrated beer. Atleast in the PNW. Wish I could get it year round as I find it to be a killer palate cleanser and rejuvenator not to mention ridiculously quenching.
    Also a huge fan of the Leipziger Berliner-Weisse, discovered it a few years ago and fell in love with the style before Cascade and Upright revived it.

  3. Jeff Alworth says:

    I’m with Samurai (really!)–great beer. One of my favorite American sours.

  4. Royce says:

    Now that’s what I’m talking about – an interesting and unique take on the summer style! Love the sound of this beer. I’m kind of surprised I havent’ heard of it before but I’ll definitely seek it out now.

    Sounds like Samurai Artist agrees. Thanks for the recommendation on this one.

    I’m all about sours but they’re an extremely tricky style. Seems like making a sour is a delicate balance and a lot of beers fall off the edge into being very undrinkable (for my palate at least). But when they are good – man is it cool to taste them.

  5. JackR. says:

    The beer is currently on tap at Venti’s Cafe, Salem. I find it very refreshing, crisp, quenching. Nice beer.