Brewer: Dogfish Head Brewery
Beer: Festina Pêche
Style: Berliner Weissbier
Description: Dogfish’s Festina Pêche pours a hazy golden straw color with slight peach tones throughout and a soapy white head that dissipates quickly but still leaves decent lacing on the glass. The nose is dominated by wheat, peaches, and a funkiness that can be attributed to the Berliner Weiss yeast strain; this funkiness gives the beer a slightly sour, in a good way, smell and taste. The taste is just pure bliss, like a sunny summer afternoon in a glass. The flavors that hit up front are sweet peaches and wheat, followed by a slight hint of biscuit, and wrapping up with a splash of lemons. Throughout the tasting a slight sourness is present that just makes you want to have another sip of this wonderful beer. The finish is surprisingly dry; I say “surprisingly” because one might imagine that a beer dominated by peaches may finish a bit on the sweet side, but this has a nice crisp, dry finish. The body is on the thin side with high carbonation, but this attributes more to the refreshing quality of this beer. This is just an absolutely perfect summer beer!
Food pairing: The Berliner Weisse style is a beer style that is great with a lot of lighter summer dishes, and Festina Pêche follows similar rules. Salads would be wonderful to pair with this beer, and something more in the fruit family would be great, like a nice summer strawberry salad with vinaigrette, but don’t be afraid of trying it with shrimp or chicken as well. Speaking of chicken, this beer is a dream with a grilled chicken dinner with some of your favorite summer vegetables, but take it easy on the seasoning; let the natural flavors do the talking with this beer. Also, if you are a cheese fanatic, I recommend pairing this one with some Gouda, brie, or Havarti. Another great dish with this beer is vanilla bean ice cream, with or without a slice of peach cobbler – a great combination to end any summer day!
Is it worth trying? Yes, yes, and yes! Festina Pêche is just a dream beer for beer lovers. I personally am not a big fan of many fruit beers, but this one is certainly an exception for me. The Berliner Weisse style gives this beer a perfect base for the addition of the peaches, and the blend makes this beer refreshing with hints of sourness, something that I love in my beers. The Berliner Weisse style has been in existence for hundreds of years and was extremely popular throughout history; sadly, though, there aren’t many breweries left making this beautiful style of beer, and it is great that Dogfish Head decided to do their own take on the style. So if you are looking for a new take on a very old German styled beer, I highly recommend you get your hands on some of this beer and enjoy the hot summer weather!
Rating: W W W W V
Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: J & H Beer, Wilkes-Barre, Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City, Wegmans, Dickson City, and Backyard Ale House, Scranton.
Also on draft at: Beer Boys, Wilkes-Barre.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer expert, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek’s beer blog at idtapthat.org.