So there I was, sitting at the upstairs Belgian Bar at
the Brick Store Pub
, one of Atlanta’s premier places to have a beer (or two or three).
Technically, the Brick Store is in Decatur, a suburb of Atlanta, but you can
get there on MARTA, so no big deal. Anyway, it was hot-brutally hot. A 100
degree day in a string of 100 degree days, days so hot that the pavement
seemed to melt beneath your feet while the hot sticky air clung to you like
a second skin.
In other words, a perfect day for a cool, refreshing glass of Dogfish
Head Festina Peche. And just what is Festina Peche, you ask? Well,
Dogfish Head says this about it: A refreshing neo-Berliner Weisse
fermented with honest-to-goodness peaches to (get this!) 4.5% abv! Because
extreme beers don't have to be extremely boozy! Available in 4-pack and
draft during the sweaty months..
Basically, this is Dogfish head’s take on the classic Berliner Weisse style
of beers. If you guessed that “weisse” means wheat (figuratively anyway), go
get yourself a beer. You’ve earned it. But if you’re thinking along the
lines of a Widmer
or even an Erdinger, think again: Berliner Weiss is altogether different
from American and Bavarian style wheat beers.
It’s also a rarely produced style, and kudos are due to Dogfish head for
brewing it. Of course, their version is bit different from the classic
style, since it’s brewed with peaches as an ingredient. That would give the
Germans fits and violate the Reinheitsgebot, or beer purity law.
Of course, stipulations against what can go in beer when it’s made say
nothing about what you do with it before you drink it, and Berliners are
fond of drinking their style of wheat beer “mit schuss”, or a dash of
raspberry or woodruff syrup. So Dogfish Head’s inclusion of peach isn’t all
that odd when you really get down to it.
Berliner weisse beers are a good choice for hot weather because of their
relatively low alcoholic strength. They usually range around 2.5% to 3%
alcohol by volume; Festina Peche is a little stronger than that at 4.5% by
volume. These beers are also very quenching, too, because of their sour,
tart character derived from a lactobaccilic fermentation (think yogurt) in
addition to the traditional one.
Dogfish Head Festina Peche pours to a cloudy yellow orange color
with almost no head formation (its flat) and a slightly fruity, invitingly
sour nose. A quick sip reveals a light, crackery wheat body and just a hint
of fruity peach. You don’t get long to savor those characteristics, however,
because the amazingly tart, mouth-puckeringly sourness takes over so
quickly. Game over. That sourness punctuates the beer in the finish and is
what makes it so very refreshing. It also obviates the need for hops; some
are used, but only a little, resulting in a meager 12 international
bitterness units (IBUs).
Obviously, this is not a beer for everyone. But if you’re serious about
beers or just trying new things, give it a try. It’s a summer seasonal, and
only around in limited quantities. Get some while you can, in bottles or on
Because you really should try a new beer today.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.