Hypebeerst: Battle Of The Peach
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Festina Peche
Type: Berliner Weissbeir
ABV: 4.5 %
Contrary to expectation is sort of Dogfish Head’s identity. They excel at taking risks, going off the beaten path and putting a unique twist on any semblance of normalcy. Why would this time be any different? It shouldn’t, and it ain’t. Festina Peche is at first glance a tame and smooth brew without much to be cautionary with. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
What Festina accomplishes is a bit of a Trojan horse act, lulling you into a false sense of security with a mild fruit as the focus, but busting you in the taste buds with a sour, lambic-like tartness. In the brewing process, DFH doesn’t add any additional sugars or syrups, allowing the yeast strain to feast on the sugars in the peaches themselves. This gives a fermented fruit taste that one would normally get from wines, as opposed to the sweet accents that other fruit infused beers default to. What Festina does a great job of doing above and beyond anything else is in its polarizing nature. There’s a sect of drinkers that swear by this stuff, and an equally large sect that thinks it’s horrible.
Jay, what’s the verdict?
It’s cool. Not great, not mind-blowingly epic, just aight. I wouldn’t turn it down if offered and I don’t regret buying a few bottles. In Cicerone speak, this is not a very good example of the Berliner Weissbier style. Festina goes way left, adopting traits more suited for a different brewing style. In fact, it has been said amongst lots of drinkers that this year’s version is much less tart and overbearingly sour than last year’s. In the “hate it” crowd’s defense, my experience may have been similar had I bought bottles in 2012. I’d suggest giving it another try and weighing in afterwards with adjusted expectations.