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Sep 12, 2007 02:42 PM

Dogfish Head Festina Peche

Has anyone tried this? I had one today and I'm not sure if I like it or not. I like the dryness and the hint of peach, but it is tart.......maybe it takes some getting used to.

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  1. Well, "Tart" is the predominate flavor profile of a Berliner Weisse, which DFH FP is modeled after and, in Germany, sweet syrups (raspberry or woodruff) are usually added to the beer to cut that tartness (tho' many US beer geeks, myself included, often forgo that bit of tradition). I hesitated buying the FP because I wasn't interested in a sweet, fruity beer and couldn't believe DFH brewed the first bottled BW in the US (the two main Germany BW's are no longer imported to the US, and two "new" versions are quite rare, in my experience, anyway) and then "ruined" it.

    BUT, I was wrong- the peach is so slight (I often miss it entirely, from bottle to bottle) I almost go to the other extreme now and say, "Why'd they even bother with the peaches?" It is no way similar to the sweet syrups added in Berlin.

    It's a great beer (I bought a case after my first 4 pack) but if you're unfamiliar with the style or miss the small print on DFH's label, I could understand being surprised. I was a bit annoyed that DFH brewed such an alcoholic version, tho'- traditional Germany BW's come in around 2.5-3.3%, and the Deleware brewery nearly doubled it to 4.5%. I suspect that's was to not alienate US beer geeks too much (and the low ABV and high price [$12-14 a sixpack] I've always felt was the reason the German brands often didn't sell well here).

    6 Replies
    1. re: JessKidden

      Bottle #2..... Yeah it's growing on me. May have to pick up more!!

      1. re: JessKidden

        I'm on board with your assessment here, JK. i was relecutant at first and even passed on the opportunity to buy some at some $25 or so a case on my last run to the Beer Yard in PA. Mistake. Lately I've been collecting what I can. It's definitely not getting any worse with time (though I can't say it seems to be drying out); I recently picked up a case via 4-pks from a few Ocean County places at about $8/4-pk. Of all the DFH 'experimental' fruit beers in the last couple years, this one is my fav and was my go-to beer for most of the summer. Kinder and more drinkable than Kindl, and way more affordable than the other two recently released German efforts (Weihenstephan and Bayerischer) which, frankly, are not nearly as tart and refreshing.

        Kudos to DFH for their interpretation of the style. I hope they make it a regular part of the lineup!

        1. re: willblake72

          Looks like stopping at the first may have been my downfall. Based on this feedback, Im going to give another try.

        2. re: JessKidden

          > tho'- traditional Germany BW's come in around 2.5-3.3%, and the Deleware brewery nearly doubled it to 4.5%

          As with all beer tradition it depends on how far you want to go back in time to get your "tradition".

          There is evidence that BW has been produced at slightly higher alcohol content than today's BW's. Check out page 829 on this link that suggest weisse beer made in Berlin in the late 1800's ranged from .094% abw (1.1% abv) to 3.53% abw (4.4%abv).

          1. re: LStaff

            Opps, sorry, by "traditional" I meant the current/recent Berlin-brewed BW's from Schultheiss/Kindl rather than historic versions of the past (thus, the present tense of "come in", rather than "came").

            I noticed that the new version from Weihenstephan, 1809, is also higher in ABV than those two (around 5% IIRC- but that's from the B. United website, not the label SINCE I'VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO FIND THIS BEER IN THE GOOD BEER STORES IN CENTRAL NJ! Sorry for shouting, just annoys me to have all my beer budget go to ExxonMobil and all I ever found was a price label above an empty shelf. "Come back next week..." and when I did, even the sign was gone.).

            1. re: JessKidden

              just annoys me to have all my beer budget go to ExxonMobil and all I ever found was a price label above an empty shelf. "Come back next week..." and when I did, even the sign was gone.).

              Until the Total wine opened near me last year I think I shopped at that same store here in Florida.

        3. I thought I was going to really like it, but it was TOO flavory for me. A little over the top- I got the sense it was going after a cherry lambic but there was something missing in the translation. I can see others liking it but its not my bag.

          20 Replies
          1. re: yankeefan

            To each his own, but I thought it was disgusting. Tasted like Salty water to me. However, I have yet to have a DFH beer that truly blew me away.

              1. re: Chinon00

                Good, yes. Blow me away? Not hardly.

                1. re: naven

                  What of that style "blow[s] [you] away"?

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    If World Wide Stout doesn't blow naven away I like to see what does!!!!!

                    1. re: niquejim

                      I'm kind of in naven's position on this one. I've had some DFH beers I've liked a lot, but there are other breweries whose beers are more to my liking.

                      I like Midas Touch, 60-Minute IPA, Indian Brown, Aprihop, and Chateau Jiahu, and really wish I could find this Festina Peche.

                      1. re: Josh

                        Those, plus 90 minute IPA, are exactly the beers I like from DFH.

                        A lot of the others have been disappointments to me. I will give them points for creativity, however.

                        1. re: Josh

                          I believe Naven described it as "good". And to each his own but to me a beer like Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout (just a behemoth of a beer, Wagnerian if you will) I personally find difficult for a person to not either simply love or hate. To me describing a beer this huge as merely "good" is MUCH more of an insult than having said that it sucks.

                            1. re: Chinon00


                              You certainly are passionate about WWS. Yes, it's good, but I felt that it is just too much - I know that sometimes in the world of big beer more is better, but I like impy stouts that are big and bold but not a chore to drink. I find the likes of Old Rasputin, Darklord and Speedway Stout much easier to drink.

                              1. re: naven

                                "but I like impy stouts that are big and bold but not a CHORE TO DRINK."

                                That was my exact mental image recalling myself at the bar at DFH's Rehoboth Beach location where it must have taken me 40 minutes to finish one WWS. I must say as well though that my pace was governed equally by the beer's size as it was by it's complexity which I wanted to appreciate. I recall actually feeling tired after drinking it and wanting to go home. The term "chore" nails it for me too (as a pejorative or as a complement).


                                1. re: Chinon00

                                  I just received DFH Red and White and Olde School Barleywine via mail order. Any thoughts on these two? I should also say that the 60 min IPA was quite pleasurable, as was the Raison De Etre.

                          1. re: niquejim

                            Niquejim - Here's a few that blew me away:

                            2004 De Dolle Teve
                            Lost Abbey the Angels Share
                            Firestone Walker 10

                            1. re: naven

                              Lost Abbey's Angel's Share is one of the best beers I've ever had. I'd put that on my "blew me away" list for sure. I'd also include Rodenbach Grand Cru, Scaldis Prestige, and Russian River Beatification.

                              1. re: naven

                                I'll have to take your word as they are not available here.

                    2. re: yankeefan

                      Not sure what "flavory" refers to- are you saying the peach is too pronounced? I hardly get *any* peach, just slight hints in the nose and, sometimes, in the aftertaste.

                      As for "going after a cherry (?) lambic", the label and their website clearly calls it a "neo-Berliner Weisse" and the website notes that the peaches were added before fermentation and so they weren't looking for any of the residual sweetness found in many fruit beers.


                      I think if one's not familiar with the Berliner Weisse style (relatively rare in the US, and dying in Germany) OR if they miss the VERY small print on the DFH FP, the beer, fermented with yeast *and* lactic-acid bacteria, will be something of a shock. (I was just reading somewhere on the 'net in a food group, the "Beer Editor" spoke of buying a six of Kindl's and it was so "bad" he gave it away.)

                      1. re: JessKidden

                        ok, gave it another try last night. liked it even less.

                        I guess to each his own. I reverted directly back to a delicious Magic Hat.

                        1. re: JessKidden

                          Not surprised the the Kindl Weisse was bad, every one that I've had has been bad - and I understand and enjoy the style. They usually sit so long in a warehouse or store shelf that they become oxidized and all you can taste is cardboard.

                          1. re: LStaff

                            Yeah, I agree that Berliner Kindl Weisse often sat around on the shelf (the price didn't help), at least, until it was withdrawn from the US market. All the bottles I found at the end were date "Best By 03-07" (so I assume bottled in April, '06) and still taste fine (no stale/cardboard that I detect).

                            The German Beer Institute suggests that BW's are good for up to 5 years (even I was surprised at that- all tho' my last few bottles should be gone by fall) - "Berliner Weisse can be stored in a cool dark place for up to five years, during which it maintains its quality and becomes gradually fruitier." (Next to the last line.)


                            Have only had one bottle, hand carried from Germany, of Schultheiss in the past few decades and but it tasted the same as the stuff we once got in the US (at least, as far as I can remember a beer from the late 1970's).

                          2. re: JessKidden

                            Meant to mention that DFH did have a similar beer, Festina Lente (now out of production), that also was fermented with peaches and with an additional bacterial fermentation which *was* referred to as a "neo-lambic", so it's no wonder that some folks may have confused the two beers.

                        2. Hated it on first and second try. Didn't have enough of a beer identity to me.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Spiritchaser

                            What do you mean by a beer identity?

                            The BJCP recognizes 80 different styles with flavors ranging from bitter to sweet, sour to salty. If you examine what craft brewers are attempting today, there are litterally 100s of potential styles.

                            Sure, Festina Peche doesn't taste like a typical lager or ale but it is recognizable among the sour beer styles and, I think is forging a new direction. I wouldn't drink it everyday but I think it is quite an achievement.

                          2. Really liked it the first time I had it at DFH in Maryland. Bought a 4-pack last night and wasn't as excited about it - a little flat, not as tart as before. Will give it another try before the local beer & wine store runs out.