I recently took a vacation to Pensacola Beach, and made several stops to Hop Jacks Filling Station. It’s a pizza kitchen and taproom, where you can drink at the bar, get a growler to go, or purchase singles or packages of a grand craft beer selection. The staff there was awesome with everything from preparing meals, to recommending or helping me find beer, and even carrying my selections to my car! I highly suggest you go if you’re in the Pensacola area and you’re a craft beer fan.
I usually pick up a case or so of Dogfish Head beer whenever I can because it isn’t carried in Louisiana, and this time there was plenty to choose from. Two of my favorites are the 90 and 60 minute IPA’s, but on this trip, I also grabbed some different styles, including the Festina Pêche.
The Festina Pêche is a Berliner Weissbier, a top-fermented, wheat beer made with both traditional warm-fermenting yeasts and lactobacillus culture. According to the Dogfish Head website, there was once over 70 breweries in Berlin that once brewed this style of beer, and now there are only a few. Thankfully, Dogfish Head makes this seasonal brew for about 4 months out of the year.
Let’s get down to the beer. Festina Pêche comes in at 4.5% ABV. It pours a light translucent straw color, with a thick white foamy head that dissipates within a minute or so, leaving only a small white ring around the top outside edge of the beer. It pours a little more like champagne, rather than beer, because of it’s high carbonation.
After the pour, upon first smell of its aroma, I get mostly Peach, with some wheat, and biscuit aromas as well.
Diving into the taste, I do get hints of peach, but it’s not the peach you’re probably thinking of… It’s more like a fermented tart peach, which I actually like, because it leans towards a sour beer, even though it’s really not in that category. I love the lingering tartness it leaves you with, similar to that from something like a granny smith apple, as well as it’s high carbonation. A common Berliner Weisse is traditionally served with a bit of raspberry syrup, to tame it’s tartness. Festina is what you would get with a Berliner Wisse before the syrup would be added, an extra tart version if you will.