Dogfish Head Festina Peche

4.5% ABV on draught

I fellated Dogfish Head’s flagship brew so heartily in my previous review because I knew what I had to do next: absolutely trash their Festina Peche offering. I needed to make it abundantly clear that I adore DFH—it’s close to my favorite brewery—before laying into one of their brews. You know how when your favorite filmmaker makes the rare dud of a movie and all the critics and your friends bash it, but you refuse to believe your beloved idol made such a stinker—despite what you saw with your very own eyes—so you lie to yourself and insist to your friends that it’s actually a great flick and they just don’t get it and maybe the filmmaker isn’t even making movies for (idiot) people like them any more. Eventually, you fess up and admit to your friends that they were right all along, your idol had indeed made a shitty picture.

Well, I refused to believe that Dogfish Head had made such a bad beer in their Festina Peche. I was absolutely stoked when I first saw it on the shelves last spring—beer, peaches, I love them both!—and absolutely stocked up on it despite never having had a sip of it. You ever rush home with like 30 bottles of the same kind of beer, sure you’ll love it, and then after popping the top of the first one to taste it you realize almost immediately that you hate it? There’s nothing sadder than staring at those remaining 29 bottles of beer realizing that it is going to literally be work to plow through them, like a punished G.I. staring at a pile of potatoes yet to be peeled.

I guess I forgot about that experience, or continued refusing to believe it because I found myself at a bar on Friday night where a brand new keg of Peche had just been put on tap, a new offering for the spring. My sister was getting the round and when I ordered the $7 brew she said, “Mmmm, sounds good…”—same exact thing I thought a year ago—”…how is it?”

“I absolutely hate it,” I responded.

My sister: “Let me get this straight, I’m going up to the bar to buy you an expensive beer you hate?”

“Yes. But I’m hoping that I’ll like it this time. That maybe they brewed it differently this year.”

Suffice to say, she wasn’t pleased when after a single sip of my pint I realized I hated it just as much as last year’s offering. I don’t know what I expect. Maybe something super-peachy and rich like a Lindeman’s Pecheresse? Perhaps, that is a tasty son of a bitch, but, alas, a completely different style of beer.

The Festina Peche does smell great but it just is really, really, really sour and tart. It’s as clear as a cheap macro-cider that girls that “don’t like beer” drink. I just really don’t like it at all. It’s the only Dogfish Head offering I haven’t loved, not liked, loved. I don’t know what went wrong with it. I really think—hope!—that one day I’ll taste the Festina Peche and go, “Aha! Now I get it!” and realize that it is a great beer, like some kid that finally understands the glory of “2001: A Space Odyssey” after several viewings. But I have a feeling that will never happen with this one. I almost wish this beer was taken off the market cause I know I’ll continue buying it every single May to give it another hopeful whirl.



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