26 July 2010


My run-in with Dogfish Head's Raison D'Être a while back left me a little suspicious of the Delaware brewery's abilities to make nice beer with fruit. So it was with some trepidation that I opened the cap on Festina Pêche, a self-proclaimed "malt beverage brewed with peach concentrate" which doesn't claim to even be beer. Oo-er.

The pour gives lots of dramatic sparkle, champagne-like, subsiding quickly to a pale orange cloudy body with no head whatsoever. On the nose, subtle peaches and a bit of carbonic fizz. Flavourwise it's quite dry, with the peaches -- fresh and juicy -- having nothing more than fizzy water to bear them up. The lack of any real body or follow-through taste are a bit of a letdown. It could, in fairness, have been much worse. They could very easily have packed this with sugar and made an alcopop out of it. Instead, while much closer to a Bellini than a beer, it is at least drinkable.

Next up, the much more promising Indian Brown Ale. It boasts of being "well-hopped" which, from the makers of 120 Minute IPA, should really mean something. But there's not a whole lot of hops in evidence. Instead, this very dark ruby ale is loaded with smooth and creamy milk chocolate, accentuated by the light carbonation. If you pause a second after swallowing, the echo of hops makes itself felt: pithy and herbal, but not lasting long as the residual chocolate cream takes over the aftertaste. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for some sort of stale, oxidised bum note, but that never came. Overall, this is a simple but interesting beer. The velvety texture leaves no hint of the 7.2% ABV and it was only after slipping back half the glass that I started to feel a warming glow from it.

Conclusions of this research: one beer for frivilous summer chugging and one for warm autumnal comfort. Or whatever works for you.


  1. I have a bottle of the Festina Pêche in the fridge waiting to be drunk. It may be just me but I think DFH is more of a novelty act....their beers are good but they don't blow me out of the water like some people talk about them. I may be the only person that doesn't try to hump a bottle of 90 minute.

  2. "their beers are good but they don't blow me out of the water like some people talk about them"

    Similar sentiments to my self

    TBN any chance you got an old bottle of Indian Brown Ale, an the hops have dropped away a bit?