Well here's a fortuitous opportunity! Real Ale's spring seasonal, Devil's Backbone, has just finished its run and their next one, Lost Gold IPA, won't ship for about a week so we have an empty tap on the beer wall. As far as I'm concerned that can mean only thing...
Two Badass drafts! And, as it happens, we have two different Dogfish Head beers in the walk-in.
The first is an unusual one - Festina Peche. This is a Berliner Weisse, not a commonly brewed beer style in this part of the world, nor, indeed, in its native Germany any more. It's a speciality wheat beer brewed with lactobacillus culture which imparts a tart, almost sour character to the beer, such that in Germany it's usually drunk with the addition of flavoured syrups to cut the acidity, a bit like an alcoholic Italian soda. The two most common are raspberry (Berliner Weisse mit himbeeresirup) or woodruff (Berliner Weisse mit waldmeistersirup).
Dogfish Head have saved you the trouble of having to add syrup by brewing the beer with peaches, but be warned - this is still a very tart, acidic beer and probably not to everyone's taste. If you're feeling adventurous though it might be something you'll enjoy.
Our other Dogfish Head offering is Burton Baton. This is a very different beast to the Festina Peche. First, DFH brew two beers - an English Old Ale and an Imperial IPA. For those of you not familiar with Old Ale (have you ever had Independence Jasperilla? That's an Old Ale), it's similar in many respects to an English Barley Wine - heavy on the sweet malts, dark, fruity, and often very alcoholic.
DFH takes these two very different beers and blends them, then stores them in one of their huge wooden vats at the brewery for a month or so. The result is a fantastically complex beer which, when drunk fresh, retains the hop character of the IPA, the malt character of the Old Ale and the vanilla notes from the brief wood-ageing. If allowed to warm up to room temperature there's almost a fortified wine (Port, sherry, Madeira) character to this beer.
Unfortunately, we only have one, sixth-barrel (5.16 gallon), keg of this fine brew so I don't expect it to hang around for too long, especially as we're well into summer blockbuster season now and busy, but the good news is that when the Burton Baton is done we have a keg of the aforementioned Jasperilla primed and ready to be tapped.
Jim Hughes, Head Beer Nerd, Alamo South Lamar “If I had all the money I’ve spent on drink… I’d spend it on drink.” ~ Sir Henry Rawlinson