Even if you’re not an Allman Brothers fan, this is the time to be eating peaches — out of hand, in cobblers and pies, over ice cream, in beers, while spinning 46 year-old records. National peach Month begins today. Did you know that peaches originated in China, where they have been cultivated since the early days of Chinese culture? The peach was brought to America by Spanish explorers in the 16th century and eventually made it to England and France sometime during the 17th century. Peaches are said to have been a regular item on the menu in Queen Victoria’s day, where a fresh peach was presented in a fancy cotton napkin. Various American Indian tribes are credited with bringing the peach tree across the United States. The method was simple, they took seeds with them and planted as they roved the country. Just in case you wondered where peaches were ranked among other fruits, peaches are the third most popular fruit grown in America. The best way to eat a Washington state peach is straight off the tree or from a roadside stand, still warm from the sun. Just dust off the skin, take a bite and let the juice run down your chin as you savor the sweetness. The best way to drink a peach is with Peaks and Pints’ Craft Beer Crosscut 8.1.18: A Flight of Peaches.
4.5% ABV, 8 IBU
Dogfish Head continues its love affair with fruit with its refreshing Festina Peche neo-Berliner Weisse. This lacto-cultured beer pours a straw yellow with an earthy, lemongrass and lager aroma with a hint of funk. It washes over the tongue with whole grain cereal sweetness; then … Bam! sour notes and peach flavors storm into the picture, leaving puckered cheeks in their wake. It’s a clean beer that’s heavy on the tart, but is just forgiving enough that no sugars are needed to counter the experience. It’s a perfect blend of sweet backbone and acidic refreshment.
5.5% ABV, 10 IBU
In 2013, famed brewer John Harris founded Ecliptic Brewing purchasing the brewhouse from friend and Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione. Harris’ love for brewing and astronomy shines as he pushes the limits of creativity rotating Ecliptic’s offerings every six weeks in accordance with the old world calendar, producing seasonal favorites. Ecliptic Brewing’s Carina Peach Sour Ale — a year-round delight — takes its name from the constellation Carina, the keel of the ship Argo in the southern sky. Loaded with fresh peach flavor, Carina hits the nose with peach. It launches with sweet peach flavors, and lively mouthfeel. The Lactobacillus gives the craft beer a complex combination of flavors and aromas.
Almanac Beer Company’s Peach Galaxy is the fruit forward brother of Alameda, California brewery’s Tropical Galaxy. The brewery’s “Galaxy series” of beers inspired it to pursue a 1960s sci-fi style of illustration, and this new twist on the label includes plenty of new peach inspired touches as well as a new peach color scheme. But, let’s get to the drinking. Peach Galaxy is a dry-hopped (Galaxy, Citra) sour farmhouse ale aged in oak barrels with peaches and spices. The aroma has very slightly sour peach with a woodnote, but the flavor is all peach, with some woodnote and moderately lightly sour.
Literally meaning “remembrance of a loved one” in Hawaiian, Halia was brewed in memory of the dear friend of one of Goose Island’s brewers who loved peaches. Peaches, indeed. Halia is a tart, farmhouse ale aged with fifty pounds of peaches per barrel in spent cabernet barrels used to mature the Chicago brewery’s Juliet beer, plus Brettanomyces Claussenii. Flavor is lightly tart, brightly sweet, dry finish, but still quenching. The carefully orchestrated interplay of winey, peachy, sour and astringent makes it a worthy sipper.
6.5% ABV, 60 IBU
Gleaning its name from the radiant visual of sunlight reflected from Pacific Ocean waves at sunset, Silver City Brewery’s Sun Glitter IPA is a fusion of peach flavor with a dense, hazy malt profile and lactose sugar, yielding a deliciously creamy and vanilla-like sweetness. Dip the nose for peach and tropical flavor. It’s not a peach bomb, but rather sports bitter citrus with some peach sweetness.