It’s the summer of the peach.
Fredericksburg farmers have had a much more fruitful season this year than in years past getting their crop to grow and ripen, and now local brewers are falling under the spell of its sweetness. On Saturday, to celebrate peaches now being in season, Pinthouse Pizza will release two collaboration beers with other Austin breweries, Hops and Grain and Austin Beerworks, that both contain lots of peaches.
Their names alone ought to convince you to try them. Peach of a Pale, the Hops and Grain collaboration, is a hop-forward ale brewed with 500 lbs. of organic peaches; Joe Pêche, made with Austin Beerworks, is a summer-style sour brewed with 200 lbs. of organic peaches. The peaches came from an orchard in Colorado, Pinthouse’s Joe Mohrfeld said, because the brewers weren’t able to get Central Texas peaches at the time they started making the beers. But if the breweries decide to team up again next year on these beers, locally grown peaches might be added to the batches instead.
It’s the second year for Hops and Grain and Pinthouse to produce a Peach of a Pale, although this time it was brewed at Pinthouse and will only be available there.
Joe Pêche will be found at both Pinthouse for Life’s a Peach Fest on Saturday and at Austin Beerworks. Mohrfeld said he expects the sour, especially because less of it was made, to go pretty fast. (By the way, be sure not to say "Joe Peach" when ordering it. He joked the people who don’t say it correctly won’t get served any.)
Even though both beers had hundreds of pounds of peaches brewed into them, they won’t taste the same at all.
"They’re two very different approaches to using peaches, and where you taste the peaches is different," Mohrfeld said, explaining that Joe Pêche was designed so that you’ll catch the fruit flavor in the middle and the tartness at the end, whereas Peach of a Pale’s peachy aroma hits you last. The peaches were dry-hopped into the pale ale, so it’s a little fruitier than Joe Pêche.
In honor of these beers, the Life’s a Peach Fest will also feature a couple of food specials. Here’s the savory: "We slow braise brisket with our Pinthouse Pizza Peach of a Pale beer, add in pickled red onions and fresh peach salsa made from scratch, stuff it into fluffy housemade dough, bake it, and serve it with a side of BBQ sauce," Mohrfeld said. And the sweet: "We prepare our own freshly made peach, thyme, and vanilla bean jam infused with Pinthouse Pizza’s Peach of a Pale beer, mix it with lemon-zested ricotta, stuff it into fluffy housemade dough, bake it, and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar."
Life’s a Peach Fest starts at 11 a.m. and runs until close.