Rare Brews & BBQ come together for Vancouver Craft Beer Week 2014

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      A sunny patio makes good beer taste even better, and so it was last Saturday (May 31) at Darby's Public House in Kitsilano. As part of Vancouver Craft Beer Week, the Rare Brews & BBQ event showcased limited release or never-before-seen beers from 10 local breweries.

      There were a lot of interesting beers on offer, but here are a few that stood out for me. 

      Driftwood's Belle Royale Sour Cherry Wild Ale
      Carolyn Ali

      There was just 19 litres of Driftwood Brewery's Belle Royale Sour Cherry Wild Ale on offer, and it was one of the first beers at the event to go. Representative Ian McKay explained that the brewery makes this beer but once a year; it uses 500 pounds of cherries and ages the beer in French oak. The result is a fruity, puckery, but drinkable beer--it's 8 percent alcohol yet it goes down easy. Very nice.

      Moon Under Water's Berliner Weisse with woodruff syrup
      Carolyn Ali

      Green beer! No it's not St. Patrick's Day (although Moon Under Water should consider putting this out for March festivities, or maybe to honour the Grinch at Christmas.) This is from a cask of Berliner Weisse, a tart, low-alcohol wheat beer.

      The colour comes from the woodruff syrup, a herbaceous plant that gives it a kind of marshmallow-y, slightly sweet note. It's more subtle than it looks, and quite a nice, light beer.

      Driftwood will be releasing its Berliner Weisse, minus the woodruff, in stores in a few months. 

      Deep Cove's new Coconut Porter
      Carolyn Ali

      Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers has a new Coconut Porter, and despite the colour, it's a nice light, summer drink with a bit of toasty flavour from the oven-toasted coconut. A session release, it's 4.5 percent alcohol and full of malty flavour. It's on tap at the brewery and coming soon in bottles to liquor stores.

      To go with the beer, Darby's executive chef AJ Jackson was grilling up chicken and beef skewers, sliders, grilled asparagus with prosciutto, and more.

      Darby's executive chef AJ Jackson tends the curry chicken and ginger pineapple beef skewers on the grill.
      Carolyn Ali

      Vancouver Craft Beer Week continues until Sunday (June 7).