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VCBW Rare Brews/Duck & lemongrass skewers

A glorious sunny day set the tone for Saturday afternoon’s sold-out Rare Brews & BBQ, one of numerous events being held as part of the 2014 Vancouver Craft Beer Week.

VCBW Rare Brews and BBQ-1

Darby’s Pub in Kitsilano served as the venue. Their indoor pub as well as the rooftop patio served a hungry crowd with 10 specialty craft beers paired with a great selection of hot and cold appetizers prepared by Executive Chef AJ Jackson and team.

Darby's Pub Executive Chef AJ Jackson

Think beef carpaccio on rosemary flatbread, jalapeño cornbread cups with molasses-baked beans, proscuitto and grilled asparagus, burgers, pork bangers, jerk chicken lollipops, apple cider and chipotle baby back ribs, curry chicken skewers, and more.

VCBW Rare Brews and BBQ/Apple cider & chipotle baby back ribs

Here’s a list of the 10 beers poured during the event, many of them limited-release or created specially for the day:

VCBW Rare Brews/Bomber's Sunrise Fruit Ale

Bomber Brewing: Sunrise Fruit Ale with raspberry, mango, and passion fruit

VCBW Rare Brews and BBQ-5

Longwood Brewery: Imperial Pilsner (infused with locally grown Cedar Valley Hop Yard hops)

VCBW Rare Brews/Dead Frog Brewery's Rick Green

Dead Frog Brewery: Strawberry Saison (great strawberry on the nose without the sweetness added to the beer!)

VCBW Rare Brews/Red Truck Session Ale
[Red Truck Beer Session Ale]

Red Truck Beer: Session Ale (uses Australian hops, part of a limited series)

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Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers: Coconut Porter (first in series of session ales, using organic toasted coconut which tasted great considering I’m not a coconut fan; up next in the series, Peach Golden Ale)

VCBW Rare Brews/Wimby library burgers

Driftwood Brewery: Belle Royale Sour Cherry Wild Ale (using 5,000 lbs. sour Morello cherries; beer’s aged for a year in French oak wine barrels. This one was the first to finish up for the day, as the craft beer crowd knew just where to gravitate. A truly special ale with a complex flavour profile.)

VCBW Rare Brews and BBQ-9

Parallel 49 Brewing: Kolsch (dry flavour, lots of grainy notes)

VCBW Rare Brews and BBQ-13

Hoyne Brewing: Orange and vanilla-infused Honey Hefeweizen

VCBW Rare Brews and BBQ-14

Moon Under Water: Berliner Weisse (very crisp and refreshing)

VCBW Rare Brews/Steamworks Brewery's Raspberry Frambozen

Steamworks Brewery: Raspberry Frambozen (not too sweet, and a great sipper)

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Bomber Brewery added a couple of bottled pours to the event’s cask lineup with their Superpest Double IPA and Absolute Horizon Cascadian Dark Ale. By the time these two were poured, my palate had been influenced by so many other beers and food bites that the IPA’s true taste characteristics may have been lost on me. The Absolute Horizon on the other hand had a great roasted nutty coffee quality that I enjoyed as my final sip of the afternoon.

I loved how the day morphed into some great conversations over favourite pours (and bites) as I chatted with a lot of unfamiliar faces.

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Vancouver Craft Beer Week has gotten very popular to the point of many of its events selling out long before opening night.

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I did a quick check of their site last night, and there are a handful of tickets remaining for tonight through Saturday’s events.

VCBW Rare Brews/Beef carpaccio

The festival will wrap up with a closing day party at Olympic Village Event Grounds (215 West 1st Avenue), where you’ll be able to sample beers from over 70 craft brewers from 2 to 7 pm.

The Fifth Annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week features nine Signature events, 12 Feature events, and several week-long ‘specials’ that will appeal to each and every beer fan in the area!

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