In the cold, dark days of a Canadian winter is there anything more wistful than a memory of summers gone by?
Yes! The glory of summer has arrived! Along with that momentous occasion, mosquitoes and other insects who define us as “edibles” also arrive on the scene.
But who cares about a “skeeter” or black fly when you can embrace the Vancouver outdoors with a cold brew from one of our finest local craft beer breweries and take in all that summer has to offer? Who wouldn’t apply a little repellent in the name of enjoying some incredibly innovative coolers or fruit-drenched wines perfect for the social summer scene?
Summer is too short to complain. So with the aim of pointing you in the right direction for some glorious summer tipples read on to see what Darby’s Liquor Store has to offer the discerning customer this season.
What’s In A Craft Beer Name?
Part of the joy of craft beers is the sense of humour in the beverage names and the sometimes cryptic coding they are sending the consumer. Freed from the big corporate breweries that like to “talk sense”, craft breweries are an entirely different kettle of hops.
This is not to say that they are all about branding without backing that up in the taste department. No, they just have a lot more fun spreading the message of their concoctions derived from their creative alchemy.
A small investigative sample of domestic craft beer names included such gems as:
- Backcountry’s I Believe You Have My Stapler 5% ABV Lager, and My Name is Inigo Montoya You Killed My Father Prepare To Die 7.2% ABV IPA
- Fuggles & Warlock’s Kiwami Plum Sour 6.3% ABV Sour, and The Last Mango Wit 4.9% ABV Wheat Beer
- Moon Under Water’s Creepy Uncle Dunkel 5.4% ABV Dunkel
- Steamworks’ Killer Cucumber 4.7% ABV Fruited Ale
For summer we often think of lighter beers as the ticket to refreshment, and rightly so. If you enjoy a dark, rich stout in summer, power to you! But on those hot and hazy summer days, something that delights and tickles the palate is spot-on when the heat is on.
All of those interestingly named craft beers from our list above would fit the bill for a perfect summer beer and should provide some conversation starters at any gathering. There is a wealth of selection at Darby’s to fulfil whatever niche beer you may be looking for, and you can find all of those styles domestically made in Canada and BC.
The Time is Ripe
There is never a better time to drink rosé than in the summer. Lush berry notes, with citrusy accents that cleanse the palate, the mere nose of rosé is what the season is all about.
Couple that with its fun-loving pink hues to gaze at and it makes more sense for a summer occasion than your standard white wines that get a lot of air time year-round.
Rosé pairs well with so many things a BBQ has to offer, it’s outrageous that it doesn’t get more love whatever the season. And it certainly isn’t just for ladies who lunch.
Frind Rosé 11.7% ABV is a perfect example of the classic French style. The mere fact that its tasting notes include a nose of rose petal, strawberry, and rhubarb paired with cherry and citrus on the palate should shout out loud and clear that this is a wine for the sunshine. Enjoy watching Wimbledon or at a picnic on the beach. Wherever you choose to imbibe the point is that you will enjoy it!
If you prefer to sparkle and consider bubbles your best friend for the warm weather social scene, try Canadian-made Mission Hill Reserve Brut 11% ABV for that toast. They are onto a winner with notes of crisp green apple, white peach, and pear for an unmistakable summer fizz you will come back to again and again. Ordering a case might be in order!
The image of some coolers conjures up memories of university, those first furtive drinks at parties and often a sickly sweet taste.
Thankfully, coolers are all grown up these days and they have the sophistication to satisfy even the most belligerent of beverage snobs. Don’t believe us?
Get an eyeful of Nude Beverages who, as their name implies, stripped their drinks of anything artificial including those chemical sweeteners and sugar. Not only are their beverages Keto friendly for anyone watching their carb intake or diabetic, but they are a company that is heavily invested in animal welfare that gives back to local animal rescues, which is quite unique for a drinks outfit.
We particularly love the Nude Tequila Soda Grapefruit 5% ABV which sounds like a holiday in a can. Other flavours on offer include straight-up Gin Soda and Vodka Soda’s blended with an assortment of natural flavours like Lemon, Lime, Cucumber Mint, Black Cherry, Cran-Raspberry, Peach, and Watermelon.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Swear Jar Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail 7% AVB for the discerning drinker who doesn’t do sweet but doesn’t want to miss out on the party-to-go. With Canadian Whisky and natural bitters, this is an elegant choice. If you put this into a glass with a twist of orange and handed it out to a party, your guests would expect that you had your own bartender for hire.
Summer is the time to have fun with your drinks and try something new. Those lazy days spent with friends and family are the perfect time to discover the best of what Canadian drinks brands have to offer.
Lighter tasting notes, fruitier profiles and citrusy finishes are the names of the game here. Avoid getting stuck in a rut with the same old brew, wine, and mixed drinks of old.
There are at least 8 months of hibernation on the way when you can hunker down with some old-faithfuls.
For now, get out into the sun! You just might find your new favourite that will take your mind right back to the sun lounger this winter when it’s freezing again.
Finding your new summer in a glass is a beautiful thing indeed.
All of the drinks mentioned in this article are available to buy from or can be delivered by Darby’s Liquor Store based in Kitsilano, Vancouver, B.C. Visit Darby’s Pub for a huge range of beers on tap and fabulous food, est’d 1981.