Granville Island Brewing has been the standard bearer of quality and innovation since the release, in 1984, of the mythical - and still wildly popular - Island Lager, brewed in the traditional Bavarian style. An embarrassment of riches were to follow from the little brewery that could: Gastown Amber Ale, English Bay Pale Ale, Maple Cream Ale, Cypress Honey Lager - named not by a grad student in romantic poetry, but in honour of nearby city landmarks. Summer 2007 saw the release of Raspberry Wheat Ale, intended for 'sizzling, sunny days'. Slice of lemon optional. Purists and proud locals drink nothing but GI, and the loyalty is much deserved. A six-pack of it, whether slung over the shoulder for a neighbour's barbecue, spirited down to the beach on a baking July afternoon, or paired with a hearty stew in December, is always the mark of the best in West Coast taste.