The domain of mad scientists and extreme adventurers, specialty beers flaunt purity laws in pursuit of unbridled flavour. Sometimes unfiltered, they often bring unexpected malts to the party. Colours run from pale hefeweizens and white IPAs to India dark lager; flavours, too, sprawl from sweet and citrusy to severely bitter. Of note this year: an accomplished revival of the Polish gratzer (smoked-oat) and wheat beer and four gluten-free candidates. Beer3 GOLD: Moody Ales' The Great Gratzer (Port Moody) No fence-sitters here. For those who love smoke and peat, this gratzer is perfect in style and technique SILVER: Bridge Brewing's Black Rye IPA (North Vancouver) Mmm...feels like an iced americano in the mouth and tastes of burnt fruit and roasted espresso BRONZE: Lakefront Brewery's New Grist (Wisconsin) The flavour is peach/apricot, spice, and citrus. Drink on the patio with seafood but no bread (gluten-free!)