English Bay Pale Ale - Granville Island Brewery

Not Rated.
English Bay Pale AleEnglish Bay Pale Ale

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92 Reviews
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Reviews: 92
Hads: 238
Avg: 3.12
pDev: 23.08%
Wants: 3
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Granville Island Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: 49degrees on 12-27-2002

Our English Bay Pale Ale has a smooth, mild flavour brimming with West Coast character and a caramel malt aroma. A true pale ale, it gets its perfect balance from natural carbonation and careful maturing under the watchful eye of our brewmaster.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 92 | Hads: 238
Photo of kevinlater
2.76/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

draft pour at the clarkson pump & patio, mississauga. aug 28 2015

a: clear copper with off-white head

s: grainy apple

t: grainy caramel, stale bread, floral notes. hints of chocolate and apple

m: medium-minus mouthfeel with moderate carbonation

o: nah

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Photo of LampertLand
3.79/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Granville Is 'English Bay Pale Ale' @ 5.0% , served from x3 341 ml bottles from the Summer Mingler
A-pour is a dark gold from the bottle to a dark gold/amber in the glass with a small beige head leaving a spotty lace along the pint
S-more malty than hoppy
T-crisp & clean , kinda sweet caramel malty tasting
MF-ok/mild carbonation , medium body
Ov-ok beer , decent pale ale
prost LampertLand

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Other reviews here hit the nail on the head: this is a decent enough beer that's just utterly uninteresting. Colour is translucent brown topped by a finger of head that fades to a couple millimetres but persists. Nothing but some mild caramel malt aroma and caramel/molasses/brown sugar flavour--no real sense of balance, no "pop," not enough hop presence of any kind to justify the "West Coast style" designation. Just a caramel-y, fairly bland malty beer. Reminds me a fair bit of Newcastle.

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.44/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: 341 mL

A- Copper Colour with a fairly lackluster, quickly disappearing white head. Light lacing.

S- Sweet Caramel Malt and not much else.

T- Same as aroma with the exception of a light hoppiness that has just enough kick to take the edge off the sweetness. Not much in the way of hop flavours.

M- Light body with Moderate to High Carbonation.

O- This beer was easy drinking and the taste was alright, but there is nothing here that would make me want to really try it again. Oh well.

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Photo of Sathanas
2.77/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks like an amber lager, tastes and smells like one, too. An extreme mediocre beer, but the after taste is ashy and off putting. This is not a pale ale.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.27/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at my local pub, the "best" option in a sea of macro water disguised as beer. I had a few pints, so one would think I could give a detailed account, but this is not a particularly memorable beer.

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Photo of Daefido
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

I bought it at a regional LCBO in Welland, ON, Canada.
And I am not a professional or amatuer beer drinker or something. Just beer lover.^^;
I think it is like a sweet version of Pale Ale. I've drunk several Pale Ales like Ontario craft ones. They are more bitter than this. This ale is like more drinkable to beginners like me. haha.
However, I've found the bitter pale ale more likely has more flavour or something.
That means it has little bit weak smell. Well, nice beer to me.

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Photo of kevofficiel
3.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

English Bay. If you are in Vancouver this is one of the best view you can get of the sunset. I have the chance to drink here in Montreal.
The look of it is really curious. It looks like a Red Amber. You have that brown/red color. Nice carbonation. Maybe have half of a finger of head that goes aways but the rest stays inside your glass.
The smell of it, is kind of disappointing. You barely smell something. I really can't tell right now what I smell. it's really difficult to smell any flavour.
Now about the taste. Really powerful. Lot's of flavour. Totally different from the smell.
Very watery. Surprised me that it is a 5% ABV. Remind of the Richard's Red Amber. You have that touch of chocolate. Roasted grain. Really nice but too watery. I wish it could have been a 6% or 7% ABV. You will have that kick. The flavour is there but you don t have that kick you will enjoy just right after. Nice refreshing beer overall
So overall would I recommend it ? For sure. There is nothing wrong with this beer. Just too watery for my criticism. But really refreshing. Get you hands on this beer. Definitely worth it !

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Photo of DaveBar
3.65/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $ 3.00 as usual for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg c an a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a good white head. Not much head left after 2mins

S- WOW this is a good beer. Throw a wack of malt and whoop here it is!!

T- See above

M- Malty good and you call it an IPA???

O- An IPA really? This one is a malt bomb LOL

Food Pairing

I didn't have a chance to eat with this beer sorry


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Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This review was done from a bottle so take it loosely.

A: Can't really say since I had it straight from the bottle but judging from online photos it seems to be a deep copper color.

S: I get caramel like malts and a nice biscuity quality as well. No hops present really.

T: Almost similar to a very malty amber ale. I really get almost no hops except for a very slight floral presence. Caramel and more biscuit malt than I would have expected. Bitterness is underwhelming. Rather nutty as well.

M: A touch too carbonated for my tastes. A bit of a thin body as well.

O: Not a bad beer but definitely not what I would call a pale ale. More like a ESB with hops and balance removed. Could be a good intro beer.

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Photo of Trillium
1.12/5  rDev -64.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Got this on tap at a local bar. The aroma has very over powering caramel smell. I could not detect any malt or hops through the caramel. The taste has the same overpowering taste of caramel. Aftertaste lingered forever and I found it very unpleasant. This is not a Pale Ale. After a couple a sips, I could not drink anymore. One of the worst beers I have every tried.

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Photo of Brad007
2.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a mild amber color with a generous head into my glass. Looks a lot like an English IPA to me.

Sweet with a healthy dose of caramel malt. Not very hop-forward regardless.

Ditto with the taste. "Nutty" with an overabundance of caramel. Very little that resembles a proper example.

All of these flavors stick around at the back of the throat, albeit in an undesirable manner.

Would work better as a brown ale.

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Photo of AnHeroicHippo
3.87/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance — Pours very syrupy; appears fairly carbonated; thin ring of head retention; medium lacing; very nice colour: somewhere between pumpkin and leather.

Smell — Toasty, almost woodsy; can’t decide if this smells smoky or just very very toasty and woodsy.

Taste — Overwhelming blast of pretty much what was in the nose, with some additional malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel — Very, very smooth, almost creamy, consistency on the tongue is very pleasant; don’t really feel the carbonation or the alcohol.

Overall — Not sure what an ‘English Bay pale ale’ is supposed to be, but this is a nice, very toasty, slightly sweet pale ale.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.41/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

341 ml bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with good clarity and vision of slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Toasted malts, caramel, a little fruity, and mild hop aroma. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Taste: Chewy toasted malts, some sweet caramel and pale malts, a little fruitiness, and mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A bit smooth, chewy, light, tasty, low to medium carbonation, and very drinkable.

Overall: Pretty standard and enjoyable pale ale. Very impressed with this beer based on how average it is.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint on tap at a Calgary pub in the NE. Arrived a nice reddish bronze color with around an inch and a half of off-white head. Subtle aroma was decidedly fruity with a little malt, MacIntosh apple and pear along with a little caramel. Aroma intensity did improve as the beer warmed up. Palate was also on the subdued and mellow side, with some brown bread, brown sugar, and again a lot of apple and pear fruit. Nil citrus that I could discern and the malts were there but decidedly downplayed, the English malt complexity crucial to this style is present but you have to go looking for it. Finish quite crisp and dry, with appropriate earthy hop bitterness and just a little lingering treacle sweetness. Insufficient body. A workmanlike effort that comes off as unfinished or insufficiently conditioned due to all the apple/pear esters trumping the malts on the palate. Decided devoid of all the "west coast character" promised on the label and instead tastes like a "small beer" from across the Atlantic. Granville Island is a lot like Big Rock here in Alberta ... They rarely produce terrible offerings but they do not typically blow anyone's mind either. There's probably a certain comfort in just barely clearing the mediocrity bar.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

473 ml can from LCBO purchased for $2.85 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Clear, copper/red color, 2.5 fingers of creamy white head with big time retention. Tons of bubbles present as well. Prominent lacing streaks on the glass.

Smell - Bready, with light grassy and grainy aromas mixed in as well. Everything is mild and subdues. Also detected the faintest whiff of fall fruits such as apple and pear.

Taste - Mild, light sprinkling of aforementioned apple and pear as well as grains. Low hop presence and malts aren't really noticeable either. A little bit of sweetness up front and a very mild and understated aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation makes it a bit gassy, but feel and flavor as well as thick feel for 5% ABV. Not watery and not chewy or thick but good amount of fullness, i.e. you know you're drinking a beer with some substance.

Overall - Not a bad beer, definitely drinkable and enjoyable would not turn it down if offered, however for the price better beers in the style are usually available. Overall a little better than expected and good drinkability.

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Photo of Brianhophead
2.68/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A - English Bay is deep copper in color with sort of ruddy highlights. Head is packes and cream colored with decent retention.

S - Aroma is malty up front with deep notes of brown sugar. Center has some barely discernable notes of fruit esters. There's just a tiny bit of fruit and leather. Sweet center fades into a finish that just drops into nowhere.

T - English Bay starts off sweetly malty, tasting more like brown sugar than caramel malts. The center gives more of the same brown sugar with hints of molasses. These flavors lead into a finish with barely any hop presence.

O - Overall English bay is straightforward in a way that goes beyond just being liniear. It's basic and doesn't really have a lot to offer.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
2.72/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Granville Island Brewery - English Bay Pale Ale, poured into a DFH Spiegelau IPA glass.

Look - Pours a clear deep copper amber with a nice small foamy head that doesn't retain well and leaves a bit of spotty lacing.

Smell - Aroma is interesting, the malt is only faintly sweet or musty, the hops are a little subdued but fruity. Not like any other pale ale of any sub-category I've wanted to try. A bit off-putting but the makings are there.

Taste - Taste is flat and muted, everything is keyed way down, even the malt (which is a new one haha). Hops are virtually non-existent.

Mouthfeel - Rests like an apple cider, what the hell? Clingy and cloying. Easy to drink but not much of a pleasure.

Overall - This is probably the worst English style pale ale I have ever had. "West Coast Inspired" ummmm not in the least!

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Photo of harveystarr
2.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Served out of a bottle at Niagara Food Fest. As mentioned by other users, an unremarkable Pale Ale. Too sweet and nothing that would generally bring me back. HOWEVER...this is one of the very few beers that you can find in Ontario bars and restaurants that's not a Molson or Labatt product. I'm continually frustrated by Ontario establishments who don't see the value in offering quality crafts. So whenever I see this beer, I buy it for myself and for anyone around me. I guess it's my attempt at spreading the craft word and trying to open Ontarians minds a bit. It's a long haul, but maybe eventually we'll see more selection. So don't over think this brew when you see it as the only "craft" available in an Ontario establishment. See it as a marginal step in the right direction.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.42/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewery. Pours clear amber with foamy, white head. Aroma is of caramel malt, maple and ripe fruit. Body is medium and smooth. Taste is of caramel malt, ripe fruit and earthy hops. Finish is medium lasting and semi-dry. Average Pale ale.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.18/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Half a finger of head, to lacing or retention, limited carbonation in the body. Clear brown caramel color.

Smell: Biscuity malt sweetness with caramel note and mineral undertones. Also touches of vanilla and even slight hazelnut. Warming helps it out quite a bit, but it's nothing to write home about.

Taste: A sweet caramel malt permeates the beer, it's almost a bit too much, it then turns to a slight acidic citrus note, and then takes another abrupt tone which is then accented by a touch of fairly generic hops.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation does help out the beer, and the malt aftertaste is nice, but in clings and comes across as sticky. The transitioning is a little awkward as well, and tastes like it has an identity crisis.

Drinkability: This beer isn't especially smooth to drink, but it does sit down well enough and I wouldn't say it's a struggle to get down. The problem is that it's all over the place.

Final Thoughts: This beer is far too sweet for a pale, ale and is lacking in hops. It's a little interesting, but it's all over the place, so I wouldn't want to drink it regularly. It's ok, but there are better offerings from Granville.

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Photo of decimator
3.45/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 5%.

A - Poured a clear copper with a thin off-white head, head reduced to surface bubbles, minimal lacing.

S - Caramel, biscuit, some vanilla, earthy.

T - Light caramel sweetness, hint of butter, hint of spice, mild bitterness. Balance is on the malty side.

M - Medium-light carbonation, medium body, some creaminess, clean finish.

O - The mouthfeel really helps carry this beer. The flavour is light but I found nothing offensive about this one.

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Photo of greenengineer
2.76/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

473 mL Can, in the hotel room, Toronto.
A - foamy head dissipates quickly, orange bronze color.
S - a little bit of malt sweetness
T - sweet, malty, a little watery, hits of pepper. sweetness not balanced by hops
M - a little watery, good fizz on the tongue.
O - Overall, I'm not impressed by the beer options here in Ontario. Drinkable compared to the fizzy yellow stuff, but nothing I would seek out.

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Photo of IdeaSpeeder
2.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Serving Type - 473ml can poured into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance - Pours an redish brown colour. A white head that disappears quickly, leaving behind some light lacing.

Smell - Very sweet smelling. Some vanilla notes, combined with some caramel and toffee.

Taste - As expected from the nose, this brew is very sweet. Almost too sweet for my tastes. A big vanilla kick and more caramel. There may be some very light spiced - pepper maybe. Little to no hop bitterness, surprising for an english pale ale.

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy body. The beer is almost 'sticky' - it sticks to the inside of my lips. So much sweetness. Carbonation is low - virtually non-existent. Unremarkable finish.

Overal - 3/5.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper, medium fine bubble carbonation, 2 fingers of slight beige creamy foamy head, clear filtered. Nice lacing.

S: Bananas, cream, stinky feet, malt. Slight apricot.

T: Apricot tea, peach tea, malt. Slightly acidic, but mostly watery. Very little bitterness near the end.

M: Light slightly bready body, medium low low carbonation.

O: A real disappointing watery beer. Sort of like it, love the can and the fact its from Canada, but it is watery, tea like, and not flavourful.

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English Bay Pale Ale from Granville Island Brewery
73 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.