English Bay Pale Ale - Granville Island Brewery

Not Rated.
English Bay Pale AleEnglish Bay Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
73
okay

90 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 90
Hads: 230
rAvg: 3.1
pDev: 15.16%
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: 90 | Hads: 230
Photo of atigerlife
3.47/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color. Clear. No carbonation rising. Small white head that is creamy. Good lacing.

Aroma is sweet, malts, yeast.

Taste is crisp, light hops, bready and sweet. Somewhat bland.

Mouthfeel is light/medium. Smooth and creamy and cleansing.

Overall, a decent brew. Somewhat lacking in flavor, but very sessionable. (327 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.46/5  rDev +11.6%
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. (1,241 characters)

Photo of decimator
3.45/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (494 characters)

Photo of PorterPro125
3.44/5  rDev +11%
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. (507 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.43/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

03/02/06- Purchased at Ric's Grill in Kelowna, B.C.

Presentation- Served in a pils like glass. 18oz I believe. From the tap.

Appearance- Light copper colored pour. Creamy looking bright white head about 2 fingers. Very light lacing if any at all. Color looks as if it will be a tad watery.

Smell- Heavy mid range malted scent. Mild hops as well. Smells a tad mass produced. Nothing special.

Taste- First sip is fairly watery, but afterwards the carbonation kicks in. Good sweet malt background. Nice caramel flavor. Hops are there, but fairly subdued.

Mouthfeel- As said before, light carbonation as first (almost cask like), but soon perks up to be a middle of the road bubbled brew.

Drinkability- Tastes pretty decent and is pretty easy to drink. About what I expected though. Middle of the road. (817 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3.42/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (250 characters)

Photo of Cwrw
3.42/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

English Bay Pale Ale is actually not that pale, but coppery, with slight browns and reds. The head was quite minimal, leaving only a small ring. For an English-based pale ale, the small head is not wholly surprising(after all, many of the ales in Britain are not meant to have massive frothy heads). The appearance, however, is simply average; nothing exciting to note. The aroma is worth savouring, although basic in its elements: sweet caramel and malt, with various, dried fruit smells, and perceptible hop, WHEN the beer is a bit warmer, not extremely cold. A very decent aroma for a pale ale, indeed. The taste is quite good, better than average, with strong malt flavour and subtle hop finish, but it is by far a malty offering, not a bitter one. Medium bodied. The mouthfeel could improve somewhat, in that it could be more full, but all considered the drinkability of this craft-brewed British Columbia beer is a touch above the rest. A healthy beer from a respected craft-brewer on the Canadian west coast. (1,015 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Kickoff in Waterloo. Brought in to Ontario through Creemore (Molson). Remember having this ages back at the brewery - I wonder how well it's held up.

Poured into a Fullers conical glass, which was amusing considering that when all was said and done I felt this tasted much more like an English pale. Deep amber-copper, clear, nice head, sheets of lacing. Good looking brew.

Nose is caramel malt, bit of chemical, nothing fantastic.

A safe pale ale, malt heavy, a bit of earthy hops to the finish. Mild chemical/metal taste as well. Can't see the APA.

Creamy, good carb, decent feel.

Decent pale ale, probably tastes better on site - but then again, what wouldn't? (679 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.41/5  rDev +10%
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. (683 characters)

Photo of vanrassel
3.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Highly drinkable, though unremarkable offering from Granville Island.

It looked decent coming out of the bottle, pouring a dark copper with a foamy head that quickly reduced to a ring and left some sticky lace on my glass. The smell was subdued, despite what seemed to be a few different things contributing to it: biscuity malt, some nice fruity esters — I picked up apple and pear, but who knows? — and faint hops.

My first impressions of the taste were uncharitable: that this is a pretty nondescript beer. Given more time to sample and think about it, I'd say "well-balanced" would be a more diplomatic way of putting it.

There are some real pluses to this beer: a nice lively mouthfeel and clean finish, but in this case I think "well-balanced" is a drawback: as someone else mentioned, this beer is a little malty for the style — I would have preferred more of a hoppy bite. That, in turn, would have won me over. (931 characters)

Photo of headlessparrot
3.33/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (493 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.32/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (1,100 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.3/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an orange amber color with OK head retention and minimal lacing. The nose is fairly attractive, with a nice blend of sweet malt and light hoppy bitterness. This beer really does remind me somewhat of an English style pale ale. Flavors in this beer replicate the nose for the most part, though they're a bit lighter then I expected. Nothing is off in this beer, there just isn't much here. Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery, but with the decent carbonation giving this beer a pleasant prickly on the tongue sensation. Drinkability is pretty good, but there's just not enough flavor to make me want to drink a lot of this.

Certainly not a drain pour, but in the world of craft beer these days, I doubt I'd ever want to try this again. (751 characters)

Photo of ghisty
3.3/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

appearance: pours somewhat foamy, and a deeper orange than i expected for the style,
being an ale i expected some color but this was a little deeper than i figured for.

smell: had a smooth malty smell. big notes of toasted grain. not overpowering. nice nose.

taste: crisp, and not hoppy really at all, almost zero dryness factor, an ale by definition
i was impressed by this beer. goes down nicely , reminded me of labatt blue but with double the malt and less corn. tasted like an ale should taste, but didnt linger around
which makes drinking more of it easy. the food pairings for this (as stated on the box) are grilled meat (which is pretty vague). but it mentions a carmel flavour, which i failed to find as anything worth mention. that charectaristic would be subtle, at best.

mouthfeel:
not sharp at all, still somewhat carbbed, compared to a more classic ale style.
but sort of slick and smooth , with a small zip of the malt and the grain mixing.

overall:
i didnt know what to expect, and having bought a 6pack, i was hoping it was decent.
this doesnt exactly seem to be a PALE ale as they state ..it seems more to me like a slightly creamy amber..but without the typical hops of most ambers.
and heavy on the malts and grains. i was initially impressed by this beer, but the more i drank of it the more it became just a slightly above average craft beer .
I dont have anything really bad to say, because it is good. but it leaves a little bit to the imagination, but that can make for an awesome session brew.
if ale is your thing, and you like it west coast local. give it a shot.
not something id buy frequently, but i can see a specific type of beer fan loving it. (1,682 characters)

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.3/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (713 characters)

Photo of astout
3.28/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This used to be one of my go to beers before getting more heavily in to the craft scene. I had one for the first time in awhile last night that a buddy left at my house and remembered why i used to get it so often.

There's nothing really bad about this beer just relatively uninteresting, lightly hopped and decent dark malt make it easy to drink and inoffensive. More along the lines of an english pale i suppose than the APAs I've gotten used too but I can see where for someone going from BMC to this it would be a real notch up in the flavour and hop department.

I used to and can see myself again drinking this a fair amount, also it is pretty much everywhere in Vancouver so it's a virtual guarantee to be on tap next time I go to the bar to watch a Canucks game. (772 characters)

Photo of peensteen
3.28/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale amber colour, one finger of off white head, light lace. Smell is malty and biscuity, grain and caramel with a little bit of earthy/floral hop character. Taste is malty, light caramel sweetness, some floral hop and earthy flavours, mild bitterness throughout, finishes clean. Medium carbonation, medium body, OK mouthfeel. Quite the average beer, while its not bad I find myself very indifferent to this, I could drink this again if it was offered to me though. (465 characters)

Photo of Bunman3
3.27/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (202 characters)

Photo of cfalovo97
3.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this for the first time a few weeks ago (First of any Granville beer). I found it on tap at a local bar and was pleasantly surprised. Poured nice with a copper color, with a sweet cirtusy taste. Well balanced. The bartender said they were trying hard to get some other Granville products in as this one was being well recieved by those who tried it (352 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
3.25/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pale pours out of it's 341ml brown bottle with an okay off-white head, but that soon fades, leaving some slight lacing. This almost looks like cider at a quick glance. The aroma at first was quite enticing, sweet caramel, a bit of toasted malt, not quite what I was looking for in a pale. Yet going back shortly after I couldn't pick up anything at all. Flavour is quite bland, doesn't follow through with the caramel in the nose, and the hops are not very apparent either. Lack of taste aside it is quite drinkable, goes down nicely, and in that sense is a step up from a macro in my opinion. Not a big step up, mind you, but it'll do for now. (649 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.21/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An English pint, amid a "selection" of BMC crap at a Calgary International airport restaurant during layover hell, this was somewhat welcome as the house beer promotion. I haven't seen Granville Island in mine own province in a while now. Gee, I wonder why.

This beer arrives at the table appearing a clear medium brickish copper colour, with one fat-ass finger of puffy, densely foamy off-white head, which leaves a decent array of archipelago island lace around the glass as it quick abates.

It smells of mildly acerbic orchard fruit, a lightly bready caramel malt, a touch of zippy black pepper, and further plain-ass earthy noble hops. The taste is somewhat complex, yet still quite mild in its sweet grainy caramel maltiness, and hardly more upbeat with the unsurprisingly tame earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is about average, and weakly frothy at best, the body a benign medium-light weight, and generally smooth. It finishes on the sweet side, the hops trailing off, and the drupe-heavy, fruity malt acting as such when presented with the concept of absent playmates.

A fairly bland, if disagreeably decent choice when you are held hostage via poor options, but, sometimes them's the breaks, and you just have to dream of those better beer destinations only a plane flight away. (1,296 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
3.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341 mL bottle pulled from a six-pack bought at the LCBO. No packaging date apparent, but this hasn't been in the store very long - so even considering the shipping distance, I doubt it's past its prime.

Pours a translucent amber-copper colour, topped with nearly a finger of frothy, off-white head. Retention is weak; the head is gone before a minute has passed, leaving only an uneven, soapy cap behind on the surface. Decent aroma that leans toward the malty side; bready malts, toffee and nuts are dominant, with some fruity esters rounding out the nose. A little buttery.

So far this reminds me more of an English-style pale ale, and the taste seems to confirm it. Lightly toasted, bready malt backbone, with hints of caramel. A very mild, buttery, nutty flavour. The hops are not the center of attention here but they do come forward in the finish, providing flavours that range from an earthy, leafy bitterness to a slightly citrusy one. Malty, minerally, slightly dry aftertaste that doesn't linger long. On the heavier side of thin-bodied, with mild carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. A little watery, but enjoyable enough.

Final Grade: 3.20, about a C+. A decent Canadian interpretation of English pub fare. I'd drink this again if offered, but it's not something most beer geeks are going to want to seek out. Give this a try if it piques your interest, but if you're looking for a quality EPA you're better off trying something from across the pond. I'd be happy to re-review this if I ever find myself in BC, where it's more likely to be fresh.

Update: Retried this on 8/19/2012 (via Molson's hand-picked 6 sampler pack), and was a bit less impressed than last time so I lowered the score a bit. The aroma is a bit bland, and the mouthfeel is less creamy/more watery than I remember. Not planning to revisit this one unless I happen upon a tap somewhere; English or American, it's a pretty mediocre pale ale either way. (1,936 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into 400ml dab glass nov4 2009

A clear copper with a fast falling thumbs width of head that leaves no lace

S not a whole lot, some toffee and malt

T slightly more then the smell, with a little biscuit and the sweetness is a little more pronounced

M turns to air in my mouth a little too much carbonation

D not a bad beer but I'm just not sold on it

I'm thinking Granville Island has taken a bit of a dive in recent years, this mixer pack didn't live up to my expectations (499 characters)

Photo of Hornet2003
3.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a clean, crisp tasting beer. Slight caramel aroma. Not too much hops to speak of. Being a pale ale I would have expected more. There is a slight hop flavor in the taste, but very little compared to your average american craft pale ale. Moderate carbonation and light mouthfeel make this a very drinkable beer. Nothing really special, but I guess it makes a good hockey game beer. I prefer their seasonal beers over the year round ones but it's tought o find much wrong with this beer. (492 characters)

Photo of trevorwideman
3.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

355ml can sample poured into a pint glass.

Not a bad looking brew. Pours a coppery-red colour with a 1/2 inch head that dissipates quick. Mild carbonation. Smell is swwet, but not overly so. Very much an apple juice/apple cider type smell with a little pear and roasted malt for good measure. Not much in the way of a hop presence here I'm afraid, but still smells good.

Taste is inoffensive but a little bit boring in that respect. Not terrible though, the apple juice character remains, with a sugary caramel malt presence coming to the forefront, and a slight acidity on the tongue. Where oh where are the hops? This an incredibly easy-drinking ale, more fitting in the British style than the American, with a creamy, slightly watery mouthfeel. Really slides down like water. I usually prefer a heavier ale style, but I could easliy down pints of this on a night out. (876 characters)

English Bay Pale Ale from Granville Island Brewery
73 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.