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 bryehn
2.83/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rusty amber tone with a definite brown tone. A sizeable, frothy tan head burns off quickly leaving no lace behind before settling as a thin film and collar.

Smells of nuts and fresh grains, with mild butter, alcohol and ripened fruit notes taking shape as it warms.

Tastes of buttery toffee before a solid nuttiness takes over. Very sweet in the finish with an odd, cloying metallic tinge to it.

Very thin and watery overall. Slightly yeasty, creamy feeling on the tongue comes from a light carbonation and long-lasting collar. Oddly sour sensation in the aftertaste.

A thoroughly unimpressive beer that meanders somewhere between a brown ale, an amber and an American pale ale. The metallic/sour finish and aftertaste are enough to keep me from buying it again. (774 characters)

Photo of allergictomacros
2.83/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Drinkability is this beer's strong point. Nothing particularly off about this brew, but definitely light in all respects. Clear copper with medium head. Sweet, caramelly aromas and grainy flavour with notes of toastedness. Some hops there in flavour and bitterness along with noticeable alcohol. Light bodied, low in carbonation and low in flavour makes for a session-type brew. (378 characters)

Photo of beertunes
2.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a lovely clear amber color with little head (even after switching to a more aggressive pour, I ended up less than 1/4 inch of head) that had zero retention or lacing.

The aroma had a slightly sweet malt scent, otherwise was very neutral. I was pleasantly surprised by a nice hit of citrus hops, but that flavor faded quickly and I was left with residual malt sweetness. Otherwise, the flavors were like the aroma, bland and neutral.

Body was typical for the style. Drinkability was good, but with such a lack of personality, why have more than one? Overall, worth trying if you see it, but don't go out of your way to get it. (658 characters)

Photo of harveystarr
2.86/5  rDev -7.7%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of donniecuffs
2.88/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this at Joe Forte's Restaurant on a recent trip to Vancouver. Poured copper with two fingers of offwhite head and great lacing. Decent amount of biscuit and malt in the nose, but not much else. The taste revealed biscuit toast and walnut, but not much fruitiness or hoppiness. Not much of a finish either. Not much carbonation in the feel, but it was smooth, and the nice head retention added a subtle creaminess to it. Decent session beer, but definitely needs a more robust flavor profile. (495 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
2.88/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium amber color. Small head. Aroma is malty and sweet. Medium to lighter bodied pale ale. More in the english style because its mild and malty and no very hoppy. Roasted malts, mild flavor, not very hoppy. Nice flavor. Slight malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is round. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is matly, slightly bitter. (319 characters)

Photo of Brad007
2.89/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (418 characters)

Photo of Seanstoppable
2.91/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received a number of cans from Granville Island Brewery from a friend over the holidays. The is the last of the varieties I had to sample.

Pours a dark amber color, bordering on read, with plenty of head. Some head quickly evaporates, but it then settles to about a finger for a while. Minimal lacing left on the glass.

Slight malt scent, but that is about it.

Taste is fairly simple. Some mild caramel malts. Very light. Slightly watery.

Overall, it is drinkable and it does have some flavor, but overall it is fairly bland. Decent, but not something I would choose unless my options were limited. (602 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
2.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - poured a clear copper, short head dissipated quickly, basically no lacing
S - a mix of sweet and bready malts, subtle earthy notes, but not much else
T - mostly buttery bread flavour mixed with a little sweetness, there is a slight touch of earthy hop bitterness, not bad but not what I expected going in
M - mostly full carbonation feel up front, but as that fades there's not much left, maybe a little dryness
D - a very average drink, seems to be a more all purpose offering in terms of light flavour and carbonation, goes down easy but not sure i would invest more time that one (586 characters)

Photo of papat444
2.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to my uncle who came to visit us from B.C. and brought me a couple of these. Had this with my supper last night, hamburgers & fries.

Poured from a 355ml. can.

Appearance: Pours a nice orange-amber body with a slight chilly haze and a decent 2-3 finger head that disappears a little too quickly. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smell: Some hops but the malt wins out in the aroma that is a bit faint. Has a dry touch to it.

Taste: At first nothing but a slight tinge of bitterness. Opens up a little with a bit of caramel. Has a grainy touch and a certain off flavor that i can't put my finger on. This is much more malt-driven than hops powered. Still, the taste does not last long and is a bit boring.

Mouthfeel: Marginally better if only because it has good carbonation. Otherwise, the body is weak & a tad watery for my taste.

Drinakbility: So-so. It's strictly average and it wouldn't be my go-to beer.

Overall: I'm slamming it a little on the taste because it advertises itself as a "classic West Coast pale ale" which it most definitely isn't. Not bad or offensive but certainly nothing memorable. (1,114 characters)

Photo of IdeaSpeeder
2.97/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (713 characters)

Photo of OskarL
2.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Clear amber/orange with a big white head that settles into a half finger head and no lacing.

Smell - Bready malt and some fresh hops.

Taste - Bread, some caramel malt, very mild citric hops, some metal and a bit watery.

Mouthfeel - Light body with qood carbonation. (282 characters)

Photo of mick303
2.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer is a auburn brown in colour, with slight lacing.

Smell is of light malts, a light fruitiness.

This has a flavour of light caramelized malts, quite light on the palate, slightly watery. Refreshing flavour but could be more interesting, bit of fruitiness as well. Mouthfeel felt a bit lacking, flavour was alright and drinkable, but didn't really showcase itself as anything special. (389 characters)

Photo of BigBry
3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One of four selections in the Granville Winter Mingler 12 pack.
Light brown to amber color, off white tan head. Not much foam, quickly disappears, leaving just a thin ring. Very light aroma of malt caramel and some hop bitterness - too light, was expecting more. Taste is similar with light malt and some bitterness to finish. Average, and kind of unexciting, and left an almost metallic aftertaste. (400 characters)

Photo of terryeckmeier
3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not what I was expecting at all little to no bitterness from what I can tell. Looks pretty but I was a little let down with this guy. I was all pumped for this big hoppy beer from the west coast and was a little let down. Maybe its one of those things where you get really excited and it just doesn't live up to the expectation you've built up in your head. (357 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.03/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Funny that I never reviewed this beer as it is a staple in BC and is often the beer beer pf choice at restaurants and bars with a crappy selection( it is often this or a Molson product). Well this is a beer that represents the past. There was a time when using lots of hops was pretty unknown in BC and this beer is safe and easy drinking with no challenge to a macro drinker. I suppose when it first came out it was a step up from macro beers but I also remember how good Shaftebury was and this beer is a shadow of the Shaftebury ESB from the 90's. I won't refuse this beer if offered but there are so many better PA's in BC that is a reminder of the bad old days. (666 characters)

Photo of hardy008
3.03/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Came to the table with an amber color and a one plus finger white head. The aroma is more malt forward than I would have expected, and there is hop bitterness, but it does not stand out.

The taste is just like the aroma. A little too sweet and malt forward for an APA.

Medium bodied, average carbonation, has decent drinkability, but no outstanding characteristics. I am glad I tried this while in Vancouver. Now back to more Red Racer IPA. (442 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
3.06/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (484 characters)

Photo of BierStein711
3.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

You don't need to have this beer.

What you have here is a silly attempt at an APA, but there is not enough hop.

Amber in color, off white head that lasts for a minute.

Smells of carmel malt

Tastes like stale biscuits.

Not a beer worth your time as it is very watery.

Overall, don't seek out this beer. Have Rickyard's Blonde (330 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.08/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

New brewery for me, courtesy of my son on a trip back from Seattle. Pours a clear oaken amber in the Corsendonk tulip glass. Tidbits of ivory lace line the glass on the way down.

The label states this is west coast style, but it seems all English to me with the woody and caramel notes dominating the scene, but not standing out or making any lasting impression on me. Body is very light, not a big load of malt to start, seems to be a "cheaper" version of a better beer wantabe. Not a bad beer, more of a cross-over type brew. (528 characters)

Photo of CrazyMike
3.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber/copper appearance with thick white head that sticks around for a while. Smell is mostly of bread, hops and caramel.

Taste is mainly made up of bread and caramel malt, has a hint of grain and sweetness as well. Thin, but buttery, body with moderate carbonation. Strange combination. Aftertaste is bitter.

Overall, not a bad beer. It is drinkable and refreshing, but the body is to light. Kind of waters down the rest of the taste. Still, worth a try. (463 characters)

Photo of Noxious26
3.18/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml can poured in mug.

Clear, copper-amber colour. Head 1/2 inch beige-orange. Head reduces quickly to a thin layer.

Aroma is sweet & a little fruity. Slightly malty with little hops in background.

Taste is sweet with roasted malts. Perhaps a little too sweet for a pale ale. Smooth. Has a mild bitter bite to the aftertaste that lingers for awhile.

Medium bodied mouthfeel that is well balanced.

This is easy drinking and mild in taste, but not what I usually expect from a pale ale. This isn't a bad beer, but it isn't great either. Another middle of the road beer for Granville Island. (606 characters)

Photo of TheHammer
3.18/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (1,170 characters)

Photo of Mit
3.18/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a-Amber red colour....light head that doesn't last that long.

s-very slight bready notes....faint malt....very subdued.

t-very faint spicey hoppiness..very much an english pale style beer.

m-about average for the abv.

o-Overall this beer was decent. I would grab it again. (276 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)

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