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English Bay Pale Ale - Granville Island Brewery

English Bay Pale AleEnglish Bay Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

163 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.17
pDev: 13.25%


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:
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 added by: 49degrees on 12-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 79 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.55/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass.

Light toffee brown body, and dark caramel color. Clear. Thin head of aboout two fingers and tan in color. Not much retention.

Sticky malts and light toffee smells. A hint of cinnamon also.

Palate comes with matching nose, cinnamon sweet and sticky caramel flavors. Slightly dry, with a simple malt backbone. Some decent carbonation and thickness. There's not much hop character to this though.

Overall a rather simple and decent brew, but not much going on either.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2012 20:38:38 | More by smakawhat
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

2.7/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 2$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with a small size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, grass

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste light hops, malts, and caramel. There is also some dark fruit notes and a bit of a grassiness. It ends with a caramel malt aftertaste.

Overall - American PA it is not... It's more along the lines of a ESB, and not a very good one at that. The taste is boring and it's a little too thin/watery. I wouldn't pick this one up again.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2012 23:48:19 | More by spinrsx
Photo of sAws
sAws


3.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale amber colour with a little bit of head but very little lacing. Smell is average and taste is good. Nothing really sticks out just a good pale ale. Mouthfeel is thin and after taste is smooth. Decent beer but not great as it could use a little more flavour.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 16:12:58 | More by sAws
Photo of TerryW
TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

2.1/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours clear dark amber red with next to no head, just a ring to show. Unremarkable.

Don't like the smell. Comes across as an industrial brew, nothing inviting about it. Taste is pretty much absent. Mouth feel is slightly spritzy and metallic. Unpleasant tinny, bitter finish.

Not much pale ale about this at all. A poor effort. Macro-style.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 00:06:39 | More by TerryW
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2012 13:06:25 | More by peensteen
Photo of mick303
mick303

Ontario (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2012 01:34:43 | More by mick303
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev +1.9%
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: 3.23, 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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 22:56:03 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of Mit
Mit

Ontario (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 03:09:45 | More by Mit
Photo of bryehn
bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

2.8/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 16:58:29 | More by bryehn
Photo of Converge
Converge

Alberta (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alright, I've had this beer a few times now, and it seems like every time I do, I'm getting something completely different. So, I figured now that I seem to have a better idea of what this beer really is, I should come back and do a proper review for it.

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Rather aggressive pour yields a fizzy, light-tan head that's just under one finger and fizzles out fast. Darkish amber-orange in hue, and looks pretty good.

S - A wealth of different warm malt aromas upfront, with a slightly citrusy hops scent looming in the background. It's got a really nice caramel malt thing going on, with some bready and buttery malt complimenting it perfectly.

T - There are times when I've had this beer and it's tasted like a malty masterpiece, and others when it's had a delicious kick of hops in it. This time, it tastes like almost nothing. Is it just this well balanced? This has got to be one the most inconsistent beers I've tried in my lifetime, yet I seem to keep coming back for more. Although it doesn't taste like a lot this time around, there are times when it has an absolute barrage of tasty malt flavors. The warm, bread & butter malt is still present, as is the caramel malt, but it's not as well defined as it can be. As an extension of this, I detect almost zero hops in the finish, despite having a well-hopped bottle of this just last week...

M - Medium carbonation, with medium-to-light body. Nothing exceptional, but fitting. Really easy to drink. Sort of leaves a buttery feel in your mouth afterwards.

D - I really don't know what to make of this beer still. Although it seems to possess a really inconsistent quality from bottle-to-bottle, I still enjoy it every time. It really tastes incredibly simple, without much complexities at all, but something about the malty flavor just appeals to me so much.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 07:25:13 | More by Converge
Photo of GodOfBeer
GodOfBeer

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nice looking dark amber with a thick white head.

Smells slightly nutty and malty, some caramel. Nothing really stands out here.

The taste is pretty much the same, nutty, caramel malts, nothing to really write home about.

More like a nut brown ale than a pale ale, needs more hops. Nonetheless not a bad beer, but not something I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 23:30:52 | More by GodOfBeer
Photo of MeisterBurger
MeisterBurger

Ontario (Canada)

2.68/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a rich clear caramel amber topped by a lively head that laces well.

The aroma is caramel and a tinge of halitosis.

The taste is mostly minerally carbonation with light caramel malt. Not overly pleasant peaty, earthy yeastiness in the finish

Light body. Like it's watered down. Meh.

This is a beer that just is. There isn't a single way in which it stands out.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2011 01:22:47 | More by MeisterBurger
Photo of CrazyMike
CrazyMike

Alberta (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 04:25:10 | More by CrazyMike
Photo of Gtheroux
Gtheroux

Alberta (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour was great with it's copper look and nice head, but little lacing..

I've drank alot of Granville island beers and they use a certain malt or hop that give a sweet smell and taste... There are caramel or toffee flavors?? ... It's really present in there winter ale... Love the sweetness.

Taste is one of a kind, therefore it's gets above aveage rating here... Sweet malts that I can't taste anywhere else outside of granville.. With little to no hop flavor for a pale ale... I can't help but sometimes just crave the sweetness this beer has to offer.

To much carbonation for a sweet beer..

Easy to drink when reading beer reviews, a book, playing xbox, ect... There is no need to sit down and search for complexitys.. Great easy to drink beer

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 21:23:03 | More by Gtheroux
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

2.93/5  rDev -7.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2010 01:06:22 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - This one pours a nice copper brown colour, with a thin layer of head which quickly dissipates leaving nothing behind, no lacing, and no real visible carbonation.

S - This one is rather bready, however, there is some nice sweet caramel malts also noticeable. Some sweet citrus hops are also detectable on this one, making for a nice balance.

T - Tastes much like a brown ale, very bready and malty, but it finishes with a nice bitter hop finish, making for a delicious balance.

M - I'm not sure if this bottle was defunct or not, but the lack of carbonation made it feel much like a stout. The only real drawback to this beer, as it was otherwise quite nice. It was still quite smooth, and the finish was not overly dry, still making the experience pleasureable. A little more carbonation on the tongue would've bumped it up into 'good' range.

D - The flavours on this one were quite nice, perfectly balanced, creating a tasty experience. I've yet to be disappointed on any Granville Islands offerings, and apart from the slight turn-off on carbonation, this one was very delicious.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 23:53:03 | More by andrenaline
Photo of OskarL
OskarL

Sweden

2.95/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 00:38:13 | More by OskarL
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 19:05:22 | More by Vancer
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev +1.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 08:21:11 | More by wordemupg
Photo of astout
astout

British Columbia (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 21:32:23 | More by astout
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm happy to report that English Bay Pale Ale isn't actually all that pale after all. It is a deep copper-brown that even to the light, where it becomes illuminated and its clarity is properly showcased and its bubbles are put on prominent display, does it maintain its tenebrous and heavy-set complexion. Its surface adorns but a thin string of white lace; too bad, more head would definitely have completed the picture.

A clean and relatively unexciting malt bill allows the house-character of this brewery's yeast to really come through. As with their Gastown Amber, I note a light fruity tinge as well as generous hints of caramel. But don't mistake unexciting for unsatisfactory; this aroma is plenty pleasing with its toasty, sweet and generous imprints of malt.

English Bay has that real biscuity, doughie, almost cookie-like taste that I love about pale ales. Unlike most products on the shelves this clearly has no adjuncts - how else could such a clean and authentically malty flavour survive? It does indeed taste like cookies, ones infused with toffee and maybe a pinch of cinnamon. It's got me eying the bag of oatmeal-raisin clusters that just so happened to be on my desk...

And what a good thing they were! Not that this beer needed any food to accompany it, it would make a most wonderful session ale to be sure, but it does confirm two things: this beer can be paired with food, sweets in specific; and, it is mighty refreshing. The carbonation is set a little low which not only gives it a more traditional, certified English character but also further enables you to make very short work of it.

So much so that this bottle had nearly all but disappeared before I could even finish writing the review. Yep, I'll tell you, my encounter with the English Bay Pale Ale was not by any means a long-drawn out affair. Between that fact, and the one that says I badly wish I had another bottle, you have yourself the signs of a really well made pale ale. So, if it is one you have at your disposal, I recommend trying it - and be sure to buy more than just one.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 18:38:35 | More by biegaman
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2009 22:17:31 | More by canucklehead
Photo of santa109
santa109

Quebec (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at 45 degrees. Received as part of CanBIF4 courtesy of seldomseen.

A: Poured an amberish copper into a pint with about a finger of creme colored head. The heads diminishes quickly to a thick ring around the glass. This beer seems to be all show and no go.

S: Nothing spectacular, very mild in all departments. A bit of malt but even then it's very faint. There's an underlying sweetness that I can't put a word on.

T: A little bit of biscuit malts, again, very faint. The same general feeling of sweetness is present and as much as I'd like to find some traces of hops in there, I just can't.

M: On the thin side, very smooth with only a small amount of carbonation which gives it a bit of a creamy mouthfeel despite the thinness.

D: Generally, bland beers have great drinkability due to their resemblance to water but the weird sweetness of this one annoys me at each sip.

Overall, reminds me more of a bland amber than an APA. This one was a little disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2008 01:48:28 | More by santa109
Photo of GrimmReaper
GrimmReaper

British Columbia (Canada)

2.08/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Also came in the 12 pk variety,otherwise i would'nt of tryed it.
Pours a copper-amber color with a small tan bubbly head with little retention and minimal lacing.
The nose is of malts,lite toffee,mild coffee with a sweetness in the air in there somwhere.
Taste is a little sweet with molasses coming thru and the malts and some stale something in there that lingers with you all the way thru this beer.
Got a creamy mouth which is medium to full body but at the same time kinda watery.
Not really my kind,and that stale taste really hits hard once it warms...not to my liking.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2007 18:59:19 | More by GrimmReaper
Photo of Hornet2003
Hornet2003

British Columbia (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2007 01:24:49 | More by Hornet2003
English Bay Pale Ale from Granville Island Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.