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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 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 donniecuffs
donniecuffs

New Jersey

2.85/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2010 21:47:15 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

2.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap inside Vancouver's International Airport, on to the beer:

Dark amber, patchy head retention, spotty lacing...ok, solid start. Iron and minerals to smell....uh, now I'm worried. It seems like GI is going for a maltier pael ale. The malts seem marzen-like, and probably explain the dark appearance for a pale ale. A little touch of diacetyl, a dash of fruit esters....damn, these BC pale ales have A LOT in common. Are they using the same yeast strain? Some of that overall flavor sticks in the palate into the aftertaste.

My day leaving Vancouver was not a good "beer tasting day", and GI Pale Ale played a part in that role. Maybe worth a try, but not worth a second try from me.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2010 04:06:31 | More by DoubleJ
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 prosper
prosper

Alberta (Canada)

2.25/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

this stuff is ubiquitous throughout the lower mainlaind. I've had it before, and remember that I wasn't impressed, so haven't ordered it. I decided to try it again today, and again - not impressed. It's downright boring. An ale, designed to compete in a field characterized as 'boring,' to sell alongside the light lagers and such.

it's a penny-coloured ale, with a decent white head, and virtually no aroma. What is there reminds me of pool water - a slight chlorine-ish whiff, and some grainy grass. Flavour is not much different - clean and unexciting. Some caramel and slight raisin-y malt, but not too much. Very light bittering, and no hop flavour or aroma. Very light, spritzy body with a lot of carbonation.

I'll take a pass on this next time. Uninteresting, boring - take the opportunity to try whatever else is available.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2009 04:55:57 | More by prosper
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2009 00:46:52 | More by biboergosum
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 JanM
JanM

Sweden

3.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in an amber nuance with a peculiar but not unpleasant smell. Not much foam in the pint. The taste was sweet and caramel with strong bread/biscuit notes kicking in after a while. Notes of green apple too. Although the taste is rather different from a mainstream pale ale, it is not bad and gives the brew a personality.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2007 10:07:56 | More by JanM
Photo of jackorain
jackorain

Pennsylvania

2.48/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had this at the hotyel bar on a recent business trip to Vancouver.

A-Dark amber, clear. Thick foamy head with very good retention and great lace. A very attractive glass of beer

S-Caramel malt biascuit malt, no hops to speak of on the nose. very mild aroma overall.

T-Carmel malt, biscuit malt, toffee, a hint of coffee. Very malty character. This part was not bad. However, the floral and earthy hop that follow have an odd funky off taste along with them. This off taste continues to linger for quite a long time. There is not the tradition mild hop bite and bitterness expected with an APA.

M-medium body. Smooth but prickly carbonation another dicotomy.

D-I couldn't drink another.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2007 16:52:38 | More by jackorain
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
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

2.83/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2006 06:29:26 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of vanrassel
vanrassel

Alberta (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2006 18:44:04 | More by vanrassel
Photo of niangelo
niangelo

Alberta (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with pretty Vancouver artwork. Poured a slighty cloudy orangesque coloured haze with a fluffy white top. Smells of malt, dryness.

A definite caramel flavour here - not usual for a pale ale, and an enjoyable surprise. This drink dries out at the finish and a touch of bitter, but an overall malt feel that's a bit much for a pale. Not too bad overall though.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2006 14:51:58 | More by niangelo
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

3.45/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2006 17:36:22 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.48/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Huge foamy pour, maple syrup colour beer. Beery and not hoppy aroma, but initial taste is hoppy grapefruit Then the malts take over. Moderate carbonation, and medium to light mouthfeel. Quaffable but not a good example of a pale. Thanks Mark for bringing back.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2005 21:37:54 | More by Sammy
Photo of BigBry
BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2005 05:29:49 | More by BigBry
Photo of TheLiterati
TheLiterati

California

3.58/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice, deep coppery amber color, fluffy white head. Aroma was pleasant, though a bit light for this style, with essences of caramel and fruit.

Cool, smooth mouthfeel – taste was almost “buttery” – sweet and smooth, with a bubbly, almost sparkling texture, which was refreshing on the unseasonably warm day I visited.

Overall, a pleasant enough pale ale, though not the best I’ve had. Still, I’d say the consistency of this composition is a positive attribute that works in its favor.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2004 20:11:38 | More by TheLiterati
Photo of mickeymac
mickeymac

California

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

This seems to be the beer of choice at many restaurants and bars in Vancouver. I tried it on tap at several and found it to be a solid but unexciting selection. It has a slightly fruity taste with enough hops to keep things interesting: a middle of the road pale ale to be sure. On this bright side, it would probably make a good crossover beer for friends looking to move into better beers from macros.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2004 06:32:10 | More by mickeymac
Photo of Cwrw
Cwrw

Alberta (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2004 10:35:01 | More by Cwrw
English Bay Pale Ale from Granville Island Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.