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English Bay Pale Ale - Granville Island Brewery

Not Rated.
English Bay Pale AleEnglish Bay Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

92 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 92
Hads: 240
Avg: 3.12
pDev: 23.72%
Wants: 3
Gots: 36 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 92 | Hads: 240
Photo of wordemupg
3.2/5  rDev +2.6%
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

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Photo of spinrsx
2.72/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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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 tbeckett
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint at Cat's Social House on Granville Island. From notes.

A - Poured amber with one finger of white head. No visible carbonation, no lace, film of retention.

S - Earthy, citrusy, caramel, minerallly.

T - Minerally again with earthy hops, caramel, and honey.

M - Gentle carbonation, medium body, honey in the finish.

O/D - Average. Interesting and OK for the style. Easty drinking, but not exciting. Better than I expected.

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Photo of Rutager
2.02/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Left by uncle Pat after a dinner. Cheers, Uncle Pat! I ticked this a while back but let's do a "proper review". Lol, j/k, nothing proper about my sweet ramblings.

Looks pretty good. Amber-brown with a nice ivory head. Smell reveals some sweet crapiness. Sorry, but not a fan. Like light molasses and corn sugar?? That's what comes to mind anyways. Taste isn't much better. Thanks again, Uncle Pat!

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Photo of papat444
2.95/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.49/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of Vancer
3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of peensteen
3.28/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of BigBry
3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One of four selections in the Granville Winter Mingler 12 pack. 341 ml standard brown bottle.
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.

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Photo of beerguy101
2.88/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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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 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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Photo of joemcgrath27
2.92/5  rDev -6.4%
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

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Photo of cfalovo97
3.26/5  rDev +4.5%
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

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Photo of hardy008
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.2/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of TerryW
2.11/5  rDev -32.4%
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.

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Photo of mick303
2.98/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of allergictomacros
2.83/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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