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
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Reviews: 90
Hads: 229
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: 229
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 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 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 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 TerryW
2.11/5  rDev -31.9%
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. (342 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 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 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 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 leaddog
3.6/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a light copper brown with a 1/4 finger of bubbly head.

Smell- Caramalts, hint of vanilla, light earthy hops.

Taste- Caramalts, light earthy hops, and a touch of butteriness.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Pleasant smoothness to the body.

Overall- A fairly tasty pale ale by Granville with a good caramalt backbone. This brew has some characteristics that lean towards the EPA classification rather than an APA. (465 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 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 MisterClean
2.18/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Pours samber-golden, bit of head, which dissipates fast. Loaded with carbonation.

S - Amber malts, caramel, and honey. Good for a Pale Ale, but almost resembles an amber or a lager minus the amber malts.

T - Honey and caramel, lots of earthy hops (relative of saaz I'd guess).

M - Awful. Bitter and too sweet.

D - Couldn't finish. Taste and mouthfeel leave more to be desired. (385 characters)

Photo of JMScowcroft
2.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Granville Island Brewery - English Bay Pale Ale, poured into a DFH Spiegelau IPA glass.

Look - Pours a clear deep copper amber with a nice small foamy head that doesn't retain well and leaves a bit of spotty lacing.

Smell - Aroma is interesting, the malt is only faintly sweet or musty, the hops are a little subdued but fruity. Not like any other pale ale of any sub-category I've wanted to try. A bit off-putting but the makings are there.

Taste - Taste is flat and muted, everything is keyed way down, even the malt (which is a new one haha). Hops are virtually non-existent.

Mouthfeel - Rests like an apple cider, what the hell? Clingy and cloying. Easy to drink but not much of a pleasure.

Overall - This is probably the worst English style pale ale I have ever had. "West Coast Inspired" ummmm not in the least! (822 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 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 DaveBar
3.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $ 3.00 as usual for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg c an a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a good white head. Not much head left after 2mins

S- WOW this is a good beer. Throw a wack of malt and whoop here it is!!

T- See above

M- Malty good and you call it an IPA???

O- An IPA really? This one is a malt bomb LOL

Food Pairing

I didn't have a chance to eat with this beer sorry

Enjoy (428 characters)

Photo of MeisterBurger
2.71/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (369 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 slitherySOB
2.73/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Probably the weakest beer in their mix pack, this pale ale has no hops whatsoever. Pours a clear caramel colour with one fingers worth of head that barely lasts. Smells of sweet malts, biscuits, and cinnamon. Tastes more biscuit than the smell. Medium body mouthfeel and kind of dry in the finish. A beer I will not be seeking a sixer of, but if they served it at the bar, I'd drink it. (386 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 mickeymac
3.5/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (403 characters)

Photo of jackorain
2.47/5  rDev -20.3%
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. (702 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 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.