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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: 241
Avg: 3.12
pDev: 23.72%
Wants: 3
Gots: 37 | 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: 241
Photo of leaddog
3.6/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.32/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.41/5  rDev +9.3%
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?

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Photo of JMScowcroft
2.72/5  rDev -12.8%
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!

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Photo of MisterClean
2.18/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.65/5  rDev +17%
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


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Photo of donniecuffs
2.88/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.47/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.18/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
2.71/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of slitherySOB
2.73/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Other reviews here hit the nail on the head: this is a decent enough beer that's just utterly uninteresting. Colour is translucent brown topped by a finger of head that fades to a couple millimetres but persists. Nothing but some mild caramel malt aroma and caramel/molasses/brown sugar flavour--no real sense of balance, no "pop," not enough hop presence of any kind to justify the "West Coast style" designation. Just a caramel-y, fairly bland malty beer. Reminds me a fair bit of Newcastle.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.18/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of jackorain
2.47/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

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Photo of Sathanas
2.77/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks like an amber lager, tastes and smells like one, too. An extreme mediocre beer, but the after taste is ashy and off putting. This is not a pale ale.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.27/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.49/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of trevorwideman
3.2/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of kevinlater
2.76/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

draft pour at the clarkson pump & patio, mississauga. aug 28 2015

a: clear copper with off-white head

s: grainy apple

t: grainy caramel, stale bread, floral notes. hints of chocolate and apple

m: medium-minus mouthfeel with moderate carbonation

o: nah

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Photo of CrazyMike
3.13/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of bryehn
2.83/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of Converge
3.67/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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Photo of BierStein711
3.07/5  rDev -1.6%
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

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Photo of Seanstoppable
2.91/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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