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English Bay Pale Ale - Granville Island Brewery

Not Rated.
English Bay Pale AleEnglish Bay Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
73
okay

177 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 177
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 3.15
pDev: 14.6%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | 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:
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: 177 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev +1.6%
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 +12.7%
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 -3.8%
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 terryeckmeier
terryeckmeier

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not what I was expecting at all little to no bitterness from what I can tell. Looks pretty but I was a little let down with this guy. I was all pumped for this big hoppy beer from the west coast and was a little let down. Maybe its one of those things where you get really excited and it just doesn't live up to the expectation you've built up in your head.

Serving type: can

03-09-2009 21:44:53 | More by terryeckmeier
Photo of santa109
santa109

Quebec (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -13.3%
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 MisterClean
MisterClean

California

2.13/5  rDev -32.4%
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.

Serving type: can

06-28-2008 03:52:33 | More by MisterClean
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

2.48/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This began with a big, foamy, tan head that evidenced decent retention. The color was a medium amber. The nose was lightly sweet without much to remark on. The mouthfeel was thin with a mild sweetness on the tongue. The finish had a slight sourness, or as one of our group remarked, a kind of watery malt vinegar taste. I have had MUCH better from G'ville Island.

Serving type: can

05-03-2008 03:53:10 | More by woodychandler
Photo of GrimmReaper
GrimmReaper

British Columbia (Canada)

2.08/5  rDev -34%
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 imasickboy
imasickboy

Pennsylvania

2.08/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to woodychandler for the tasting.

Poured a semi-dark amber color, with little head. Smelled a wee bit malty, but with another aroma that I just couldn't place. Several days later, I can still smell it, but still cannot describe it. Thin in the mouth, with a taste matching the unknown aroma. Seemed watery, with little flavor other than the mystery one. I wish I had more to say about this beer, but the fact is, I can't describe it, and I really didn't like it.

Serving type: can

09-13-2007 01:06:45 | More by imasickboy
Photo of JanM
JanM

Sweden

3.65/5  rDev +15.9%
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 -21.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2007 16:52:38 | More by jackorain
Photo of Hornet2003
Hornet2003

British Columbia (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev +1.6%
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 trevorwideman
trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: can

09-23-2006 00:41:53 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

2.83/5  rDev -10.2%
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 +7.3%
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 +13.7%
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 +9.5%
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 Noxious26
Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: can

06-22-2005 03:17:44 | More by Noxious26
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.48/5  rDev -21.3%
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 -4.8%
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 +13.7%
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 +11.1%
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 +8.9%
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
Photo of Garin
Garin

Alberta (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a lovely clear coppery brown color with a thin but creamy and lasting head.

Obvious malty nose with a good dose of caramel and a light hops. Maybe a bit low on the hops aroma. It loses some score for the style, strictly speaking.

The flavour is a light caramel malt up front with a definite (but not overbearing) hop bitterness in the end. The middle is a tad light and somewhat hollow. A light citrusy overall character builds over time.

The mouthfeel is light and refreshing, easy drinking. Just what I'd expect.

It's a bit more malty and less hoppy than I'd expect from a pale ale. I'm noticing that Granville Island does that with quite a few of its ales. I think that might be one reason I really like GI...

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2003 05:56:48 | More by Garin
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101

California

2.9/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2003 01:48:48 | More by beerguy101
English Bay Pale Ale from Granville Island Brewery
73 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.