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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: 238
Avg: 3.12
pDev: 23.08%
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: 92 | Hads: 238
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 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 BasementBer
2.82/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pale, yup. Overly carbonated, head retention is poor.

S: Sweet malts, slight dry hoppy aroma, floral if anything.

T: Malts. No hop nose or middle body.

M: smooth on the palate but generally agreeable because it doesnt have much going on for it other than simplicity.

D: Very drinkable, but you dont sit and ponder.

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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 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 Gtheroux
3.56/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour was great with it's copper look and nice head, but little lacing..

I've drank alot of Granville island beers and they use a certain malt or hop that give a sweet smell and taste... There are caramel or toffee flavors?? ... It's really present in there winter ale... Love the sweetness.

Taste is one of a kind, therefore it's gets above aveage rating here... Sweet malts that I can't taste anywhere else outside of granville.. With little to no hop flavor for a pale ale... I can't help but sometimes just crave the sweetness this beer has to offer.

To much carbonation for a sweet beer..

Easy to drink when reading beer reviews, a book, playing xbox, ect... There is no need to sit down and search for complexitys.. Great easy to drink beer

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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 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 tone77
3.83/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to woodychandler for the trade.Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of caramel, maybe a hint of toffee. Taste is good, caramel and hops, very flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall this is a fine quality brew.

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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 DoubleJ
2.79/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of OskarL
2.98/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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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 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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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 John_M
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an orange amber color with OK head retention and minimal lacing. The nose is fairly attractive, with a nice blend of sweet malt and light hoppy bitterness. This beer really does remind me somewhat of an English style pale ale. Flavors in this beer replicate the nose for the most part, though they're a bit lighter then I expected. Nothing is off in this beer, there just isn't much here. Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery, but with the decent carbonation giving this beer a pleasant prickly on the tongue sensation. Drinkability is pretty good, but there's just not enough flavor to make me want to drink a lot of this.

Certainly not a drain pour, but in the world of craft beer these days, I doubt I'd ever want to try this again.

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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 beertunes
2.85/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a lovely clear amber color with little head (even after switching to a more aggressive pour, I ended up less than 1/4 inch of head) that had zero retention or lacing.

The aroma had a slightly sweet malt scent, otherwise was very neutral. I was pleasantly surprised by a nice hit of citrus hops, but that flavor faded quickly and I was left with residual malt sweetness. Otherwise, the flavors were like the aroma, bland and neutral.

Body was typical for the style. Drinkability was good, but with such a lack of personality, why have more than one? Overall, worth trying if you see it, but don't go out of your way to get it.

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Photo of astout
3.28/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of prosper
2.26/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.21/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.53/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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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 terryeckmeier
3/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of santa109
2.74/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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