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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 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 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 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 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 Seanont
3.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a GP pint glass has a nice copper color with two fingers of head.

Smooth Light tasting with good flavor with a hint of Carmel during the smell test.

Carmel malts and hops on my first taste with a roasted after taste.

Tasted perfect along side my burger and overall a very nice drinking experience.

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Photo of Mit
3.18/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a-Amber red colour....light head that doesn't last that long.

s-very slight bready notes....faint malt....very subdued.

t-very faint spicey hoppiness..very much an english pale style beer.

m-about average for the abv.

o-Overall this beer was decent. I would grab it again.

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