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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.
BA SCORE
73
okay

91 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 91
Hads: 233
rAvg: 3.11
pDev: 15.11%
Wants: 3
Gots: 32 | 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: 91 | Hads: 233
Photo of Sammy
2.47/5  rDev -20.6%
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. (260 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.21/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,296 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.43/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (817 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
2.5/5  rDev -19.6%
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. (363 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.55/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass.

Light toffee brown body, and dark caramel color. Clear. Thin head of aboout two fingers and tan in color. Not much retention.

Sticky malts and light toffee smells. A hint of cinnamon also.

Palate comes with matching nose, cinnamon sweet and sticky caramel flavors. Slightly dry, with a simple malt backbone. Some decent carbonation and thickness. There's not much hop character to this though.

Overall a rather simple and decent brew, but not much going on either. (524 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
2.79/5  rDev -10.3%
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. (689 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.53/5  rDev +13.5%
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. (2,079 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.3/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (751 characters)

Photo of beertunes
2.85/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (658 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.83/5  rDev +23.2%
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. (292 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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 (499 characters)

Photo of Brad007
2.89/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a mild amber color with a generous head into my glass. Looks a lot like an English IPA to me.

Sweet with a healthy dose of caramel malt. Not very hop-forward regardless.

Ditto with the taste. "Nutty" with an overabundance of caramel. Very little that resembles a proper example.

All of these flavors stick around at the back of the throat, albeit in an undesirable manner.

Would work better as a brown ale. (418 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
2.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 2$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with a small size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, grass

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste light hops, malts, and caramel. There is also some dark fruit notes and a bit of a grassiness. It ends with a caramel malt aftertaste.

Overall - American PA it is not... It's more along the lines of a ESB, and not a very good one at that. The taste is boring and it's a little too thin/watery. I wouldn't pick this one up again. (673 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (429 characters)

Photo of Rutager
2.02/5  rDev -35%
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! (398 characters)

Photo of papat444
2.95/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (1,114 characters)

Photo of andrenaline
3.49/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (1,089 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.03/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (666 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.08/5  rDev -1%
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. (528 characters)

Photo of peensteen
3.28/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale amber colour, one finger of off white head, light lace. Smell is malty and biscuity, grain and caramel with a little bit of earthy/floral hop character. Taste is malty, light caramel sweetness, some floral hop and earthy flavours, mild bitterness throughout, finishes clean. Medium carbonation, medium body, OK mouthfeel. Quite the average beer, while its not bad I find myself very indifferent to this, I could drink this again if it was offered to me though. (465 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
2.88/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (319 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pale pours out of it's 341ml brown bottle with an okay off-white head, but that soon fades, leaving some slight lacing. This almost looks like cider at a quick glance. The aroma at first was quite enticing, sweet caramel, a bit of toasted malt, not quite what I was looking for in a pale. Yet going back shortly after I couldn't pick up anything at all. Flavour is quite bland, doesn't follow through with the caramel in the nose, and the hops are not very apparent either. Lack of taste aside it is quite drinkable, goes down nicely, and in that sense is a step up from a macro in my opinion. Not a big step up, mind you, but it'll do for now. (649 characters)

Photo of BigBry
3/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.41/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

341 ml bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with good clarity and vision of slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Toasted malts, caramel, a little fruity, and mild hop aroma. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Taste: Chewy toasted malts, some sweet caramel and pale malts, a little fruitiness, and mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A bit smooth, chewy, light, tasty, low to medium carbonation, and very drinkable.

Overall: Pretty standard and enjoyable pale ale. Very impressed with this beer based on how average it is. (683 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
2.92/5  rDev -6.1%
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)

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English Bay Pale Ale from Granville Island Brewery
73 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.