1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

English Bay Pale Ale - Granville Island Brewery

English Bay Pale AleEnglish Bay Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

163 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.17
pDev: 13.25%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 79 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Converge
Converge

Alberta (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 07:25:13 | More by Converge
Photo of Seanstoppable
Seanstoppable

Nova Scotia (Canada)

2.93/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Serving type: can

01-01-2010 23:55:01 | More by Seanstoppable
Photo of bryehn
bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

2.8/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 16:58:29 | More by bryehn
Photo of BierStein711
BierStein711

Illinois

2.98/5  rDev -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

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2012 05:55:48 | More by BierStein711
Photo of decimator
decimator

Ontario (Canada)

3.46/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 5%.

A - Poured a clear copper with a thin off-white head, head reduced to surface bubbles, minimal lacing.

S - Caramel, biscuit, some vanilla, earthy.

T - Light caramel sweetness, hint of butter, hint of spice, mild bitterness. Balance is on the malty side.

M - Medium-light carbonation, medium body, some creaminess, clean finish.

O - The mouthfeel really helps carry this beer. The flavour is light but I found nothing offensive about this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2013 02:24:07 | More by decimator
Photo of Cwrw
Cwrw

Alberta (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev +8.2%
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 DenisKolkin
DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

3.31/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Serving type: can

10-27-2013 03:22:11 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of Mit
Mit

Ontario (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 03:09:45 | More by Mit
Photo of vanrassel
vanrassel

Alberta (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev +6.6%
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 JanM
JanM

Sweden

3.65/5  rDev +15.1%
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 Hornet2003
Hornet2003

British Columbia (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev +0.9%
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 prosper
prosper

Alberta (Canada)

2.25/5  rDev -29%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2009 04:55:57 | More by prosper
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim

China

3.08/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper, medium fine bubble carbonation, 2 fingers of slight beige creamy foamy head, clear filtered. Nice lacing.

S: Bananas, cream, stinky feet, malt. Slight apricot.

T: Apricot tea, peach tea, malt. Slightly acidic, but mostly watery. Very little bitterness near the end.

M: Light slightly bready body, medium low low carbonation.

O: A real disappointing watery beer. Sort of like it, love the can and the fact its from Canada, but it is watery, tea like, and not flavourful.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 13:18:21 | More by patre_tim
Photo of Garin
Garin

Alberta (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev +8.8%
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 GrimmReaper
GrimmReaper

British Columbia (Canada)

2.08/5  rDev -34.4%
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 TheLiterati
TheLiterati

California

3.58/5  rDev +12.9%
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 OskarL
OskarL

Sweden

2.95/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 00:38:13 | More by OskarL
Photo of BasementBer
BasementBer

Manitoba (Canada)

2.8/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Serving type: can

07-03-2011 06:08:53 | More by BasementBer
Photo of IdeaSpeeder
IdeaSpeeder

Ontario (Canada)

2.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Serving Type - 473ml can poured into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance - Pours an redish brown colour. A white head that disappears quickly, leaving behind some light lacing.

Smell - Very sweet smelling. Some vanilla notes, combined with some caramel and toffee.

Taste - As expected from the nose, this brew is very sweet. Almost too sweet for my tastes. A big vanilla kick and more caramel. There may be some very light spiced - pepper maybe. Little to no hop bitterness, surprising for an english pale ale.

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy body. The beer is almost 'sticky' - it sticks to the inside of my lips. So much sweetness. Carbonation is low - virtually non-existent. Unremarkable finish.

Overal - 3/5.

Serving type: can

05-07-2013 04:09:31 | More by IdeaSpeeder
Photo of 49degrees
49degrees

British Columbia (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A mid-range English styled Pale Ale from one of the region's top selling craft brewer. Widely available in traditional 341ml (12oz) bottles and on draught. The English Bay Pale Ale is mild tasting, features a light golden color, and gives off a moderate amount of aroma after pouring. Head is pretty consistent as is the lacing of the glass afterward.

Extremely easy on the palette with both a smooth and mellow flavor with hints of carmel behind a draping of malt and limited hopiness.

While it lacks the real character that I'm searching for when tackling a Pale Ale, it works particularly well as a general ale for parties with friends and family.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2002 20:24:37 | More by 49degrees
Photo of greenengineer
greenengineer

Massachusetts

2.78/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

473 mL Can, in the hotel room, Toronto.
A - foamy head dissipates quickly, orange bronze color.
S - a little bit of malt sweetness
T - sweet, malty, a little watery, hits of pepper. sweetness not balanced by hops
M - a little watery, good fizz on the tongue.
O - Overall, I'm not impressed by the beer options here in Ontario. Drinkable compared to the fizzy yellow stuff, but nothing I would seek out.

Serving type: can

05-12-2013 17:35:37 | More by greenengineer
Photo of santa109
santa109

Quebec (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -13.9%
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 niangelo
niangelo

Alberta (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +12.9%
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 ghisty
ghisty

New Brunswick (Canada)

3.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

appearance: pours somewhat foamy, and a deeper orange than i expected for the style,
being an ale i expected some color but this was a little deeper than i figured for.

smell: had a smooth malty smell. big notes of toasted grain. not overpowering. nice nose.

taste: crisp, and not hoppy really at all, almost zero dryness factor, an ale by definition
i was impressed by this beer. goes down nicely , reminded me of labatt blue but with double the malt and less corn. tasted like an ale should taste, but didnt linger around
which makes drinking more of it easy. the food pairings for this (as stated on the box) are grilled meat (which is pretty vague). but it mentions a carmel flavour, which i failed to find as anything worth mention. that charectaristic would be subtle, at best.

mouthfeel:
not sharp at all, still somewhat carbbed, compared to a more classic ale style.
but sort of slick and smooth , with a small zip of the malt and the grain mixing.

overall:
i didnt know what to expect, and having bought a 6pack, i was hoping it was decent.
this doesnt exactly seem to be a PALE ale as they state ..it seems more to me like a slightly creamy amber..but without the typical hops of most ambers.
and heavy on the malts and grains. i was initially impressed by this beer, but the more i drank of it the more it became just a slightly above average craft beer .
I dont have anything really bad to say, because it is good. but it leaves a little bit to the imagination, but that can make for an awesome session brew.
if ale is your thing, and you like it west coast local. give it a shot.
not something id buy frequently, but i can see a specific type of beer fan loving it.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 22:54:55 | More by ghisty
Photo of astout
astout

British Columbia (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 21:32:23 | More by astout
English Bay Pale Ale from Granville Island Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.