Gastown Amber Ale | Granville Island Brewery

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Gastown Amber AleGastown Amber Ale
28 Ratings
Gastown Amber AleGastown Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Granville Island Brewery
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by lipschitz on 07-14-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by niangelo:
Photo of niangelo
3.21/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I visited this brewery a long time ago, before I was old enough to buy beer, and decided to pick this up when a friend lamented my hoppy brews and wanted something "malty."

The beer pours a thick red/amber with hints of teak. The head is minimal. Smell is akin to fat maltiness, bread a cherries, and a definite hop punch. Mouthfeel is snappy and viscuous, good active carbonation.

Taste is a little hoppier than most ambers - a nice dry finish tops the beer, but there isn't a whole lot of the fat malt I was hoping for. The body really lacks, leaving me wishing for a filling malt character that this beer lacks.

An average brew, respectable but nothing groundbreaking.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear dark amber hue, with one finger of soapy light tan head, which leaves some random webbed layers of lace around the glass. It smells of mild caramel malt, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is sweet caramel and biscuit malt, a bit of dark sugar, and more leafy, earthy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body decently weighty and smooth, and it finishes with a raisiny malt flourish, tempered somewhat by some weedy hops.

A fairly solid amber ale - with a decent hop offset. It's nice to be able to try Granville Island's beers in typical publican joints.

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Photo of Sammy
3.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cognac colour, soapy aroma. Balanced bitter and malty through and through, with some mid-barley taste. Some hops at end. Understated carbonation. Sugar, carrmel, hint of orange spice. Thanks MarkB. Quite drinkable, medium mouthfeel. All purpose beer.

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Photo of frontalot
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of IronDjinn
2.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This seemed to have the makings of a nice amber, but it falls short, appearing to be a diluted version of a good recipe. Colour is an okay looking amber, but it appears a little watery, and the head was pretty non-existent. Nose contains sweetish toasted malt and a whisper of hops. Flavour is buttery malt, and the hops are absent. Mouthfeel is watery, not much body to it.

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Photo of atigerlife
2.63/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours amber/red. Small, slightly off-white head that dissipates quickly. Little carbonation rising.

Aroma is musty, medicinal. Malts. Not enticing.

Taste is honey, oak, wet grass and malts.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and cleansing.

Overall, this is OK, but nothing to be sought out. Not particularly drinkable or desirable.

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Photo of BigBry
3.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

One of four selections in the Granville Winter Mingler 12 pack.
Amber - was expecting more red than brown color. No foam whatsoever, limited carbonation throughout. Basic sweet malt smell, nothing special. Taste has a strong (relative to smell) malty flavor with a bit of sweet caramel near the end - would like more hop/bitterness to balance. Fairly flat body, leaves it feeling quite thin. All around, pretty plain.

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Photo of derdtheterd
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of woodychandler
4.37/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

CAN you dig it? I am the first to review this CANadian beer in CAN form!

The pour produced a beautiful two finger's worth of thick, deep-tan head. There was decent retention, resulting in a solid coating at the top of the beer. The color was a slightly hazy deep amber. I was very intrigued by the nose, being as that it was slightly sweet, but underlain by a mild bitterness. The mouthfeel was medium with a definite sweetness in the mouth. The finish had a caramel-like sweetness that was quite enjoyable. This ranked a strong second to the Honey Lager. For traders: three cans of this + three cans of Honey Lager = You Tell Me (w/in reason).

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Photo of bumchilly25
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of LazyL
3.54/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good dark amber with a thin cream coloured head.
The nose it the best quality on this beer. Malty, brown sugar, cotton candy, honey and some mild citrus hops.
Some nice balance between sweetness and bitterness. Creamy mouthfeel with alot of roasted malt and brown sugar flavour. Easy to drink making this a good beer. Not great, but not at all a bad beer.

 355 characters

Photo of Kopfschuss
3/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of bbb099
2.31/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Split with mjyoung.

Appearance - Copper brown coloration, typical of Amber ale. Head was present right after pouring but dissipated quickly.

Smell - Not much except for the subtle smell of malt and some sourness aroma that reminds me of ginger.

Taste - Light malt flavor, somewhat flat. Sour and relatively unpleasant aftertaste. No hint of hops whatsoever.

Mouthfeel - Not bad. Maybe slightly on the flat side.

Drinkability - Smooth, not much problem except for the aftertaste.

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Photo of rogerdandy
3/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of beerguy101
3.46/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium Amber color, medium head. Medium bodied ale. Robust flavor. Nicely malty, with a very definite malt sweetness. Nice taste, complex flavor. Good balance of hops and malts. Mouthfeel is full and round. Smooth. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to my neighbo(u)r Sabrina for bringing this beer back for me.
The beer pours a bright, clear, tawny amber, topped with a thin misting of whitish head. Good head retention, keeping a modest collar throughout the entire beer. Scattered bits of lace cling haphazardly to the interior of the glass.
The aroma is rather malty. Grainy caramel sweetness, tinged with the slightest bit of buttery diacetyl. English feeling, with a vague earthy, herbal hop profile. I'm guessing there's some fuggles in here. Very soft pear fruitiness.
The flavor opens with a light, grain-tinted caramel maltiness. The grain comes in with a cereal breadiness. Some biscuity flavor into the middle, with a buttery, honey tinged smoothness into the finish. Mild hop flavor, an indistinct herbal and earthy flavor toning down the caramel sweetness. A dryish finish, leaving a lingering biscuity maltiness on the tongue. Light bodied, with a bit too much carbonation for my tastes. I think the beer would sit a little better on the tongue with milder bubbles. Smooth drinking. Nicely balanced, if a bit sleepy-eyed.
There seems to be a certain flavor profile to this brewery's beer. I've gotten it from other canadian micros, and I'm assuming it's the malt. It must be different from american varieties. A vague graininess, not unpleasant, just different. It serves up this dry feel in the finish, so the sweetness is always disarmed. A nice enough beer. It seems to have some lagery tendencies, mostly the dryness in the finish and lack of ale-like fruitiness. I could put back a couple in a sitting and not get sick of it. Cool.

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Photo of yancot
3.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Roasted pecan with unconstrained splotches of pomegranate and butterscotch; this combination of colours makes for a lovely appearance that is most definitely worthy of continuous eye gazing. Despite the shade being dark, transparency is still permitted. Its surface is barren in the center because the circumference seems to have a tight, unyielding grip on what limited foam was offered up.

Here's hoping the delicious smelling aroma is sign of a delicious tasting beer. The smell of scorched caramel, sugary toffee and a fruit-endowed ale yeast make a mighty convincing case to take a sip and find out right away. Although capable of being a little off-putting (nearly sour even) at times, the scent of dried cherries and figgy pudding is almost reminiscent of an English-style Old Ale. Mmmm.

Very nice. I was hoping to find the dried fruits, roasted nuts, caramel and toffee in the taste and I did! The beer's flavour almost resembles a toffee sponge cake or caramel glazed tea cake. There's lots of biscuits and obvious hints of figs, dried cranberries and dried cherries. The sugary fruits and sweet caramels compliment wonderfully. This is really malty, it is the taste of pastries and there is a strong notion of caramelization.

And all these caramelized flavours unfold nicely on the tongue; that gratifyingly sweet sensation of toffee combines with the sugary taste of dried fruit and both meet the crushing bitterness of resiny hops head on to make a rather entertaining mouthfeel. Like the trailer that convinces you to go see a movie, the flavour in each sip lingers only so long so that you are coerced into taking another sip.

I'm beginning to wonder why Granville Island beers aren't given a little more respect. Nothing I've tried from this brewery has been spectacular, much less out of the ordinary, but every single offering thus far has been extremely well brewed and exceedingly tasteful for its respective style. Despite what the brewery says, I'd consider this more than just "a darker shade of pale"; it's one of the best Amber ales Canada has to offer.

 2,083 characters

Photo of OskarL
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear deep amber/copper color with a off white head that has some retention and leaves little lacing.

Smells a bit of roasted malt, caramel and little fruity. Smell is quite faint but nice.

Tastes roasted malt, coffee, brown sugar, toffee with a bit sour bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel with quite some carbonation and a light body.

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Photo of Durandal_777
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mjyoung
1.96/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Split with bbb099

A: Pours a nice amber hue, very little head (1/2 finger, and dissipated quickly) and no lacing to speak of.

S: The smell is a little paradoxical as the sweet and bitter notes hit at the same time, but it smells a bit shallow, no real depth to the flavor.

T: Very weak. Not a whole lot of flavor at all, but you do get a hint of malt and something which I expect was at one point hops.

M: It's very thin and flat. It's much more reminiscent of a soda than a beer.

D: If I could stomach the taste it would go down quite smoothly and dangerously on a summer day.

All in all I was quite disappointed by this beer. I bought it after being told it was a solid American Amber, but perhaps I've been spoiled by the excellent local microbrews.

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Photo of Gww1864
3/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of ScottWestmaas
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of kelvarnsen
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of petermethot
2.5/5  rDev -22.6%

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Gastown Amber Ale from Granville Island Brewery
Beer rating: 3.23 out of 5 with 28 ratings