English Bay Pale Ale | Granville Island Brewery

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English Bay Pale AleEnglish Bay Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Granville Island Brewery
British Columbia, Canada | website

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

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.

Added by 49degrees on 12-27-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
101
Ratings:
270
Avg:
3.16
pDev:
24.68%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
51
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 270
Photo of biegaman
3.53/5  rDev +11.7%
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 tbeckett
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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 mickeymac
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This seems to be the beer of choice at many restaurants and bars in Vancouver. I tried it on tap at several and found it to be a solid but unexciting selection. It has a slightly fruity taste with enough hops to keep things interesting: a middle of the road pale ale to be sure. On this bright side, it would probably make a good crossover beer for friends looking to move into better beers from macros.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.49/5  rDev +10.4%
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 GodOfBeer
3.49/5  rDev +10.4%
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 Garin
3.48/5  rDev +10.1%
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...

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Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

473 ml can on the shore of Keji National Seaside Park (Nova Scotia).

Tea colored with exceptional clarity, visible carbonation and a fine head.
Mild flavor that's only a bit more hoppy than malty.
Clean and well balanced but mild like a session pale ale.
Medium body and carbonation.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.47/5  rDev +9.8%
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 CalgaryFMC
3.46/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint on tap at a Calgary pub in the NE. Arrived a nice reddish bronze color with around an inch and a half of off-white head. Subtle aroma was decidedly fruity with a little malt, MacIntosh apple and pear along with a little caramel. Aroma intensity did improve as the beer warmed up. Palate was also on the subdued and mellow side, with some brown bread, brown sugar, and again a lot of apple and pear fruit. Nil citrus that I could discern and the malts were there but decidedly downplayed, the English malt complexity crucial to this style is present but you have to go looking for it. Finish quite crisp and dry, with appropriate earthy hop bitterness and just a little lingering treacle sweetness. Insufficient body. A workmanlike effort that comes off as unfinished or insufficiently conditioned due to all the apple/pear esters trumping the malts on the palate. Decided devoid of all the "west coast character" promised on the label and instead tastes like a "small beer" from across the Atlantic. Granville Island is a lot like Big Rock here in Alberta ... They rarely produce terrible offerings but they do not typically blow anyone's mind either. There's probably a certain comfort in just barely clearing the mediocrity bar.

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Photo of Lewnanny
3.46/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on a friend. Not that much impressive.

The IBU is 18, a medium bitterness taste. The color is rich copper orange

The 341 ml bottle was in sale and the ABV is 5.0 %

This one is in the middle of my beer taste rating.

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Photo of decimator
3.45/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.44/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: 341 mL

A- Copper Colour with a fairly lackluster, quickly disappearing white head. Light lacing.

S- Sweet Caramel Malt and not much else.

T- Same as aroma with the exception of a light hoppiness that has just enough kick to take the edge off the sweetness. Not much in the way of hop flavours.

M- Light body with Moderate to High Carbonation.

O- This beer was easy drinking and the taste was alright, but there is nothing here that would make me want to really try it again. Oh well.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.43/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.42/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewery. Pours clear amber with foamy, white head. Aroma is of caramel malt, maple and ripe fruit. Body is medium and smooth. Taste is of caramel malt, ripe fruit and earthy hops. Finish is medium lasting and semi-dry. Average Pale ale.

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Photo of Cwrw
3.42/5  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.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.41/5  rDev +7.9%
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 Flounder57
3.41/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of vanrassel
3.4/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.38/5  rDev +7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color. Weak one finger head that dissipates in 5 minutes. Flavors of roasted grains, toffee, faint berries, cinnamon, nutmeg, faint ginger and herbal spices. Is a little bready and biscuity, with bitter red ale spices. Smooth medium bodied, the carbonation is prickly. Light finish that lingers with a faint roasted and grassy feel, and faint gingerbread. Overall decent quality craft. Decent flavors, a little faint, but the balance is great. Well refreshing, a little light, yet satisfying and filling.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.34/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I bought a six-pack (cans) of English Bay Pale Ale in a BC liquor store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a deep copper color, clear with a bubbly off-white head.

Smells like wet grain. More of a cereal aroma than fruit.

Taste is very malt forward, with a but of a caramel flavor and a very mild bitterness on the finish.

Feel is thin, but not especially crisp. Very much a caramel malt feel.

Overall an OK pale ale. I make this more of a British style ale, with the malt dominance and subdued hop presence. I found better beers in Canada.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Other reviews here hit the nail on the head: this is a decent enough beer that's just utterly uninteresting. Colour is translucent brown topped by a finger of head that fades to a couple millimetres but persists. Nothing but some mild caramel malt aroma and caramel/molasses/brown sugar flavour--no real sense of balance, no "pop," not enough hop presence of any kind to justify the "West Coast style" designation. Just a caramel-y, fairly bland malty beer. Reminds me a fair bit of Newcastle.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.32/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of John_M
3.3/5  rDev +4.4%
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 ghisty
3.3/5  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.

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Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This review was done from a bottle so take it loosely.

A: Can't really say since I had it straight from the bottle but judging from online photos it seems to be a deep copper color.

S: I get caramel like malts and a nice biscuity quality as well. No hops present really.

T: Almost similar to a very malty amber ale. I really get almost no hops except for a very slight floral presence. Caramel and more biscuit malt than I would have expected. Bitterness is underwhelming. Rather nutty as well.

M: A touch too carbonated for my tastes. A bit of a thin body as well.

O: Not a bad beer but definitely not what I would call a pale ale. More like a ESB with hops and balance removed. Could be a good intro beer.

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English Bay Pale Ale from Granville Island Brewery
3.16 out of 5 based on 270 ratings.
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