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English Bay Pale Ale | Granville Island Brewery

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English Bay Pale AleEnglish Bay Pale Ale
BA SCORE
3.2/5
Okay
286 Ratings
English Bay Pale AleEnglish Bay Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Granville Island Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
gib.ca

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Easygoing—like the sunny shores of English Bay itself. Out of the bottle you’ll notice the rich, coppery colour and caramel malt flavour up front, balanced with a dry roasted finish that’s sure to put a smile on your face. Just grill up some burgers, kebabs or tenderloin—and chill

Added by 49degrees on 12-27-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#43,664
Reviews:
104
Ratings:
286
pDev:
14.69%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
59
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 286 |  Reviews: 104
Photo of spinrsx
2.72/5  rDev -15%
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 John_M
3.3/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.53/5  rDev +10.3%
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 Haybeerman
3.48/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of wordemupg
3.2/5  rDev 0%
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 beertunes
2.85/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
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 Howlader
3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Brad007
2.89/5  rDev -9.7%
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 twelveinches
2.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Rutager
2.02/5  rDev -36.9%
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 andrenaline
3.49/5  rDev +9.1%
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 Griffith
3.25/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of bumchilly25
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of papat444
2.95/5  rDev -7.8%
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 Whatup14
2.9/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Photo of schopenhauerale
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of SDRedDevil
2.68/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Jeffo
3.92/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one at the LCBO in the Loo this past summer.

From a can into a pint glass

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, foamy, off-white head with decent retention. Clear, rust in color with lower levels of carbonation. Head fades to a full wisp, though only a splotchy wisp remains the whole way leaving some falling dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of caramel, light toffee, floral notes and bubble gum. Bold as well. Good stuff.

TASTE: Caramel, lightly grainy notes, bubble gum sweetness and toffee notes up front. Bold finish of toffee and caramel sweetness, floral hop bitterness, bubble gum and melon character. Flavorful with lots of sweetness and earthy bitterness as balance. Really good.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a touch mouth-coating.

OVERALL: This is really good stuff. Bold, flavorful and plenty enjoyable. Nice malty sweetness and plenty of earthy and floral hop bitterness to balance it all. Perhaps previous batches have been lousy in comparison, or previous reviewers see this and expect it to be an American citrus-bomb IPA. Granted it does say "West Coast" on the label, which is perhaps misleading. Whatever the case, this is a good beer that has been harshly judged. Give it a chance with an open mind and don't expect it to be something it's not. Recommended.

 1,401 characters

Photo of patre_tim
3.06/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

 484 characters

Photo of peensteen
3.28/5  rDev +2.5%
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 sirsteve42
2.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of DaPan
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of ZachT
3.69/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of canucklehead
3.03/5  rDev -5.3%
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

English Bay Pale Ale from Granville Island Brewery
Beer rating: 3.2 out of 5 with 286 ratings
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