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English Bay Pale Ale | Granville Island Brewery

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English Bay Pale AleEnglish Bay Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Granville Island Brewery
British Columbia, Canada

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

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Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 272
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 allergictomacros
2.83/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Drinkability is this beer's strong point. Nothing particularly off about this brew, but definitely light in all respects. Clear copper with medium head. Sweet, caramelly aromas and grainy flavour with notes of toastedness. Some hops there in flavour and bitterness along with noticeable alcohol. Light bodied, low in carbonation and low in flavour makes for a session-type brew.

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Photo of leaddog
3.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a light copper brown with a 1/4 finger of bubbly head.

Smell- Caramalts, hint of vanilla, light earthy hops.

Taste- Caramalts, light earthy hops, and a touch of butteriness.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Pleasant smoothness to the body.

Overall- A fairly tasty pale ale by Granville with a good caramalt backbone. This brew has some characteristics that lean towards the EPA classification rather than an APA.

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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 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 DaveBar
3.65/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $ 3.00 as usual for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg c an a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a good white head. Not much head left after 2mins

S- WOW this is a good beer. Throw a wack of malt and whoop here it is!!

T- See above

M- Malty good and you call it an IPA???

O- An IPA really? This one is a malt bomb LOL

Food Pairing

I didn't have a chance to eat with this beer sorry


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Photo of JMScowcroft
2.72/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Granville Island Brewery - English Bay Pale Ale, poured into a DFH Spiegelau IPA glass.

Look - Pours a clear deep copper amber with a nice small foamy head that doesn't retain well and leaves a bit of spotty lacing.

Smell - Aroma is interesting, the malt is only faintly sweet or musty, the hops are a little subdued but fruity. Not like any other pale ale of any sub-category I've wanted to try. A bit off-putting but the makings are there.

Taste - Taste is flat and muted, everything is keyed way down, even the malt (which is a new one haha). Hops are virtually non-existent.

Mouthfeel - Rests like an apple cider, what the hell? Clingy and cloying. Easy to drink but not much of a pleasure.

Overall - This is probably the worst English style pale ale I have ever had. "West Coast Inspired" ummmm not in the least!

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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 Bunman3
3.27/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at my local pub, the "best" option in a sea of macro water disguised as beer. I had a few pints, so one would think I could give a detailed account, but this is not a particularly memorable beer.

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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 MisterClean
2.18/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Pours samber-golden, bit of head, which dissipates fast. Loaded with carbonation.

S - Amber malts, caramel, and honey. Good for a Pale Ale, but almost resembles an amber or a lager minus the amber malts.

T - Honey and caramel, lots of earthy hops (relative of saaz I'd guess).

M - Awful. Bitter and too sweet.

D - Couldn't finish. Taste and mouthfeel leave more to be desired.

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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 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 TheHammer
3.18/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Half a finger of head, to lacing or retention, limited carbonation in the body. Clear brown caramel color.

Smell: Biscuity malt sweetness with caramel note and mineral undertones. Also touches of vanilla and even slight hazelnut. Warming helps it out quite a bit, but it's nothing to write home about.

Taste: A sweet caramel malt permeates the beer, it's almost a bit too much, it then turns to a slight acidic citrus note, and then takes another abrupt tone which is then accented by a touch of fairly generic hops.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation does help out the beer, and the malt aftertaste is nice, but in clings and comes across as sticky. The transitioning is a little awkward as well, and tastes like it has an identity crisis.

Drinkability: This beer isn't especially smooth to drink, but it does sit down well enough and I wouldn't say it's a struggle to get down. The problem is that it's all over the place.

Final Thoughts: This beer is far too sweet for a pale, ale and is lacking in hops. It's a little interesting, but it's all over the place, so I wouldn't want to drink it regularly. It's ok, but there are better offerings from Granville.

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Photo of donniecuffs
2.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this at Joe Forte's Restaurant on a recent trip to Vancouver. Poured copper with two fingers of offwhite head and great lacing. Decent amount of biscuit and malt in the nose, but not much else. The taste revealed biscuit toast and walnut, but not much fruitiness or hoppiness. Not much of a finish either. Not much carbonation in the feel, but it was smooth, and the nice head retention added a subtle creaminess to it. Decent session beer, but definitely needs a more robust flavor profile.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
2.71/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a rich clear caramel amber topped by a lively head that laces well.

The aroma is caramel and a tinge of halitosis.

The taste is mostly minerally carbonation with light caramel malt. Not overly pleasant peaty, earthy yeastiness in the finish

Light body. Like it's watered down. Meh.

This is a beer that just is. There isn't a single way in which it stands out.

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Photo of kevinlater
2.76/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

draft pour at the clarkson pump & patio, mississauga. aug 28 2015

a: clear copper with off-white head

s: grainy apple

t: grainy caramel, stale bread, floral notes. hints of chocolate and apple

m: medium-minus mouthfeel with moderate carbonation

o: nah

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Photo of VbolieuV
3.56/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Ruby red with a nice off-white head with some lacing. In the nose you get caramel malts, some breads and some hops. In the mouth it's similar, really sweet, lots or caramel flavors, with a lightly bitter finish.

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Photo of Sathanas
2.77/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks like an amber lager, tastes and smells like one, too. An extreme mediocre beer, but the after taste is ashy and off putting. This is not a pale ale.

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Photo of slitherySOB
2.73/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Probably the weakest beer in their mix pack, this pale ale has no hops whatsoever. Pours a clear caramel colour with one fingers worth of head that barely lasts. Smells of sweet malts, biscuits, and cinnamon. Tastes more biscuit than the smell. Medium body mouthfeel and kind of dry in the finish. A beer I will not be seeking a sixer of, but if they served it at the bar, I'd drink it.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.18/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml can poured in mug.

Clear, copper-amber colour. Head 1/2 inch beige-orange. Head reduces quickly to a thin layer.

Aroma is sweet & a little fruity. Slightly malty with little hops in background.

Taste is sweet with roasted malts. Perhaps a little too sweet for a pale ale. Smooth. Has a mild bitter bite to the aftertaste that lingers for awhile.

Medium bodied mouthfeel that is well balanced.

This is easy drinking and mild in taste, but not what I usually expect from a pale ale. This isn't a bad beer, but it isn't great either. Another middle of the road beer for Granville Island.

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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 jackorain
2.47/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had this at the hotyel bar on a recent business trip to Vancouver.

A-Dark amber, clear. Thick foamy head with very good retention and great lace. A very attractive glass of beer

S-Caramel malt biascuit malt, no hops to speak of on the nose. very mild aroma overall.

T-Carmel malt, biscuit malt, toffee, a hint of coffee. Very malty character. This part was not bad. However, the floral and earthy hop that follow have an odd funky off taste along with them. This off taste continues to linger for quite a long time. There is not the tradition mild hop bite and bitterness expected with an APA.

M-medium body. Smooth but prickly carbonation another dicotomy.

D-I couldn't drink another.

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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 trevorwideman
3.2/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

355ml can sample poured into a pint glass.

Not a bad looking brew. Pours a coppery-red colour with a 1/2 inch head that dissipates quick. Mild carbonation. Smell is swwet, but not overly so. Very much an apple juice/apple cider type smell with a little pear and roasted malt for good measure. Not much in the way of a hop presence here I'm afraid, but still smells good.

Taste is inoffensive but a little bit boring in that respect. Not terrible though, the apple juice character remains, with a sugary caramel malt presence coming to the forefront, and a slight acidity on the tongue. Where oh where are the hops? This an incredibly easy-drinking ale, more fitting in the British style than the American, with a creamy, slightly watery mouthfeel. Really slides down like water. I usually prefer a heavier ale style, but I could easliy down pints of this on a night out.

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English Bay Pale Ale from Granville Island Brewery
3.16 out of 5 based on 272 ratings.
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