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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 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 GrimmReaper
2.08/5  rDev -34.2%
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.

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Photo of TheLiterati
3.58/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of OskarL
2.98/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of BasementBer
2.82/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Photo of IdeaSpeeder
2.97/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of AnHeroicHippo
3.87/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance — Pours very syrupy; appears fairly carbonated; thin ring of head retention; medium lacing; very nice colour: somewhere between pumpkin and leather.

Smell — Toasty, almost woodsy; can’t decide if this smells smoky or just very very toasty and woodsy.

Taste — Overwhelming blast of pretty much what was in the nose, with some additional malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel — Very, very smooth, almost creamy, consistency on the tongue is very pleasant; don’t really feel the carbonation or the alcohol.

Overall — Not sure what an ‘English Bay pale ale’ is supposed to be, but this is a nice, very toasty, slightly sweet pale ale.

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Photo of 49degrees
3.63/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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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 greenengineer
2.76/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of santa109
2.74/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

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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.

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.

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 niangelo
3.57/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of harveystarr
2.86/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Served out of a bottle at Niagara Food Fest. As mentioned by other users, an unremarkable Pale Ale. Too sweet and nothing that would generally bring me back. HOWEVER...this is one of the very few beers that you can find in Ontario bars and restaurants that's not a Molson or Labatt product. I'm continually frustrated by Ontario establishments who don't see the value in offering quality crafts. So whenever I see this beer, I buy it for myself and for anyone around me. I guess it's my attempt at spreading the craft word and trying to open Ontarians minds a bit. It's a long haul, but maybe eventually we'll see more selection. So don't over think this brew when you see it as the only "craft" available in an Ontario establishment. See it as a marginal step in the right direction.

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Photo of Alexc11
3.54/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color with nice cream but it dissipates quickly. Malt IPA with a very smooth (like honey) with light bitter finish. Nothing that leaves you overwhelmed but really nice beer worth purchasing. To a novice like me learning as I go, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of astout
3.28/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of terryeckmeier
3/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not what I was expecting at all little to no bitterness from what I can tell. Looks pretty but I was a little let down with this guy. I was all pumped for this big hoppy beer from the west coast and was a little let down. Maybe its one of those things where you get really excited and it just doesn't live up to the expectation you've built up in your head.

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Photo of sAws
3.2/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale amber colour with a little bit of head but very little lacing. Smell is average and taste is good. Nothing really sticks out just a good pale ale. Mouthfeel is thin and after taste is smooth. Decent beer but not great as it could use a little more flavour.

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Photo of Seanont
3.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a GP pint glass has a nice copper color with two fingers of head.

Smooth Light tasting with good flavor with a hint of Carmel during the smell test.

Carmel malts and hops on my first taste with a roasted after taste.

Tasted perfect along side my burger and overall a very nice drinking experience.

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Photo of Brianhophead
2.68/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A - English Bay is deep copper in color with sort of ruddy highlights. Head is packes and cream colored with decent retention.

S - Aroma is malty up front with deep notes of brown sugar. Center has some barely discernable notes of fruit esters. There's just a tiny bit of fruit and leather. Sweet center fades into a finish that just drops into nowhere.

T - English Bay starts off sweetly malty, tasting more like brown sugar than caramel malts. The center gives more of the same brown sugar with hints of molasses. These flavors lead into a finish with barely any hop presence.

O - Overall English bay is straightforward in a way that goes beyond just being liniear. It's basic and doesn't really have a lot to offer.

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Photo of imasickboy
2.14/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to woodychandler for the tasting.

Poured a semi-dark amber color, with little head. Smelled a wee bit malty, but with another aroma that I just couldn't place. Several days later, I can still smell it, but still cannot describe it. Thin in the mouth, with a taste matching the unknown aroma. Seemed watery, with little flavor other than the mystery one. I wish I had more to say about this beer, but the fact is, I can't describe it, and I really didn't like it.

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Photo of Daefido
3.75/5  rDev +18.7%

I bought it at a regional LCBO in Welland, ON, Canada.
And I am not a professional or amatuer beer drinker or something. Just beer lover.^^;
I think it is like a sweet version of Pale Ale. I've drunk several Pale Ales like Ontario craft ones. They are more bitter than this. This ale is like more drinkable to beginners like me. haha.
However, I've found the bitter pale ale more likely has more flavour or something.
That means it has little bit weak smell. Well, nice beer to me.

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Photo of smirks
4.25/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Draught purchased at a restaurant poured into a regular pint glass.

Look: Beautiful caramel color. Clear. No head at all because the server didn't know how to pour beer. A little bit of fine carbonation visible, distributed evenly. I'm not sure whose idea it was to call this a pale ale, cause it ain't pale.

Smell: Caramel and bready grains and brown sugar. Malty and light. Not what a pale ale should smell like, definitely no citrusy, astringent hops at all on the nose, but so, so nice.

Taste: Exactly like the smell. Caramel, bready grains, and brown sugar. Not even the faintest hint of bitterness, though, and no corn syrup sweetness either. It's not the most complex taste, but it's a very nice, light, malty beer. I think I might even call it well balanced.

Feel: Slightly thinner than an English Pale Ale. Less carbonation than an IPA. Very easy on the tongue and very drinkable.

Overall: This will be disappointing if you want an IPA. This will be disappointing if you want an English Pale Ale. This will be excellent if you want a malty beer with no bitter or sour or cloyingly sweet notes that is extremely drinkable. I have no idea what I would call this style. It tastes like it looks.

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Photo of Gtheroux
3.56/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour was great with it's copper look and nice head, but little lacing..

I've drank alot of Granville island beers and they use a certain malt or hop that give a sweet smell and taste... There are caramel or toffee flavors?? ... It's really present in there winter ale... Love the sweetness.

Taste is one of a kind, therefore it's gets above aveage rating here... Sweet malts that I can't taste anywhere else outside of granville.. With little to no hop flavor for a pale ale... I can't help but sometimes just crave the sweetness this beer has to offer.

To much carbonation for a sweet beer..

Easy to drink when reading beer reviews, a book, playing xbox, ect... There is no need to sit down and search for complexitys.. Great easy to drink beer

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Photo of KGetliffe
4.63/5  rDev +46.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours super smooth with a decent head, nothing to write home about though it left some beautiful lacing. The clear Amber colour has a luminous quality that is very appealing.
Aroma is a bit tough to pin down, definitely a copper penny twang and a sort of sweet undertone.
Flavour is impeccably balanced, just an all around satisfying sip of burnished maltiness with that same coppery tone and a hoppy back bite. Something about this beer is meaty and satisfying without being too sweet or syrupy. A well rounded easy drinker and a perfect pairing for beef.
Seriously delightful mouthfeel, that's where this beer truly impresses me. The carbonation is just right, soft full mouth tingles that just wash the flavour across your palate.
All in all a well rounded beer and a perfect accompaniment to most pub fare.

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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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