Granville Island Brewery

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Granville Island Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
English Bitter
4.1 | pDev: 6.59%
Dec 15, 2015
May 22, 2003
This single hop session bitter has big flavour but low alcohol. Maris otter pale and English crystal malts with citra hops create a bold body and refreshing bitterness you’ll want to session again and again.

30 IBU
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Ratings by fisherman34:
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Reviewed by fisherman34 from Canada (MB)

3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
2006 Vintage. Copper in colour with low to medium carbonation. Aromas of toasted malts, caramel, and some vaguely fruity hops. The nutty, toasted malt flavors contrast well with the sweeter bready notes. There’s also a bit of an apple note (although not in a cidery, off flavor kind of way) and a bit of yeast on the finish. Medium bodied with moderate bitterness. A solid enough performer, but nothing special or remarkable. Lacks a bit of punch flavor wise.
May 24, 2006
More User Ratings:
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Reviewed by ChrisCage from Canada (AB)

4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
2012 Vintage....

A- Pours a copper color that is slightly chill hazed and it has modest carbonation rising to the top. The head is an off white color, about a finger in thickness and fizzles out rather quickly into a half moon shape layer over the liquid. Lacing is under average, as the foam firmly and swiftly back into the beer.

S- Mild yeast, biscuity tones are quickly noted on the aromas, followed by sweet malts, creamy cashew nut, some raw grains, and caramel/toffee richness. The finish is a combination of dry Earthiness, mild bitter hop cones and some mellow citrus rind.

T- This is quite a delightful, mellow brew! There are hints of malt sweetness that border caramel/molassess in richness, beautiful nuttiness, and this comes out much more when enjoyed with a Brazil nut or two! The finish follows the aromas....yeasty, citrus, and leafy all rolled into one! Very nice!

M/O- Medium/light in body and carbonation palate scrubbing yet the bubbles are quite fine. This is a super easy drinking session beer that crams a lot of flavor and character into a low alcohol style. I could drink this all night and would share even!! This ages nicely (3 yrs at this point)....Pairs well with nuts and cheese....good job Granville!
Dec 15, 2015
Rated: 4 by KStark from Canada (BC)

Jun 12, 2013
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Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
650ml bottle, 3.6% ABV, and strangely hard to come across in Edmonton, it would seem. Maybe a result of too much of the Cascadian ale still kicking around, eh?

This beer pours a somewhat hazy medium golden amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, foamy, and kind of rocky off-white head, which leaves a few layered bands of organically awkward painted lace around the glass as it quietly fades away.

It smells of softly biscuity, bready pale malt, a touch of salty caramel, muddled citrus and floral, weirdly perfumed hops, which all seem to just work, so far. The taste is bready, grainy malt (a tad stale, though, it must be said), a touch of biscuit dryness, neutered citrus and leafy floral hops, some un-steeped black tea earthiness, and a slight stoney, flinty note. All still mostly good.

The bubbles are a bit fresh, and maybe too sassy, but that ain't no big thing, the body a decent medium weight, and just a little clammy in its otherwise unsullied smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the pull of the underfed malt sweetness waning, and the hops riding things out in quiet solitude.

A pleasant enough bitter, with a well-rounded flavour that belies the seriously low ABV. This might the true meaning of the pub bitter - too bad I'll never see this on tap in Alberta. Or will I?
Jan 03, 2013
Rated: 4 by goalie35 from Canada (AB)

Dec 08, 2012
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Reviewed by wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
650ml bomber poured into pint glass 14/9/12

A light copper with a tornado of bubbles popping up from the laser engraving on the bottom of my Sam Adams pint glass. A thumbs width of light beige foam has excellent retention hanging around as long as the liquid and leaves lots of random lace

S dark bread and hard toffee mingle well with some citric and floral hops, slightly metallic and some tea bag, smells solid

T more of the same but better, slight earthy and herbal notes with even more of a hop kick, a little rind and a biscuit brown sugar thing going for it, I'm quite impressed with the flavors they crammed into a 3.6%er , quite well done

M light bodied with just a mild bitter bite, fluffs up pretty fast but stops short of being foamy

O this one is sinking fast, great smells and flavors in a beer this light, pretty solid bitter balanced fairly well and very easy to drink

Granville Island has earned some new found respect from me with their recent seasonal releases. This and the black IPA were great beers way better then the regular lineup. I could drink a few of these under a hot sun and I just might.
Sep 15, 2012
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Reviewed by Hornet2003 from Canada (BC)

3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Had this on draught at the tap room in August 2012.

It arrived in a taster glass with a creamy head. Almost nitro-like in retention and consistency. Coulour was leaning towards pale ale territory. I found the aroma to be extremely hoppy. It was Northwest hops for the most part with a slight tinge of onions-not expected considering this isn't an IPA. The flavour was all hops. A little aggressive for the style in my opinion. Not at all in the subdued, English Bitter style. The creamy mouthfeel established some Bitter character. Overall, I'd say this is a nice ESB, but I'd hesitate to call it a straight bitter. The hopping is fairly aggressive for the style, but for a west-coast palate, it's quite approachable.

Fine seasonal for the end of the summer season.

EDIT: Oh and by the way, the alc/vol according to the tap room was 3.8%.
Aug 21, 2012
Rated: 4 by brandon911 from Texas

Aug 21, 2012
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Reviewed by Derek from Canada (BC)

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
3.5% abv.

Pours a really clear, light copper with a huge head. Great retention & lace.

Huge hop aroma is catty with gooseberries and little ganja.

Taste echos the aroma: very hop-forward. Good bitterness, light fruit, hints of biscuit.

Carbonation is on the high side for a bitter. Body is light, but decent for this strength.

Overall a really well-crafted, session brew for the hophead.
Dec 13, 2011
Rated: 4 by EskimoDave from Canada (BC)

Nov 21, 2011
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Reviewed by evlu1441 from Canada (AB)

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
I picked up this bottle at the brewery during a trip to Vancouver. I haven't been too impressed with the regular offerings from Granville Island, so hopefully this limited run brew is a bit better. My bottle says 3.5% ABV.

This is a great looking beer! It pours a deep hazy amber colour with a thin and creamy off-white head that sticks around at about a centimeter.

The aroma is sweet and malty with some nice perfumy hops coming through.

the flavour is very subtle and balanced. It is smooth, and slightly sweet to start, but slowly begins to develop a slightly bitter taste. This develops into a nice malty finish. It's highly drinkable!

Overall, this is a really solid bitter, and a fantastic session ale. This has way more flavour than any other 3.5% beer I've ever come across. It's too bad that I'll probably have trouble finding it again :(
Aug 20, 2011
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Reviewed by OskarL from Sweden

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a clear copper/golden color with a two finger head that has good retention and leaves a lot of spidernet looking lacing.

Smells bready malt, toasted malt with noble fruity hops.

Tastes toasted, breadlike malt with earthy nuttyness, some hops playing in aswell and finishes with a lingering bitterness reminiscent of lemonzest.

Mouthfeel is quite carbonated and a medium body. Finishes crisp leaving you wanting more.
Jun 20, 2010
Photo of goodbyesoberday
Reviewed by goodbyesoberday from Australia

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
An extra special bitter to die for. Subtle malt flavour and moderately stronger caramel on the nose gives way to an excellent hop flavour and bitterness, hop aroma becomes more predominant as the beer goes down and warms up. Warmer temperature brings out a herbaceous and lemony quality to the hops that makes me wish I had more... much more. An exemplary example of the style and well worth chasing up.
Jul 15, 2006
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Reviewed by sitbooboosit from Canada (BC)

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
deep orange copper colour. clean white head, thin but dense.

beautiful earthy hop aroma, slight toasted malt sweetness in the nose.

first taste is quite bitter, loaded with EKG, carbonation plays on the sides of my tongue adding to the bite. carb is perfect. hop flavour rides through the middle. the beer rounds out beautifully in the finish to a nice clean carmel maltiness. bready. great body. great mouthfeel. i'd drink it all night. unless there was a Fuller's ESB around. and even then. good job Vern.

glad I finally tried a bottle of this. one of Canucklehead's favourites and now one of mine. definitely one of GI's best.
May 13, 2006
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Reviewed by BDTyre from Canada (BC)

4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Granville Island's seasonals never fail to impress me. Here is a great bitter, up on the same level as Fuller's or O' Hanlon's. Nice copper-gold colour, with a snow white head that is nice and dense. Smells of pale malts with a good, balanced nose of British hops.

Taste is well done. A little less malty than Fuller's but the hops aren't overpowering. There is a good hop bitterness, touched off by malt sweetness. Bready flavours, with slight citrus hints.

Everything about this ESB works. As others have pointed out, there is nothing wierd or out of the ordinary, just on overall well done beer.
Apr 23, 2006
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Reviewed by canucklehead from Canada (BC)

4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
This beer is back after a hiatus of a few years. The mid gold body had a nice white crown on top with a redolent hoppy nose. The taste is huge and English. This is one Vern's best offering because he takes this style to the max for flavour but maintains the ever important balance. Another great beer from one of BC's best brewers.
Apr 06, 2005
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Reviewed by Garin from Canada (AB)

4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
GI's ESB (2003) poured a crystal clear deep rusty brown colour. A thick head slowly swelled up, then reduced leaving a nice lacing and a creamy ring.

The aroma is hoppy and bright. Some malty richness and caramel round it out.

The flavour is beautifully balanced. Nice bold malts start out the flavour, with caramel and a bit of butteriness for kicks. As the flavour rolls around, peppery hop bitterness develops to finish it off.

In the mouth, it feels nice and smooth, with a mild carbonation. Drinking it warms my tummy.

This is one heck of a fine ESB. There isn't anything crazy or wild here, just an excellent example of beer done right.
May 22, 2003
GIBitter from Granville Island Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 17 ratings