Beer of the Week #4 – Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale

While attending a whiskey tasting event over the weekend, I made a few trips to the bar for palate cleansers. There, my order of choice was this Granville Island Brewing product, which impressed over the night of hard boozing.

The English Bay Pale Ale was light, refreshing and full of flavour. The 5% ABV, 18 IBUs beverage featured flavours of caramel malt and balanced nicely with my whiskey servings. Suggest food pairings include burgers, kebabs and tenderloin.

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Named for the inlet that is home to Vancouver’s annual Celebration of Light fireworks, the core brand release is available in a number of formats. This includes canned and bottled six-packs, as well as a place in GIB’s Summer Mingler pack.

Some recipes the folks at Granville Island have concocted, using the Pale Ale, include instructions for a Cheddar Ale & Apple Soup, Malt Crème Brûlée and Stilton Soufflé. Perhaps some cooking is in order to try the dishes out.

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BC Beer Baron #350 – Granville Island Lions Winter Ale

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Already the best time of the year, the fact it’s Winter Ale season makes it that much better.

Rain, slush, blizzards, chinook, frost, ale. That’s what Granville Island Brewing believes comprises the typical Canadian winter. The last item on that list is represented by this seasonal favourite.

The Lions Winter Ale is very tasty. I particularly like the caramel-vanilla combo that winter ales are known for and this beverage has that in spades. The 5.5% ABV, 22 IBUs drink is available from October to March in a number of formats.

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Named after the popular lion statues that guard Vancouver’s Lion’s Gate Bridge, GIB suggests pairing the beer with a bowl of clam chowder and bacon, as well as other meals featuring cream-based sauces.

The Sip Advisor came home from work one dreary day to a six-pack of the beverage, which Mrs. Sip had taken the time to go out and grab. In that moment, I knew the engagement ring waiting hidden in my dresser was the right choice!

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BC Beer Baron #262 – Granville Island Two Tides ISA

While recently hanging out poolside at Ma and Pa Sip’s place, the Sip Advisor was in need of beer refreshment. That was satisfied with some selections from Granville Island Brewing, including this tasty treat.

The Two Tides ISA is light but flavourful, with stats of 4.6% ABV and 35 IBUs. As the brewery states, the beer is “the lighter way to an IPA”. It’s a perfect beverage for summer barbecues and camping trips, but won’t mess you up too much in warmer temperatures. For those on the fence with regards hoppier drinks, this product will satisfy.

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First released in 2015, the brew returned this year as part of National Beer Day celebrations. With this homecoming, the ISA became a year-round release. It is available in both the bottled and canned versions of GIB’s Summer Mingler case, as well as on its own in six-packs.

Two Tides refers to both high and low tide and everything in between. As a result, suggested food pairings include surf n’ turf dishes, which are ideal in this province, given our proximity to both the ocean and Alberta beef.

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BC Beer Baron #229 – Granville Island Hey Day Hefeweizen

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. Mrs. Sip and I are huge fans of hefeweizens and witbiers. I mean, is there a better summer beer style? Let’s take a look at what BC has to offer in the field.

The Sip Advisor has spent many a summer afternoon with this Granville Island Brewing beverage in his hand. As the brewery writes, the beer is “Great with brunch, patios, and bright dispositions. Let it shine.”

The Hey Day Hefeweizen – formerly known as the Robson Street Hefeweizen, thanks to Granville Island’s penchant for naming beers after Vancouver landmarks – the product was rebranded and moved from GIB’s core brands lineup to their Under the Bridge Series, which was launched to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. At 5% ABV and 15 IBUs, the beer is light, but is packed with flavours of clove and banana.

Granville Island Hey Day Hefeweizen

The brew is available in bottled six-packs, 473ml tall cans, and as part of the company’s bottled Summer Mingler case (also including the English Bay Pale Ale, Two Tides ISA, and False Creek Raspberry Ale). The Hefeweizen, under its former moniker, received a silver medal at the 2012 World Beer Championships.

Some suggested recipes to pair with the beer, include orange and clove génoise, pan-roasted chicken breast with mango chutney, and ricotta and minted pea crostini. This is on top of Granville Island classifying the Hey Day as a perfect breakfast/brunch beer, to be combined with poached eggs or Weisswurst.

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BC Beer Baron #24 – Granville Island Island Lager

Each month, as part of this 366-day BC craft beer extravaganza that I will be sharing with you throughout 2016, I will highlight a specific style or theme of beers for a whole week of articles. For the opening month of this project, I wanted to look at some of the flagship and original offerings from breweries around the province.

What better way to start than with BC’s very first craft brewery: Granville Island. The brewery opened its doors all the way back in 1984, changing the local beer landscape. Their first release was the Island Lager, which can still be found being poured at the brewery and at restaurants around BC, as well as being available at liquor stores throughout the province to this day.

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“A traditionally brewed and full-flavoured lager seemed a natural choice for our first brew,” said Nickolai Zarchukoff, Sponsorship and Event Coordinator of Granville Island Brewing. “The enduring popularity of our lager is most likely due to the fact that most beer drinkers are consumers of macro-brewed mainstream lagers. Our lager has proved a durable alternative and exists as an introduction into the world of craft beer.”

From that original release spawned numerous beers (most of which are named after locations around Vancouver), including English Bay Pale Ale, Cypress Honey Lager, and False Creek Raspberry Ale. While there has been some debate as to whether Granville Island Brewing still belongs in the micro-brewery category, following its acquisition by brewing giant Molson Coors, the brewery continues to put out small batch releases, keeping them in the craft beer conversation.

Personally, I love making the odd trip out to GIB’s Granville Island tasting room and checking out what’s new on tap. It’s a good walk or bike ride away and reminds me of some of my first craft beer experiences, picking up their mixed packs and enjoying them poolside at Ma and Pa Sip’s place. As the brewery’s mantra goes: “It’s Good to Be Here”!

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