British Columbia Beer Guide - Breweries in B.C. and Their Beers
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Granville Island Brewing

 - Microbrewery, Corporate subsidiary   3 stars - average
1441 Cartwright Street

One of the first microbreweries in B.C., Granville Island Brewing opened in 1984 on Vancouver's trendy/touristy Granville Island and is one of the province's largest micros. The beers conform to the Bavarian Purity Act, and while certainly breaking ground for other breweries, the products have generally not veered far from the middle-of-the-road, starting with the original lager. In addition to the regular brands, Granville Island also releases limited edition brews on a seasonal basis, usually in 650ml bottles - a good way to add a little zest to the line-up.

Now part of the portfolio of Andres Wines (as of 2005), the original brewery on Granville Island still serves as a visitor destination with tours and a taproom for tasting the beers, but most brewing has been consolidated with wine and spirit production at corporate facilities in Kelowna.

(06/12/2008)  More Comments [14 3 stars - average]   Add Your Comments/Rate this Brewery


Brockton Black Lager (Lager, 6.5%) - (Seasonal/not currently available) Formerly 'Island Bock'. While I don't like to be too much of a stickler about beer style categories, Granville Island seems willing to toss around long-established terms like "black lager" and "bock" without any regard for the beer history and traditions they represent. In the process, they show little respect of their customers. First of all, it was arguable whether this did beer fit the profile of a true bock, although it fits the most basic qualification of being a strong lager. Secondly, the beer is far from black (it's a deep brown) and therefore doesn't make it as a traditional German black beer or "schwarzbier". It does have a hoppy nose, backed up by full maltiness. A full-bodied, malty beer with medium bitterness and a dry lager finish.  02/10/2002  More Comments [1]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Brockton IPA (India Pale Ale, 6%) - A pretty decent IPA that is a bit mellower than a full-blown hop-intense India Pale Ale that the Pacific Northwest is known for.  A little extra alcohol content and some rounded maltiness give it more weight than a typical pale ale, and the hop aroma and bitterness comes through well enough but comes up well short of the 'harshness' that some may find with more aggressive IPAs.  A solid offering.

Available in 6-packs, it does not appear to be a limited release, unlike the IPA they did a couple of years ago.  Interesting also that it recycles the 'Brockton' monicker that was used a while back for a black lager - I guess there are only so many places in Vancouver that you can name a beer after.
  09/05/2009  More Comments [1]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Christmas Ale (Seasonal, 7.2%) - (Seasonal/not currently available) A Christmas ale designed in the mode of a Belgian Tripel, which is a traditional high-alcohol beer of Trappist monks. This beer was produced in small batches at the brewery on Granville Island, as opposed to the company's major brewery in Kelowna, and aged in oak casks. Very dark ruby-coloured beer with lovely aroma of fruit, spices and herbs - a somewhat perfumey, but intriguing, combination. I would guess some ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg. The flavour is rich and even wine-like, although not acidic - the oaks casks may well have helped the complexity. The fruitiness really comes through after a sip or two, as it warms up, and combines nicely with the maltiness. Traditionally, a 'Tripel' is nowhere near this dark or fruit/spice-enhanced, so the designation is a bit pretentious, but a nice flavourful beer nonetheless and a good choice for a long romantic winter night. Went down very well with some Christmas butter tarts I had on hand. 650ml bottles only.         01/10/2002  More Comments [5]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Cypress Honey Lager (Lager, 4.8%) - no review available    More Comments [1]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Emily (style unknown, % unknown) - Available in limited release, 650ml bottles only.    More Comments [0]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

English Bay Pale Ale (Pale Ale, 5%) - Formerly 'Lord Granville Pale Ale', it has a deep copper colour, rich malty aroma, decent mouth feel and a smooth malty flavour.  20/01/2002  More Comments [2]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Gastown Amber Ale (Brown Ale, 5%) - Formerly 'Anniversary Amber Ale'. An unusual and interesting aroma, with spicy notes. Fairly malty, sweet, and lightly hopped for a smooth, if unexceptional, taste. Falls short of the robust flavour of an Irish Ale, which it claims to be.  02/02/2002  More Comments [0]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Hefeweizen (Wheat beer, 4.7%) - Limited release, available in 65ml bottles only.  06/11/2002  More Comments [1]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

India Pale Ale [Limited Release] (India Pale Ale, 6.8%) - A golden ale with moderate hop aroma.  The expected hoppy bitterness of an IPA comes through, lightly balanced by maltiness.  Cascade hops are used.  Alcohol is 6.8% - not out of line for a traditional IPA, but could catch some folks unaware!  Available in 650ml bottles only.    14/08/2006  More Comments [1]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Island Lager (Lager, 5%) - Typical lager, with pleasant hoppy aroma.  02/06/2002  More Comments [3]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Kitsilano Light (formerly Island Light) (Lager, 4%) - 'Light' beer? no comment. No longer available.  02/06/2002  More Comments [0]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Lions Winter Ale (Seasonal, 5.5%) - According to the label: "...a robust ale, it's the obvious choice to pair with holiday meals and the distinct flavours of the winter season..." A dark reddish-brown color. Malt-accented aroma. Robust, rich, malty, smooth taste with slight hoppiness along with hints of vanilla in the finish. Generally available Nov-Mar.

Has been produced since 2002, and is consistently Granville Island's most popular seasonal beer, according to the brewery.
  11/03/2006  More Comments [3]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Marzen (Seasonal Prototap) (Marzen, 5.5%) - (Seasonal/not currently available) 'Marzen' is a German style harkening back to a time when March was the last month of the brewing season and large stocks of lager were laid aside up in the cool mountains for drinking in the Fall. It worked out so well, they started calling it 'Octoberfest'. This beer fits the profile pretty well - deep amber colour (not the 'ruby red' that the label claims), fruity malty aroma, medium body characterized by sweet malts, very smooth, with short finish.  06/03/2002  More Comments [0]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Merry Monks Doppelbock (Dark Lager, 8.7%) - Deep ruby in color, with big malty nose.  Nice, hearty flavour - big and malty, with lots of mouthfeel.  Finishes fairly smoothly.  Seems to be some inconsistency from one bottle to the next, with some stronger alcohol flavours sometimes showing up.   23/12/2006  More Comments [1]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Natural Draft (Lager, 5%) - 'Island Lager' by another name?  02/06/2002  More Comments [0]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

Raspberry Wheat Ale (Ale, 5%) - Available as limited seasonal release (July '09) in 650ml bottles.
  21/08/2009  More Comments [0]   Add Comments/Rate this Beer

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