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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Burning River Pale AleGreat Lakes Burning River Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,009 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,009
Hads: 3,039
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 19.05%
Wants: 126
Gots: 474 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-06-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,009 | Hads: 3,039
Photo of LAp
3.18/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours an almost amber color, with a half-finger head that quickly recedes, leaving only a trace amount of lacing. Nose is relatively nondescript, almost floral or light fruits, with a sweet, malty undertone. On the palate, a base level of malt continues all the way through, from the slight hop outset to the mildly fruity finish. The beer has a malt aftertaste almost reminiscent of a cheap lager. It's been a year or so since the last time I had this beer, and not only is the label changed, but the beer tastes less hoppy than I recall. What I remember was a good but not great pale ale. What I taste now is thoroughly meh. Drinkable. Inoffensive. But nothing I'd buy again.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Golden amber with 1-2 fingers of off-white head, leaving a bit of lacing and a film of bubbles on the surface.
Smell: Fresh citrusy spicy hop aromas, a bit of caramely malt too
Taste: Strong citrusy and spicy hops throughout with a slightly caramelly and bready maltiness, finishing with a moderate bitterness
Feel: Medium body with average carbonation

Overall: With its distinctive and very appetizing hops aroma and impeccable balance, this is a really solid reliable pale ale right up there with Sierra Nevada in my opinion.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.32/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look - Copper color, clear in appearance
Smell - Sweet malts, floral, earthy, lemony, hints of spice
Taste - Follows the nose. Huge floral, lemon notes, earthy, spice, caramel malts

Overall - Nothing special at all about this pale ale.

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Photo of SmashAdams
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is way darker than I expected. The smell is sweet and malty and toasty. The taste is similar with even more of a toasty quality. Not what I look for in a pale ale but not bad. nb

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Photo of slusk
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a nice long standing white head.

S: nice floral hop with a bit of pine. Nice malt balance with orange peel. A tiny bit of something that smells like a Belgian.

T: Leans to the hoppy side. Earthy hop with citrus. nice malt balance with a bit or orange zest. It has a light bitter bite with a semi dry, almost peppery finish

F: This is a medium bodied brew. Moderate carbonation

O: I like this beer. The malt profile is simple and bright with a great hop bite. It's not as brash as an IPA and has a nice complexity for a pale ale. There's a nice sweet fruit that peeks through but quickly transforms into a nice hop flavor. I like it.

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Photo of AllDayIPA23
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer. I've had a few different selections from Great Lakes now, and they have yet to disappoint, but have yet to significantly impress, as well. A lot of hop flavor in this for a pale ale. I'm comparing apples to oranges, but I think this beer was better than the more hyped Lake Erie Monster (and I typically prefer Imperial IPAs). I will keep buying beers from this brewery when possible.

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Photo of lastmango
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a medium amber color with a 3 finger head that surprisingly became very creamy like a hefe. Very carbonated, which added to the look. Tremendous amount of lacing and the head stayed on, although in a much thinner form. The nose for me was more grassy than anything else. It is important for this beer to be served at a warmer temp where the flavor really comes out with malt and a hint of orange with a pronounced but not overpowering hop bitterness that washes over the tongue. This beer has a balanced feel with a creaminess on the end.

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Photo of PhillyJay1701
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

1000th and FIRST review LOL...

Poured into a Pilsner style glass (cause I felt like it.... And had nothing else clean)

Look: hazy good like a Wheat beer, surprisingly. White foamy head.

Smell: orange and hops. Not too overpowering but nice enough to remind you it's a pale.

Taste: hops are just right with a malty, orangey sweetness that balances beautifully. Great balance.

Mouthfeel: creamier than one would expect from a pale ale, but that has to do with the malt balance.

Another beautiful beer from Great Lakes. These guys really know what they're doing.

Link to my video review of this beer:

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Photo of chinchill
3.36/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle.

Pours with an over sized foamy head that won't allow me to gently pour the entire 12 oz bottle into into a 18 oz mug. The foamy head lingers on and on, with some settling that leaves it looking like a fitting topping for a vanilla float. The aroma is more earthy, English hop than I prefer but also has an attractive malt aroma that is bolder and darker than expected. The taste follows, with the darker malts coming out in the finish and aftertaste.

O: nice but should revisit with a fresher bottle.

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Photo of JKuras
3.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an effervescent and very clear golden-amber. About an eighth inch of head that lasts for a few minutes.

Smell: First hit by malty chocolate notes and light, sweet caramel. Not too heavy. Very faint traces of citrus.

Taste: Much more bitter and hoppy than I was expecting from the smell. Some light roasted coffee flavors. Clean. The malt and bitterness of the hops come through more than anything else.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel. Slightly syrupy, creamy-smooth effervescence.

Overall: A very clean tasting brew with powerful malt and bitterness characteristics. Doesn’t have the citrus I usually associate with pale ales. Not overly complex, but well done. Might be better drinking in the fall.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Date: July 2, 2015... Glassware: Barley Creek pint... Occasion: week one of camp year five, in the books... Appearance: clear, golden amber body with steady, singular streams of bubbles... thick, two-finger off-white head rises over the glass's lip before settles a coliseum-evoking lacing; more sporadic lacing as the glass drains... Aroma: beautiful resin and pine cone, with orange peel and caramel slicing through the expected pale ale complexion; surprisingly, toasted cereal malts make for a rounded, balanced promise... Palate: frothy, creamy, slightly brackish--and smooth to the finish; drinkable, dry at the finish but crunchy at the sip; worth savoring...Taste: grapefruit, orange peel and pine resin early and easily; caramel malts and some spices--clove, vanilla?--develop a desirable complexity; not as much floral flavors, suggesting the hops were not added at later stages to produce an overwhelming effect on the aroma; a joy to sip and savor, with enough alcohol to develop the evening...Overall: in my second straight experience, Great Lakes takes a famous Ohio entity and crafts a beer that is a champion in its field; easily a top-five among standard six-pack pale ales I have had in my two decades as a beer drinker; enough nuance and texture with drinkability to satisfy even the most fickle or fearful ale drinkers... I love the body, its cohesion with its flavor, and the enjoyable return on its strength---a different take on the Sierra Nevada model but as big and tasty for an American pale...

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Photo of taters21
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden color with a very minimal head that soon disappears into nothing.
Smells of orange, pine, herbal hops
Taste is a creamy herbal hop up front followed by a sweet malt, finishing dry and semi bitter.
Mouthfeel: Moderately thick, this is a creamier pale ale by far
Overall: Excellent, very easy drinking

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Photo of Gote
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had the opportunity to grab different Great Lakes styles while in Columbus and I'm impressed so far. Now I'm not big on pale ales but I really liked this one. Light and refreshing with just a hint of bitterness. Looking forward to their amber lager and porter later tonight.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant gold to amber under a 1” clingy white foam cap.
S: Grassy, grain, light malt, not a lot of hops, smells like the inside of a malt house as the steep tanks empty into the kiln.
T: No caramel but a light malt sweetness, fresh grain, light fruit, citrus.
F: Very creamy medium light to medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, dry finish
O: A well made and easy to drink American pale ale.

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Photo of hotpauko
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looking forward to any Great Lakes beer as I am a huge Edmund Fitzgerald fan. But this one left me a little disappointed. Decent flavor, easy drinking but just not the pop I was expecting. Too average for what I was hoping for, just wanted more flavor and bite.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Darker amber with a thin white head. Heavy lacing on the glass.

Smell: Light hops with a hint of cloves and citrus.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of bitter hops and mild clove and citrus.

Overall: Excellent brew! Great flavors and very enjoyable.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into glass. 6% abv.

Appearance- Clear amber in color with a fading 2 finger head.

Smell- Bready, sweet malt with a touch of caramel and floral sweetness.

Taste- A sweet toasted biscuit malt goes into a refreshing hop citrus aspect with notes of orange. The malt sweetness blends into a bitter hop kick in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium-light in body. Smooth.

Overall- A simple and right to the point PA that demonstrates what a pale ale should be quality-wise. Well done. Good blend of malt and hops. Awesome.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.98/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: [4.00] Full finger of dense white head. The beer itself is orange in color. Very little bubbling from the glass. The bottle has a best by date of 3/12/15 and lists the ABV at 6.0%.

S: [2.75] The nose is very weak. Just some really subdues floral and fruit notes. That is with a huge whiff.

T: [3.00] Upfront is malty and sweet. The back end is a stark contrast - it has a pronounced bitter finish. The taste is following the nose with the lack of distinct flavor components.

M: [2.75] Low carbonation. The key feature of the mouthfeel is the lingering bitter aftertaste.

O: [3.00] I love Great Lakes - but not enough for me to recommend this beer. It is just lacking any character or flavor. I will definitely leave this out of the lineup.

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Photo of EvieE
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Amber orange. Nice lacing, a medium head. Was really orange looking.

S: Heavy grapefruit smell. A little yeasty.

T: A sharp taste, a nice hops finish though.

F: Sharp on the front of the tongue. Heavy carbonation feel.

O: Would have it again, wouldn't mind for a session beer. But wouldn't be my first choice.

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Photo of Mikus
3.16/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Medium amber, little bit of white head, good carbonation in pint glass (12oz bottle). Mild nose, hint of pine and light floral notes. Slight taste of piney hops, bit muddled tasting overall, light on hops (enjoy by still has 5-6 weeks...), not too wild about the flavors (even a bit of wet cardboard in there). Maybe fresher, or on a summer day? Clean mouthfeel in general, gently lingering flavors (unfortunately some bit off), easy drinking. Overall ok, but FL can do a lot better! I'll have to try a fresher one sometime, maybe in a mixed 12 pack...

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Photo of bmeehan
2.98/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I prefer to cook with this vs drink it. It's got a very bitter profile, which isn't something I tend to gravitate to anyway, but more than that, it just sits on the back of your tongue and annoys your taste buds. As a beer to cook with, though, the hoppiness works in its favor and doesn't overpower whatever meat you use it with.

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Photo of StevensBrewing
2.97/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Holy Cascade! This beer is great for hopheads. It looks fine, smells better than it tastes for a small time hop guy like me. This beer is pallet scorching, so be careful if you're not used to powerful alphas. Overall is is decent for Great Lakes.

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Photo of mchegash
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
Light orange-brown color. 1.5 fingers of head upon initial pour, dissipates down to minimal head. Quite clear, small amount of carbonation can be seen rising throughout the beer.

Smell - 4/5
Nice citrusy hops presenece with slight pine notes. Kind of a mellowed-out smell. It's nice.

Taste - 3.75/5
Piney hops, some sweet darker malts. Overall a decent taste.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium bodied, light carbonation, quite crisp.

Overall - 4/5
Overall, a very balanced pale ale. The hops don't overpower, but are still very present in the taste.

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Photo of Josh012012
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried this one because of the decent rating. So I poured it and it looked good. Then I took a whiff. Did not smell that good, did not have the real strong hop presence I was hoping for.. because of the smell I thought the taste would be bad also... but it was very balanced and although there was not a ton of hops or citrus it was still a very respectable beer. I have had 4 in a row. very god but not exactly what I expected.

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Orange-gold color.

Overall: Crisp and smooth beer. Dry with a light bitterness at the end. Not a complex beer. Very solid beer. Excellent APA.

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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,009 ratings.