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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

1,013 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,013
Hads: 3,064
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 19.3%
Wants: 135
Gots: 494 | 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: 1,013 | Hads: 3,064
Photo of Tone
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 5/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of resin-y hops, sweet malt, slight alcohol, hint of smoke, and earthy malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of earthy malt, sweet malt, resin-y hops, hint of alcohol, and a hint of yeast. Overall, great appearance, but only average aroma and body.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale brewed by Great Lakes Brewing Co., 6.00% ABV. This brew pours out a deep golden amber color with a nice off white head. This brew has a nice amount of lacing to it. The smell of this brew is, rich with hops,grain, and malts. This brew has the look and smell of most IPA's on the market. Not saying that is a bad thing. The taste of Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale is rich with hops and citrus, from the hops. You also pick up on some nice grains and malts. There is a lot going on in Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale. This is one of the more bolder and smoother than most IPA's I have had. This brew has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. The mouth feel of Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, is rich , bold , clean , and refreshing. You really can't pick up on the 6.00% ABV in this brew. Overall I'm giving Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, a 4.5 out of 5. Great Lakes Brewing Co., did a nice job with this brew. I would buy this brew this again.

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Photo of stevoj
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crisp and sharp, leaves a nice bitterness on the back of the tongue. Clear golden color with minimal head and lazy carbonation. Hops come through on first taste and stay with you til the "bitter" end....

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Photo of brandongoblue24
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

L: 2 full fingers of creamy off-white head with a fairly aggressive pour. Dwindled to a film, where it remained. A good amount of visible carbonation, with a bit of particulate floating. Color was a crystal clear golden amber.

S: Spicy, floral hops certainly lead the charge, but there is a substantial amount of grainy malts.

T: Again, the floral hops were forward, but this time there was a tiny bit of lemon/citrus added. The malt took on a biscuity flavor that I wasn't getting in the nose. Well balanced, if a little on the malty side for a pale ale. Less bitterness than I expected with 45 IBUs.

F: Medium bodied, with fairly high carbonation. A smooth, medium-dry finish. I wouldn't call it crisp per se, but certainly refreshing.

O: A clean, refreshing pale ale, with strong malt flavors and floral hops. Certainly a good showing from Great Lakes!

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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
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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
2.5/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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. 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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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,013 ratings.