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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

2,938 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,938
Reviews: 1,026
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 115
Gots: 388 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,938 | Reviews: 1,026
Reviews by gabedivision:
Photo of gabedivision
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a SA perfect pint glass

Pours a nice dark copper with a a tight 1 finger head that smears and laces around the glass. Big sweet hops hit the nose, very fruity mix of cherries and berries with a bold malt and bitter hops. So good on the tongue, the malts give almost a woody, and chocoatly taste blended well with distinct hop presence but not overwhelming, bready and sweet. Light to medium on the feel, low carbonation. Overall, this is awesome, its a little bigger than your average APA, with a little more breadiness and a solid hop balance.

More User Reviews:
Photo of joe12pk
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a glass.

A - Orange-gold. One finger head dissipates quickly but good retention throughout. Nice lacing.

S - Light grapefruit, sweet malt

T - Begins with sweet malt and fruit. Ends in a bit grapefruit with minor pine notes. Dry, with a pleasant light bitterness.

O - This is a good one for initiates in the world of pale ales.

Photo of Cavanaghty
4.77/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

Photo of gdreyer
4.83/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Excellent Pale ale. My always on hand.

Photo of Jbbarnett19
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite "everyday" beers. Can drink this all year round.

Photo of AwesomeFresh
4.76/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best beer I've ever had!

Photo of EvieE
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of Stevenloures0
4.79/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic brew.. Faint fruit flavor but not overwhelming still keeping the hops

Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice hoppy flavor,not enough head though.But a well made APA,most of their beers are well made micros.

Photo of RoyalT
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is a nice, bright orange in color with a very thick white head.

Smell – The hops are big here for an APA with massive grapefruit and a small, toasty malt compliment. The pine, citrus, and grapefruit are in perfect harmony in this hop bouquet and really this is one of the most pleasantly-balanced hop profiles I’ve ever smelled.

Taste – The hops are here at the taste as well. They show tons of depth and overshadow the malts which are quite good actually if understated. This is a strong, hoppy brew though make no mistake about that.

Mouthfeel – This is surprisingly thick, a solid medium-bodied, with little carbonation but it’s not flat. The beer has a very creamy texture but is also quite bitter throughout. If you like smooth, creamy, bitter hops then this burn’s for you.

Drinkability – This went down extremely well but it is a rather big beer so be prepared for that. This is not a light-drinker APA, it is a heavy, thick beer that is best consumed on an empty stomach. If you can take it, or if you are just a big fan of smooth, hoppy ales then you’ll love this beer.

Photo of sgoodship
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: Yellowish amber with a hint of haziness. Some visible carbonation pillars rising quickly. Soft white one finger head. Dissipated to a fine head throughout and leaves nice large topographical lacing.

S: Surprisingly aggressive hop nose. Fresh, floral, grapefruit and lemony. It has a strong Cascade character. A little malt sweetness but hop dominates. Malt becomes stronger and biscuity toward the end of the drink.

T: Nice clean grapefruit hop bite with a solid caramel malt backbone. This has to be pushing toward an IPA. I'm not going to complain about that! It is well done. The malt manages to hold it's own and adds levels of sweetness under the hop that make the fruitiness take on more peach type characteristics. Lovely!

M: Light body, crisp, dry mouth. Medium carbonation that is very active but not too aggressive in the mouth. Aftertaste leaves a nice hop bite on the back of the throat.

D: A very enjoyable beer. One of the better APA's I have had. I would drink another if I had one but sadly I don't. I have yet to have a bad beer from Great Lakes - gotta love that!

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #26:

Bright and clear golden-amber color; good showing of the head retention, and it stands three fingers high. Hints of caramel and flowery hop in the nose. Slick and chewy medium body. Bitty smoothness lets the grain and hop bitterness roll around on the taste buds first. Biscuity malt and a spicy, orangey hop bitterness and flavor battle it out. Hey now, these hops are at work here. Clean palate with only a quick flash of fruitiness from the alcohol. A little dry in the finish with a long trail of hop flavor.

Without a doubt, this beer displays its American Pale Ale traits; it's balanced, yet with the hops, always up front. Surpassing the benchmark is our conclusion. Proof that a Mid-American brewery can well hop a Pale Ale like the rest of them. Good use of Cascade hops!

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice golden copper color with a sweet 1 inch head. A nice floral / citrusy hops aroma fills my nose and beckons me to take that first sip. Taste has a wonderful hops presence couple with a great biterness...a damn fine example of a APA. Some floral / piney notes come through as well. This is a awesome brew that has great drinkability. It's up there with SNPA in my book. Two thumbs up to Great Lakes Brewing for this ale. I look forward to trying some of their other offerings as well.

Photo of warnerry
3.49/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes; best by 3/30/11; tasted 2/15/11

A - Pours a clear golden brown with two fingers of head with decent retention.

S - Very faint hop aroma, but surprisingly little going on here.

T - Some citrus hop up front, Nicely balanced with malt. Lingering bitterness with a tea-like aspect to it.

M - Nice medium mouthfeel with good, but not overwhelming, carbonation.

O - Good pale ale. Doesn't really stand out among other pale ales, but it is well made.

Photo of generallee
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It has an amber color with excellent clarity. Its head is foamy and white in color. It builds up big and thick before settling back down to a thin cap that leaves behind rings of lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is full of floral and piney hops over sweet bready malts.

Taste/Mouth feel: Hop bitterness has a bold presence from the start to the finish. Bready malts are just strong enough to support and add some balance to the crisp citrus and piney hops. The finish has a slow bitter hops fade. Carbonation is pleasant with a light and smooth mouth feel in the medium body.

Notes: Hop flavor is alive and strong in this Pale Ale.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a transparent amber. The head forms but quickly resides to the glasses edge.

The aroma is nice full of fresh malt toasted crystal malt make a hint of butter and citrus

The carbonation id upfront on the tongue it builds and lingers on the tongue. The taste starts malty pale and a slight butter crystal malt finish

Photo of badturtle
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After popping the top, my first thought was I was smelling a porter. There is a hint of chocolate and citrus, mostly orange. It has a good blast of hops. The color is dark amber. The head was small and didn't last long. I bought this on sale. The normal price is a little high. It is good, but not $8 per six pack good.

Photo of Duster72
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a nice one finger head that sticks around for a few minutes and leaves some lacing behind. Aroma is excellent citrus hops and really jumps out at you. Taste is citrus hops with some resiny pine. Surprisingly bitter for an APA, has more characteristics of an IPA. A little too bitter for me especially for an APA. Good beer, but not great.

Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown with a drink before date clearly marked.

Appearance: Tarnished amber with a well formed head which clings all over the glass.

Smell: Caramel maltiness with a big floral hoppiness in the nose.

Taste: Crisp and medium bodied yet dries to the puckering point in the finish. Aggressive and sharp hop bitterness dominates the front with some notes of citrus on top. The bitterness pretty much tags along into the finish though there is a decent amount of malt character to add a depth to this brew. Underlying caramel and biscuit flavours come though middle to end which adds to this brews greatness.

Notes: Its funny, some breweries don't even brew their IPA this hoppy and/or strong. A BIG Pale Ale here with a great finish ... very impressive, one of the top pale ales I have tasted in a while.

Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Named after one of the USA's most embarrasing environmental events, when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire in 1969. This is one of the more drinkable APAs I've sampled. It pours a hazy, honey amber body with a small offwhite head that retains well and leaves some curtains of lace. Aroma is very enticing, with citrusy grapefruit and orangepeel, some pine cone, and a solid caramel malt background. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth. Taste is well balanced, with lots of citrusy hops and bready caramel malt sweetness. Very smooth, with a slightly bitter citrusrind finish and aftertaste. This is more drinkable than my go-to American Pale Ale, SNPA. Smoother and better balanced. Very nice!

Photo of warriorsoul
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Buckspin for this one of many Great Lakes brews.
Pours a real dark copper color w/ two and a half fingers of foamy off-white head...lacing is quite thick and stagnant...impressive.
Smell is faint...a touch of malt and grassy notes.
Taste is pretty decent for the style...not overly hopped, but this one is definitely driven by the malt. The hops do make an appearance to keep it balanced and adds a solid bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is a step above medium bodied...drinkability is great.
This is the brew I would use to intoduce friends and family to the craft brew scene...looking foward to trying their others.

Photo of tigg924
2.9/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 3/4 inch head, gold-orange in color, clear, medium carbonation

Smell: pale malt, citrus hops, and grass

Taste: caramel start, a strange bitter middle with citrus hops at the end

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, medium-bodied, sweet start with a big bitter middle spike that gets less bitter towards the end

Overall: An OK APA that I was a bit disappointed with. The bitter spike in the middle muted a lot of the other flavors. I like Great Lakes beers, but this one did not sit as well with me as others have.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by hudsonphotog.

Pours light orange with a white head. The aroma is very malty, possibly Vienna malt. You also get some piney hops. The flavor is piney hops with a strong caramel malt backbone. Not too complex but a good APA. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Photo of LyonsHead
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Strictly orange with a creamy white head and okay lacing. crystal clear

S: The first whiff is all hops but as you move through the drink the aroma becomes more balanced with a malty character. The hop is citrusy and the malt is bready with some caramel undertones.

T: This beer is very malty sweet at the onset with some nice caramel notes. There is a heavy dose of citrus and pine with the hops and then it leaves you with a sharp hoppy bitterness.

M: Medium body that starts sweet and dries out nicely to highlight the hop character

D: I like this beer a lot but when you're judging it to style it seems to big. Its a very sweet beer that they pack a bunch of IBUs into in order to balance it out. It definitely has balance but the final impression is that its very bitter for a pale ale. But thats only according to style! I still like it

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from my Great Lakes "The Sampler" pack.

Poured into a nonic. Nice, bright amber-golden in colour, leaves about a 3/4 inch head, nice lacing, good retention. Solid ring remains long after the pour.

Nose is sweet caramel malt coupled with crisp, piney-citrus hops.

A solid pale ale, full of flavor, nicely balanced. Caramel malts, mild citrus hops to cleanse the palate. A bit of earth, resin and chocolate kicking around. Not overly complex, just a great tasting brew.

Medium bodied, slightly creamy.

Though not as mind-explodingly good as Edmund Fitzgerald or Dortmunder, this is nevertheless a great tasting pale, that is light and crisp enough to quench a thirst on a humid afternoon, yet tasty enough to sit and ponder over.

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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,938 ratings.