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

Great Lakes Burning River Pale AleGreat Lakes Burning River Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,317 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2317
Reviews: 975
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.06%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-06-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,317 | Reviews: 975 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of laituegonflable


3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Santora's Pizza in Amherst.

Pours a rich gold, off-white head. Foamy, nice retention. Lace is nice. Pleasant-looking pale.

Smells grassy, citric, tangy and slightly savoury. Bit of bread dough. OK.

Tastes quite doughy upfront. Gets a bit of resinous hop midway with citric notes, pine needle, some paprika and dry wood. A bit on the savoury side, could use more tang.

Fizz on there, but the body is OK for the style.

Not quite as refreshing as I'd like, but some nice notes, and some interesting ones as well.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2013 05:17:57 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of garuda


3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Clear copper, white head has decent retention and lace.

S/T - Nicely balanced pine hops, bready, biscuit malts, caramel sweetness, touch of diacetyl. The medium body is very smooth across the palate and finishes crisp and clean.

O - Easy drinking pale ale, well balanced. Crisp, clean flavors. The touch of diacetyl doesn't really take anything away from the drink.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2013 13:59:48 | More by garuda
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland, OH

A: Pours a crystal clear pale amber in color with some moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation and some golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that quickly reduces to a medium patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of caramel malts with some moderate aromas of floral and citrus/orange rind hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of pale and caramel malts with just a touch of sweetness. The malts are followed by light to moderate flavors of floral and citrus/orange rind hops which impart a light bitterness which lingers for a short amount of time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of crispness upfront.

O: This is an easy drinking beer that pairs up well with the food served in the brewpub at Great Lakes - I think this beer would go with just about anything. Easy to drink and refreshing, enough hops to be interesting but still enjoyable and not overly bitter. This is just about sessionable (just a touch high on the ABV to really be a session beer).

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2013 12:33:05 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of 57md


4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a standard copper with a half finger of head. The nose is pleasantly hoppy. There is a definite hoppiness in the flavor profile, but it is not as strong as the nose would suggest. Rather, this APA is malt forward, but still delivers with a crisp, dry and bitter finish.

A very good example of a sadly overlooked style.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2012 06:30:58 | More by 57md
Photo of pjmitch


4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had the opportunity to purchase this pale ale a number of times in the last few years. I really enjoyed a couple of pints last weekend at Yardhouse in Glenview, IL . Give it a try if you like an easily drinkable but flavorful ale. I was a Bass Ale guy for my take-home brand but the new product they make in New York does not taste like the original pale ale from England. I'm looking for a replacement...any recommendations?

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2012 02:53:08 | More by pjmitch
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – Served a clear orange-amber colored brew with a one finger white head. The head faded relatively fast to give a lighter amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was of a bready and malty base with good hint of chop aromas. The hops were quite well done, with them being a nice blend of a grapefruit, lemon, pine and floral nature.

Taste – The taste begins of a malt base. The malt is lightly roasted with a good bready taste. Some lighter hop flavors of a grapefruit nature are present right up front and are mixed with a more caramel like sweetness. Soon however other hop flavors of a pine and earthy nature greet the tongue. While these enter, some of the caramel fades, leading to a bittering of the taste overall. In the end the citrus grapefruit seems to resurge leaving a slightly hoppy and light roast malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was medium in terms of creaminess as well as in terms of its carbonation Fairly easy to drink, but lacking in some complexity.

Overall – A good tasty easy drinking brew with a good balance of malt and hop flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2012 23:20:20 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Oxford, OH. Pours orange with a long lasting white and creamy head. Nose is of caramel, orange, and citrusy hops. Body is full, crisp and creamy. Taste is a lot of citrusy hops, caramel malt, and orange fruit. Finish is long, bitter and citrusy. Amazing taste, amazing balance of amazing PA.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2012 20:39:56 | More by mikeg67
Photo of littlelorib


3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a medium amber colored brew, maybe a little on the dark side of medium amber, with not quite a finger of creamy off white head. The head persisted for a while. Smell is balanced with a mixture of malt and hops. Taste follows smell, with a blend of ever so slightly toasted malt and rather generic hops.

A nice pale ale, and i'll drink it again, but (perhaps because i've been drinking a lot of IPAs)while the hops provide bitterness to the taste and balance the malts, they provide little complexity beyond that.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2012 23:26:27 | More by littlelorib
Photo of thecheapies


4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber in color with icky bitsy sticky lacing all over the mofo. Looks like awesome. 4.5

Grassy/herbal hops in a big way. A little multi-grain cereal malt layer to balance a bit. Still hop forward. 4.0

Caramelly grain with a robust toast and pine and herby hops out the wazoo. Balanced and tasty. Wooly bitterness that's rather sharp. Dextrinous. Almost tobacco-y and slighly mentholated. 4.0

Medium-bodied with a splash of thin. Carbonation is bigger. Ultimately keeps you in check. 4.0

Stellar pale that has balance and mucho flavor. 4.5

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2012 04:25:01 | More by thecheapies
Photo of claytri


3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer poured golden with an off white head. The aroma was light malt with some fruitiness, and hops. The taste is a little bit of malt up front, a small rush of fruit, and then a big hit of hops leaving a bitter aftertaste. The feel is light and dry. A bit over hopped for my taste, I could do with more of the malt and fruit. A pretty typical hoppy pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2012 18:08:34 | More by claytri
Photo of ClevelandKidO

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its hard to find things that are great in the mistake on the lake. Great Lakes Brewery is the one few things Cleveland has to be proud of.
Burning River is a fantastic Pale Ale, on tap or from a bottle, buying a 12 packs will not disappoint.
It Has a tinted orange presentation, with a delightfully caramel, natural honey type taste. There also is a nice floral hint to it, with an almost transparent citrus like flavor.
It goes really well with mexican food, and highly recommend you try it with with fresh bowl of guacamole and chips.
Although Clevelands last championship in sports was in the 60's, Great Lakes Brewery remains a winner every year, with its fantastic freshness and terrific beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2012 01:44:07 | More by ClevelandKidO
Photo of Rifugium


3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Poured a gently amber color with a slight haze, and a half inch or so of foamy white head. Aroma is grassy, floral, biscuity. Surprisingly drying hop profile in the taste right off the bat, citrus pith, grape skins, bready malts, with a bitter and intensely drying finish. Not necessarily a palate wrecker, but I wouldn't follow this one with a stout. Light-medium body, crisp and clean, and quite good overall for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2012 03:46:24 | More by Rifugium
Photo of russwbeck


3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear orange pour with a finger of white head. Nice lacing, but the retention isn't great.

S: Light hop profile with a sharp maltiness. Some other fruit notes I can't place. Malt forward, sweet and light overall.

T: The taste is very clean. Light maltiness and some fruity hops, bordering on bitter. Not a big taste, but enough to be enjoyable and make you want more.

MF: Light body, carbonated well, really drinkable.

Value: $2 for a taster. Love that price to try a lot and not get tanked.

O: The drinkability really sets this one apart. My glass was gone before I knew it, certainly could have gotten a couple pints and not thought twice about it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 23:44:45 | More by russwbeck
Photo of xnicknj


4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at south philly tap room

Pours a deep golden amber color with some bright reddish hues. A nice crop of white head sits on top, retaining for a bit, plenty of patchy lacing on the glass.

Punchy hops and fruity notes in the nose. Citrusy and tropical tones with a bready malted base. Softer touches of caramel with a faint warmth.

Bitter and juicy up front with a nice hop presence. Orange and citrus peel with touches of pineapple. Bready and biscuity malt tones with a decent amount of sweetness. Touches of caramel and honey. Finishes bitter and slightly warm.

Medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and refreshing on the palate. A really nice drinking pale ale, something I could easily have a few of.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2012 03:44:00 | More by xnicknj
Photo of rangerred


3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap.

Arrived a clear light brown with a 2 finger white head. Decent head retention and lacing.

Aroma was citrusy hops along with bready malt.

The flavor was very hoppy up front with citrus hops dominating. This faded to a pleasant maltiness along with a moderated lingering bitterness. I also detected some fruityness along the line of strawberry or raspberry.

Overall this is a nicely balanced beer that I would seek out again. Would like to try it in the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2011 02:14:58 | More by rangerred
Photo of SolipsismalCat


4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass.

A: Clear amber with two-finger, white head that lasted a few minutes. Very nice lacing.

S: Mild hop and malt aroma. Some citrus.

T: Light sweetness and strong hop bitterness. Malt flavors in there, but dominated by the hops. Some grapefruit and citrus notes. More hops than I was expecting, but good.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O: Solid pale ale. Would like to try one from a bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2011 00:52:23 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of manitouman84


3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper amber with slight turbidity and a head that quickly dissipates. Moderate hop aroma, floral and citrus balanced with malt aroma. Clean malt profile, citrus and grapefruit lingering in the background, with a crisp finish on the palate. Overall a very good and very drinkable beer, but I did not personally find anything that stands out about this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-30-2011 17:58:42 | More by manitouman84
Photo of epicness

New York

3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Beer pours a deep copper/amber color with a one finger head with very good rentention. Very sticky lacing is present on the glass.

S: Floral and citrus pretty much dominate the scent. The lemon/grapefruit scent is pretty dominant. Past the floral and citrus notes there is a little bit of malt sweetness to be discovered.

T: Sweet malts up front, which quickly give away to a bitterness of grapefruit and zesty lemon. The bitterness is very mild although lingers for a little while after each sip.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. It's not as dry of a finish as I was expecting, but I won't complain about it.

O: It's a very good offering from what is considered a very good brewery. Is it the best pale ale that I have ever had? Of course not.. but it's not bad by any stretch. It's a very well balanced beer that I wouldn't reject if it were offered to me.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2011 17:37:06 | More by epicness
Photo of Arbitrator


3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap. So far, I'm loving Columbus...

A: Pours a clear orange-amber body with a pinky finger of off-white head that retains well. A few dribbles of lace down the sides of the pint glass.

S: Lemon zest, grapefruit flesh, bread, and a mild, indeterminate sweetness on the nose.

T: Hops come through as lemon zest and grapefruit, as picked up in the nose. But the taste is grassier than the smell would lead me to believe. I still can't nail down what the malt character is; it's not exactly caramel, but it's not just biscuit and bread. Regardless, the sweetness it imparts firms up the flavor nicely. Bitterness is very mild.

M: Light-medium bodied. It's not as dry as I like, but the flavor makes up for it.

O: I like the tap iteration better than the bottle. I wish I could get this on draft out in CA...

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2011 13:57:37 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of beergod1


3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a million times, yet I had not rated it yet....hmmmm. I just had the 11 beer sampler at GLB, so I can get caught up on some of these. Nice ruby-golden color with a white head. Very hoppy aroma, some light grass and fruits from the malt as well. Medium body, almost an IPA, But since I drank the Commodore Perry....I clearly see(taste) the Difference. Better on tap. Good Stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2011 00:55:14 | More by beergod1
Photo of KYBrewgrass


4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- 4 Clear golden color. Fluffy white head that dissipates. Sticky, clingy lacing.

S- 3.5 Citrus and hops, but not too powerful. Just not getting enough of it.

T- 4 What was lacking in aroma is made up for in taste! Great blend of citrus and hops balanced by a hint of sweet malt.

M- 4.5 Near perfect carbonation, very smooth. Just under medium body.

D- 4.5 I could enjoy plenty of these. Very well balanced taste and smooth. It isn't heavy. Great session brew.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2011 12:43:35 | More by KYBrewgrass
Photo of Kelly88


3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Cock and Bull. Served in an imperial pint.

A- a dark amber color. A really dominant beige head that is here to stay. Very clear, almost completely translucent. Pretty dark for a pale ale but a great looking beer.

S- lots of toasty bread. Caramel toffee with hops at the end. Not very pungent but a good aroma.

T- this reminds me of a mash up of an amber and a pale ale. Toasty malts are mingling nicely with medium hop bite. Toffee is there in good amounts. Very subdued flavors, but they are tasty.

M- light medium feel. Good carbonation. A little watery and unfufilling on the finish. About right for a pale.

Overall a solid choice if you see it. Good subtle flavors that are interesting sip after sip. You could drink a few and the beer would still seem fresh and new. I wish the flavors were stronger but it is Just a pale ale so I understand.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2011 21:59:58 | More by Kelly88
Photo of BeerLover99


3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: golden deep yellow/orange, 2 finger pillow on top, solid lacing

S: more malt and grain sniff than the usual clean pine/citrus hops.

T: malt, citrus, pine hops, firm long bitter finish.

M: Medium/thick, shocking for an APA.

D: Nice Great Lakes offering, almost feels like an bigger beer. You can't go wrong with this brew. I could drink more than a few of these bad boys.

Very good brew, worth enjoying.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2011 18:41:40 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of Murrdogg


2.7/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the GLBC brewery itself

A: medium-dark golden, small head

S: Strong hop smell. slight pine-y/wood in the back

T: Bitter, hoppy taste. This was not for me. The hops were deep, some citrus-y, some sweet, but was a bit overpowering for my taste. Finished even more bitter than it began

M: Somehow light, which was surprising with the robust hop presence. but much too hoppy for me

D: I was able to finish it, but the residual hop presence in the mouth along with the bitter aftertaste would keep me from ordering another one. This would probably be good with some strong dishes, heat or spice. I laughed, as it almost tasted like a decadent burning river..

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2011 18:06:10 | More by Murrdogg
Photo of bilyboy65


3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my second beer on tap from obryckis in the cleveland, oh airport. And this one is also lacking carbonation. The beer is very good however. Hippy floral and woody notes that blend well together. Gives the beer a very nice bitterness that doesn't really overpower the taste buds. That makes this a very enjoyable pale ale. Simple its good.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2011 00:59:06 | More by bilyboy65
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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,317 ratings.