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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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

2,305 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2305
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: 2,305 | Reviews: 975 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

overwhelmingly citrusy, lots of carbonation bubbles, under a small head. Understated bitter finish to the citrus, and citrus in aroma. bit overcarbonated and lighter mouthfeel.A great summer beer.I have never had a bad brew from this brewery. This is the rerating after not having for 2.5 years.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2003 23:15:26 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Some of us are old enough (barely) to remember that fateful summer day in '69 when the Cuyahoga River caught fire. Cleveland has really come a long way since then. It's a great town!

Not quite clear orange-amber with fine carbonation and a firm, French vanilla colored lid that has good staying power and leaves abundant lace. The aroma is bright and hoppy, smelling primarily of lemon and grapefruit zest. The flavor is well-hopped with a lovely bitterness. Again, grapefruit peel (Cascade?) is dominant.

Burning River isn't overly complex, but it's a more than solid, straightforward, high-quality pale ale. The finish is austere, with more than a hint of dryness. The mouthfeel is medium for the style. I could drink this beer all day and all night.

A couple of thoughts. GLBC seems to be incapable of brewing anything but outstanding beer across a wide range of styles. After sampling three of their offerings, I'm convinced that they have absolutely nailed down head/lace and carbonation/mouthfeel. Lastly, this bottle had a 'best by' date of Sept. 18, '03, a full 3 months before I purchased it and 3+ months before this review. I detected no problems whatsoever.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2004 23:19:01 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

12oz bottle poured into a 8oz hote water glass, but heck at least it was a glass right?

A - Poured a very nice and deep dark amber with lots of carbonation visible coming up from the bottom of the glass. There was not really much of a head here, rather just a thin film of foam lace covering the top and a tiny bit of side glass lace down the sides. Overall fairly average look for me.

S - The aroma was rather nice. An English IPA type of smell that was muc sweeter then your average british version. Instead of having the huge amounts of floral and citrus hops, this was much more earthy with a a nice grainy and grassy dominance that had a touch of bitter in it towards the end. This was rahter nice and had a good bread like malty back bone coming though in it as well

T - The flavor to was very nice especially for an English IPA. There started out a very nice grainy and grassy like hoppiness that was very dominant even from the beginning. This evolded nicely into a finely grained and bread like base that really pushed the envelope as far as hop much malt could go into this one while still keeping it true to its IPA roots. This then showed a touch of sweetness, almost caramel like, but more toned down then that. The finish was strong with dominant bitter Ero like hops draing out the finish and really drying everything out waiting for you to take the next sip from it.

M - Very nice medium bodied IPA. To be honest I was quite impressed with this one and it really seemed to make a nice little addition to the Great Lakes Brews I have been trying as of late. Rich and almost creamy like in the feel the crbonation held up great throughout the entire session and really have nothing bad to say about this one here.

D - A really nice and different session beer for me here. I normally like the deep citrus bomb for my session ale, however this was quite different and really thoroughly enjoyed every last drop. I could really see this one as a classic session ale if I lived around here. It was really quite tight profile was and had little ABV which made it just about perfect.

Overall this was a pretty damn fine ale. Stayong up here in Ohio for a few days I am getting to try all these nice Midwest brews and this is one I would be glad to try again. A quality ale I will be sure to pick up more of the next time I am around.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 11:33:47 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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

Thanks to Jeff for this one.

A: The beer pours a clear amber color with a finger of white head on top.

S: Slightly sweet aroma with a little bit of toast and bread character. There isn't too much of a hop profile to it, but there is a bit of citrus peel and grass. A light caramel aroma which gives it a slight creaminess.

T: A similar story on the palate. Sweet bread, toffee, and pale, cracker malts. A light floral and grassy hop flavor along with a soft hop bitterness. Creamy caramel notes on the finish with just a touch of orange peel.

M: On the light side of medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: While this is a drinkable beer, it isn't up there with the better pale ales that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 05:57:55 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours out a clear light amber color with a nice head that sticks and laces well

Smell: Biscuity, with a generous dose of floral hop leaf aroma

Taste: Starts out with a biscuity malt base which starts to pick up some grapefruit pith as the hops kick in by mid-palate; the finish is fruity and bitter with a good hop presence and a touch of alcoholic warming

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation; crisp

Drinkability: This is one great APA and is up there with Three Floyds as one of my favorite examples of the style

Thanks, vwcraig, for the opportunity to re-visit

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2005 20:59:33 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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

Bottle courtesy of Jdoolin: Poured a deep copper color ale with a medium white bubbly head with good retention. Aroma of citrusy hops is quite dominant and quite enjoyable. Taste is quite hoppy with some real citrusy flavour is well backed by some generous caramel malt. Body is quite full with some great carbonation. Overall, I thought this was a well balance amp version of an APA.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2007 18:49:24 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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

Much of what I remember from drinking from the bottle. However, on tap, the beer comes across smoother, softer, and much more bready / biscuity than I remember. Moderately malty and yeasty with the anticipated perfumy, citrus, piney hop aromas and flavors. Delicate, nearly Wit-like, textures: creamy, silky, and smooth. Overall, not as in-your-face as Sierra Nevada or Flying Dog, but perhaps better balanced. And to think, I nearly forgot how well this beer tasted. Silly me.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2007 18:37:11 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. The color is a light copper with a white head. Decent enough retention but as it falls there's no real lacing. Nose brings some nice citrus and grassy hops with a moderate pale malt base. The taste really focuses in on some grassy hops, which I always seem to get from Great Lakes hoppy offerings and I can't say that I'm really a fan. Feel is slightly bitter with a bit of lightly-sweet malt backing. Drinks well in the end, but the flavor just isn't quite for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 17:06:28 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

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

A: The beer is crystal clear light amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that hardly died down.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of floral hops in the nose along with notes of caramel malts and hints of citrus.
T: The taste has flavors of pale and caramel malts along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very good representation of the style that is easy to drink and has lots of hops.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2012 21:32:25 | More by metter98
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2002 08:46:59 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Back during my Boilermaker years, my boyz and I believed that if the Wabash ever had a cigarette thrown it, it would explode into an inferno that would make Lucifer consider relocating. This has no real importance, but this beer tends to bring that memory bubbling to the surface. (Seriously, don't swim in the Wabash.) It pours a clear copper topped by a tall bit of thick, light ecru froth, which leaves some decent lacing behind as it subsides. The nose is pretty unspectacular, with notes of caramel, maple syrup, and a light touch of hops (not citrus, not floral, just hops in general). The taste comprises a slight bit o' citrus, some bitterness, and a solidly bready caramel backbone. The body is a light medium, with light carbonation and a crisp finish. Not bad, though I wish the smell were a little better.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 06:33:43 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice appearance with a slightly hazy orange-tinted amber that's capped by a foamy bone-white head. The head holds well and leaves some nice lace. The bouquet displays soflty sweet, caramelized malt over a mildly floral and gently citrusy hoppiness. A medium/full body and smoothly creamy mouthfeel accentuate the lightly toasted/caramelized malt while floral and citrus hop flavor and bitterness balance it out perfectly. Very well done. Although there's alot of malt going on in the mouth, it thins and dries in the finish, and yet still retains a light touch of malty sweetness at the tip of the tongue... really, really nice! This APA exhibits a slightly fuller malt than many examples, and maybe a touch less hop flavor and aroma, but it's all still there and balances exceptionally well. It offers a great amount of drinkability while still retaining a good amount of character! Very well done and well worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2003 08:44:06 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lovely, hazy golden hue, with a flush, full chalky-white head, thick, but slowly diminishing. Aroma: citrus and straw, a quintessential pale ale smell here, fre. sh, flowery, herbal, even , full of hoppiness, without being too-much-so, i.e., edging into IPA territory, sweet and sour (citric) at once.
Taste: Ah! Let's say it again, loud and proud, AHHH!!!! Bold fruitiness first embodies this palate, peach and apricot, nectarine, orange, with a great hoppiness, too, but so much here is ably matched by the malt, and the sweetness adequately captures any bitter, so that there is no clash, no struggle, no fight for superiority here, no sword-clash for dominance, just a perfectly balanced pale ale. Taste is full and fruity throughout, dominated by peach and apricot, but ever-so delicious and delectably downable all the way.
Definitely a rival for Sierra Nevada PA, certainly a contender along the same style, but, did I ever enjoy this sample! Mmmmm, mmm,,nmnnn!

And seperate cheers to tavernjef for sneaking it across the WI border for me!

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2004 11:18:06 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from FtownThrowDown, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a thin white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a blend of pale hops, citrus sweetness and caramelized malt.

T: The citrus sweetness comes out first in the taste and is then followed by a mild burst of hops bitterness. The malt backbone is persistent throughout each sip. After-taste is a little sweet with a bit of residual hops.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean & dry finish.

D: Tasty and easy-to-drink, not too filling, decent kick, this is a good beer to stick with for an evening, unless you're looking for something heavier.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2006 01:20:27 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one from pwoods, Cheers Patrick!

Pours amber with a pinky of rapidly falling beige head. Some head retention & lacing

S: Nice orange peel & lemon, with biscuitty malt in the background

T: Follows the nose with nice crispness up front. Biscuitty malt & some crackery notes, comes to the fore as this warms, along with lemons, a bit of grapefruit & dryness. Finishes with a whisper of booze, hops crispness & very nice biscuitty malt, almost pulled a 5.0

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation& great balance!

Very easy to drink, super APA or AIPA, well done Great lakes!

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 23:35:20 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a well balanced aroma of pale malts and floral hops. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth breadlike malt taste that boasts of pale and bisquit malts along with a nice selection of floral hops. The bisquit malts blend well with the hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a solid APA. I'm always a fan of the bisquit malts. The hop selection also adds a nice balanced flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2007 22:20:12 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A beer named after an ecological disaster. I suppose that is one way to own your identity. Still a burning river is probably most people in MI would like to forget.

Beer served on draft at a local beer bar. Beer is clear with only a slight haze. Carbonation is low and lacing is high. Head is thin and broken, made up of a single layer of tiny white bubbles.

Tiny aroma of malt and citrus hops, smells fine.

Mild hop flavor and a slight bitterness at the back. High malt character and a slight aftertaste, nothing too bad. This is an OK APA, not great just OK.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2010 19:06:08 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2010 20:20:50 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, white, foamy head. It left some lace.

S - It smelled of bubblegum, spices and sweet caramel.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel, orange peel and some nice bitter hops.

M - It was very crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice APA. I'd like to try more.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 01:18:12 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got another Great Lakes to try thanks this time to thebouch01.

A: Poured into my SA Perfect Pint glass with a nice 1.5 finger rising thick fluffy head that fades slowly and leaves a little lacing. Its a brilliantly clear amber orange color with many bubbles rising from the etch at the bottom of the glass.

N: Nose of a light pale ale. Some light malts, a little toasty malt aroma, some fruity hops a little bit of pale hops, and slight yeastiness. Very light straw grassy hop aroma as well.

T: Starts with a crisp light ale flavor, with some light malts and a little toasty flavor. A slight creaminess too. This is accompanied by some nice pale hops. A slight spicy hop, a little earthy hop, and some grassy hops. A slight yeasty flavor to go with all that too, towards the end. A nice almost British real ale bitterness to it, but American spicy hops.

M: A decent body, a little lighter than medium, and good carbonation.

F: Semi bitter, it gets a little more bitter on the finish. Also pretty dry. The lingering grassy and earthy hop flavors seem to really come out at the end when the other flavors are gone. More of that bitter English real ale character, but lighter on the ale and spicier on the hop. A nice light pale ale overall, drinkable, has a nice hop character. A solid APA. I could see drinking quite a few of these if I could get them around here. If I could complain about anything, it would be the slight yeasty aroma and flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 01:06:11 | More by jlindros
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a yellowish gold color with a decent head on top. The smell of the beer was a little hoppy with some a good portion of grainy malts on the nose too. The taste of the beer was clean a crisp with a good bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel of the beer was on the lighter side and was drinkable. Overall this beer was pretty good, It's a nice beer to have when socializing and stuff. Worth trying for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 05:35:53 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freshness date of 06/28/07:

Pours orangish gold with thin white head that descends to barely a cover.

The smell is of light citric fruits with caramel in the back.

The taste is floral and citric - grapefruit/lemon/orange. Sweet caramel blends in well. Bittersweet fruitiness hangs on well into the aftertaste.

Medium to full-bodied. Nice carbonation level makes this very smooth. Refreshingly dry.

A friend brought this back from Ohio. Wish it were available around here. A hoppy, yet sufficiently balanced deliciously smooth pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2007 20:07:04 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very, very slightly fogged copper amber. Nose is mildly perfume toned, but exhibits a much more stronger citrus tone. Flavor has quite a zing to it at first but calms down enough to show some nice hop character. Feel is smooth and it has a fairly full carbonation that stays on the tongue. This is very easy to drink and I consider this a good example of an APA.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 03:52:13 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You have to love Great Lakes, when they make a beer this well balanced and drinkable. I raise one to them. It pours a copper amber with a slightly tan head very nice head retention. The aroma is chalk full of hops that create varying aromas such as citrus tones and pine cones. The flavor brings a lot of hop bitterness to the back of the tongue, very crisp clean finish. The malt just kind of surrounds the palate with warmth and of course the alcohol brings a nice tingling sensation. Awesome brew that I would partake in at any given opportunity. Us West Virginians are thankful to have access to such a fine brewer. Amazingly drinkable, could be one of my favorite pale ales of all time.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2003 14:59:59 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearane: light orange in color with a 1" head that lasts a while. Some moderate lacing develops.

Smell: caramel sweetness and some citrus tones are mild overall.

Taste: caramel, orange citrus, some lemon zest, and sweet red apple in the background. Bitterness levels are moderate, and there is a bit of graininess to this beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, less crisp and a bit dry late.

Drinkability: another great session ale from Great Lakes. This beer is refreshing and well balanced.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2009 15:35:58 | More by Gavage
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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,305 ratings.