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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

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

2,597 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,597
Reviews: 985
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 96
Gots: 180 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-06-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,597 | Reviews: 985 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GoodKnight1220


4.45/5  rDev +12.1%

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

This is a good looking brew, nice deep gold color. Little head and no real lacing.

Smells of heavy floral and hops.

Taste is a sweet floral up frot then quickly changes to a hoppy bitter dry finish. Great mixture of flavor, not over powering at all.

Mouthfeel is dry and smooth very thin and crisp.

Wonderful beer yet again from Great Lakes.

08-11-2008 01:39:40 | More by GoodKnight1220
Photo of xare


4.65/5  rDev +17.1%

Appearance is lovely, perfect sized head for an APA and very nice golden color that's a bit more on the caramel side than the yellow side. Even laces and streaks on the sides of the glass.

Smell is of fresh hops and blended so well that I can't wait to dive into the bottle or draft - I've had this both ways and there is almost no difference between on-tap and bottles. That's how good this brew is.

Taste is excellent and just bitter enough to give you a taste of the hops while keeping you wanting more. I think it actually tastes better than Sierra Nevada by far.

Mouthfeel is outstanding. Virtually no aftertaste and is actually very smooth and creamy. Can't get better than that.

Drinkability is outstanding. I have to remind myself to pace myself. Excellent as an one-of or as a session beer. This is a permanent part of my rotation and I try to have it at least every other week at a minimum.

08-09-2008 19:31:03 | More by xare
Photo of sundevilstudent


4.35/5  rDev +9.6%

Pours a golden/squash color with a thin head. Lacing is surprisingly persistent. The smell is well balanced between the sweet malty notes and the punch of hops. The taste is silky smooth, especially for a pale ale. The slightly bitter, hop heavy, finish remains in your mouth for quite a while. The finish is a great counter to the exceptionally well balanced taste of the beer as you first drink it. The hops are never overpowering and, instead, work well with the malt and yeast notes to make an exceptionally drinkable beer. Very smooth, I could easily drink a lot of these in the course of a night. Great beer.

08-09-2008 00:04:08 | More by sundevilstudent
Photo of jushoppy2beer


4.13/5  rDev +4%

This beer has a beautiful color and just enough carbonation to keep the bubbles rising. The color is a brilliant orangish amber in the late afternoon sunshine. For a pale ale, the aroma is subtle, but betrays the brew's hoppy character, which really bursts on the palate as a floral blossoming of flavor. A lovely smooth silky texture makes it slide languidly down the back of the tongue, leaving a wonderful bitter accent at the finish. The bitter aftertaste leaves a clean lasting freshness in your mouth. A truly lovely beer.

08-05-2008 23:02:53 | More by jushoppy2beer
Photo of Brew33


4.72/5  rDev +18.9%

I have had this beer numerous times on draft and in bottles.

This is the what a Pale Ale should be. Excellent beer. Incredibly well balanced. It smells sweet and hoppy. The taste is marvelous soooo well balanced. The hops are very prominent but there is a smooth malt character as well. Exceptional beer. Very easy to drink,

I can't say enough about this wonderful brew from Great Lakes, they continue to make wonderful craft beers and this is their flagship. Enjoy!

08-01-2008 15:11:19 | More by Brew33
Photo of kinger


4.3/5  rDev +8.3%

One of the better American Pale Ales that I have had. Being in North East Ohio, the beers from Great Lakes Brewing are always readily available and for that I am extremely thankful. Burning River is amber and copper in color, pours with ample head and leaves a nice trail of lacing as I empty my pint glass. The aroma is bursting with hop flavors comparable with most IPA's. Pine and citrus notes are further detected. The flavor is everything a pale ale should be, well hopped with abundant malts. This beer is always an enjoyable experience. Well crafted to say the least.

07-30-2008 19:21:27 | More by kinger
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.98/5  rDev +0.3%

Orangish/copper colored body with an off-white head. Leaves some lacing hanging around.

Smells both hoppy and malty.

Taste is a good balance between hops and malts. Fiarly dry mouthfeel. A nice APA.

Very drinkable; it disappeared pretty quickly from my pint glass.

07-27-2008 14:36:34 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of giblet


4.3/5  rDev +8.3%

another gem from GLB. they are one of my favorites and it is convenient that they are close to home. i am not sure why i waited so long to try this. after their Perry IPA i figured why...i am glad i did. poured nice with about one and a half inch head. orangish color with excellent carbonation. nice hoppy aroma. very nice malt and hop flavor. nice balance. i could suck up 2 or 5 of these in a row...yum!

suckem up and movem out.


07-23-2008 14:58:30 | More by giblet
Photo of bluemoonswoon


3.73/5  rDev -6%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear and clean looking light reddish copper with decent bits of carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the glass. The beer is topped with (at first) a rocky sandy white colored head that fades rather quickly to a thickish ring, leaves no lacing.

S: Well balanced mix of bready malt and citrus and piny hops. Mild to medium phenolic character that is just the slightest bit off putting

T/MF: Again a nice balance between hops and malts, would like to try this a bit fresher than the sample I have in front of me because I feel as if this beer is far hoppier than this beer would indicate. This sort of tastes like a hopped up Sam Adams. I really am enjoying the malt aspect of this beer and the hops are still pretty aggressive and leaves the tongue dry. Its good and has very distinctive characteristics but there is something just a bit out of place to me, a mild vegetal quality that comes in near the finish, might be a result of the age of the beer but still just the slightest bit bothersome.

D: Not a bad beer in any respect, has a decent taste and mouthfeel but looks rather average and the mild off flavor just rubs me the wrong way . I would try this fresh and rerate but as its stands still a pretty decent beer. Could probably drink this all night if I felt like it.

07-21-2008 01:51:06 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of thisisshsas


3.63/5  rDev -8.6%

A- appears blond with a slight reddish tint.
S- citrus smell is stonger than spice smell. THe aroma is there, but it is by no means overpowering.
T- hoppy but under control flavor. creates the desire to have another one in order to be fulfilled.
M&D- swirls around the mouth to create a slight wooden flavor. A beer you could stick to all night. also a great beer to convert the bud crowd, as it is a very easy drink but still has some flavor.

07-21-2008 01:49:56 | More by thisisshsas
Photo of sholland119


4.33/5  rDev +9.1%

One of the best pale ales around, second only to Alpha King in my book.

A-Pours a light amber with a generous, foamy white head.

S-A nice malt with hints of piney hops.

T-A great balance. Nice malt flavor throughout, just enough hop presence to make the beer interesting, not so much that it's an IPA in disguise. Nice crisp finish.

M-Nice and light on the tongue, moderate carbonation.

D-An excellent session beer. Flavorful enough to be worth drinking, light enough to keep you out of trouble.


07-18-2008 14:59:37 | More by sholland119
Photo of DrunkenMaster


3.73/5  rDev -6%

On tap at Jimmys. Golden colored beer with a creamy head. Aroma is bready malts with grapefruit and pine in the background. Subtle bitterness with more of the bready malts. This beer is easy to drink. I actually get more pine and citrus towards the end than I did in the beginning.

07-17-2008 12:35:37 | More by DrunkenMaster
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.58/5  rDev -9.8%

Pours a dark amber in color with a nice, really big rocky head that stays around for awhile. Smell is nice. Some nice, citrusy, juicy hops. Taste is even better. Plenty of citrusy hops in the flavor. Crisp and bittering , but not over the top. Decent amount of carbonation as well. Very smooth IPA. Another fine beer from GL.

07-08-2008 21:50:05 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of BoitSansSoif


4.33/5  rDev +9.1%

Poured a nice coppery tangerine-amber with a one finger head. Some tracing, and average retention.
Aroma is a pleasant toasted malt with bold, but not overpowering citrusy hops presence.
Flavor is a straight blend of sweet malt (possibly specialty?) and robust hops that is very pleasant, and a great transition into a smooth, even midpalate that opens up into a citrusy, crisp, cleansing finish. The carbonation level is on the higher side of moderate, and affords the perfect complement to the light-to-medium body. This is an excellent summer brew, and I prefer it on the colder side.

07-08-2008 13:15:36 | More by BoitSansSoif
Photo of hiikeeba


3.7/5  rDev -6.8%

A - Pours up a golden amber with a thin off-white head

S - Citrus hops dominate the subtle aroma. A little subtle. Some malt sweetness in the background

T - Sweet malt flavor seems a bit cidery, probably because of the interplay between the malt and hops. Hops are citrusy and strong, but not over powering. There is a lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.

M - A little thin, but balanced by the high carbonation

D - The odd cider flavor makes this one hard for me to drink a lot of. I like it, but probably wouldn't order another one.

07-03-2008 01:42:22 | More by hiikeeba
Photo of toolbrew


4.2/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours a clear copper color with a thick off-white head. Great head retention and great lacing down the glass.

Smells like lots of Cascade hops and a little citrus. Very nice.

Has that crisp hop flavor as well. Slight citrus in there.

Light in the mouth and easy going down. There looks like lots of carbonation in the pour but not in the taste.

A very drinkable session beer. I will have this again. Only wish it were on tap around here.

07-01-2008 02:53:02 | More by toolbrew
Photo of epiinephriine


4.72/5  rDev +18.9%

A solid APA; good hop flavor on the back of the pallet, which is not too overpowering, though strong enough to fool you into thinking it might be an IPA. Has a multitude of spices for smell and taste, as well as a hint of caramel. It has a decent mouth feel, and is certainly not light or watery. It reminds me a bit of Stone's Ruination, though certainly milder. This beer is fantastic on its own but do not drink with pasta!

06-25-2008 16:24:21 | More by epiinephriine
Photo of Bockrules

New Mexico

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours a nice deep copper color with a 1.5 finger head. Beautiful elaborate lacing all the down the glass, and the head sticks around as a thin film of bubbles most of the way down.

S- Moderate smell of citrus cascade hops with some hints of fruity ether in the background

T- a bit of alcohol and hop presence on the nose, followed by a very smooth biscuity body. Very dry hop finish with a pleasant lingering aftertaste of citrus hops. It's hard not to take another sip....

M - Moderately carbonated with a medium body. Suits the beer quite well.

D - This is one of the best APA's I've had and is one of my favorite brews. Enough hop presence to make it nice and crisp without assaulting the taste buds. I could easily drink a few of these in an evening. Definitely worth every penny of the $8.50 six. Highly recommended. Hope to find in half cases :)

06-25-2008 07:39:06 | More by Bockrules
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -7.3%

12oz bottle copped through a trade. Best by date of June 11, drank on June 22.

A- Burning River pours a nice transparent orange brown color with some steady rising carbonation and a one inch white head that left some sticking.

S- Musty mostly hop nose, some underlying roasted malty aromas and some funk.

T- it tastes burnt, rustic and full but its sadly a bit unbalanced for me, i was expecting more hops, or at least brighter and/or fresher hops.

M- good mouth feel, nice carbonation with a medium body.

D- I wasn't thrilled with this one, maybe a fresher bottle would change my mind

06-23-2008 01:34:24 | More by ATPete
Photo of gford217


3.93/5  rDev -1%

Bottle courtesy of knight84 poured into a snifter.

Pours a clear golden amber with a small dense head that dissipates to almost nothing leaving almost no lacing. Smell is mostly the moderate citrus hops with a significant caramel malt background in the smell. The taste starts with a slight hop bit before giving way to the caramel malts. There was also a definite spice presence in there as well and the finish had the slightest pine hop bitterness. The mouthfeel was light to medium with decent carbonation and the finish was actually on the crisp side of things with less hop bitterness than I'm used to. The drinkability is very high on this one as the hop profile is pretty tame and the mouthfeel is crisp and clean. Though not the most daring or complex APA I've had, it'd be pretty darn nice on a summer afternoon.

06-22-2008 20:29:00 | More by gford217
Photo of biggmike


4.08/5  rDev +2.8%

Poured a nice copper/amber color with generous white head that stayed a while. Aroma was of citrusy hops. Flavor was a blend of floral, citrusy, piney hops. Pleasant bitterness to it. Mouthfeel is smooth. Decent lacing on glass. I enjoyed. I would definitely have again.

06-17-2008 07:38:39 | More by biggmike
Photo of generallee

New York

4.15/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

06-02-2008 23:21:28 | More by generallee
Photo of JonathanL7890


4.33/5  rDev +9.1%

I've reviewed this in a bottle but I wanted to try this on tap. Well I got my chance on a layover in the Cleveland Airport. I stopped by the Great Lakes Brewpub in the airport.

Poured a 1 finger head into a 22oz glass.

Aroma is very Citrusy, , strawberry, cherry

Taste is quite solid. The hops are bursting with freshness. A delight! Mild bitterness lingers on the palate afterwards.

Mouthfeel : very creamy - perfect level of carbonation.

Drinkability excellent. The only thing stopping me from having a couple more is the flight I have to get on in a half hour.

I think this is their flagship beer -- what an awesome, awesome brew. I tried to take a keg with me but they wouldn't let me.

I plan to keep lots of Ohio friends who can send me GL beer until I see this in Texas.

05-30-2008 23:14:12 | More by JonathanL7890
Photo of spointon


4.3/5  rDev +8.3%

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= This brew was a very clear dark yellow-amber color with a nice 1" white head. The head quickly dropped to a skim and left slight lacing down the glass. Mild carbonation release thoughout.

S= I detected lots of malt in the aroma as well as decent hoppiness.

T= This was a refreshingly clean and hoppy pale ale. There was an initial burst of malts followed quickly by a piney/citrus hoppiness. The finish was very dry. The balance between bisuit malt and dry hop flavors is outstanding.

MF= This was a medium bodied ale with relatively low carbonation.

D= Excellently drinkable! Will make a great warm weather beer or one to enjoy with fried foods.

05-30-2008 00:15:51 | More by spointon
Photo of mhewes


4.3/5  rDev +8.3%

A : Pours a nice golden amber color with a small white head

S : Grassy and piney notes to go along with some malt smell

T : An excellent balance between the hops and malt. Just enough bitterness balanced out by the sweetness from the malt. A good hop bitterness on the finish.

M : Light and smooth

D : It's easy to drink and worth picking up

05-27-2008 21:40:44 | More by mhewes
Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,597 ratings.