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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

2,545 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,545
Reviews: 984
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 96
Gots: 161 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,545 | Reviews: 984 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Natural510
Natural510

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice tan color with orange overtones. Nice head & carbonation from the keg.
This is a smooth ale with a distinct hop kick. The bitterness is not overpowering, as in many pale ales, and is balanced out somewhat by sweet overtones. Nice citrusy afternotes.
Very drinkable, as it provides enough hops for purists as well as going down nice & easy for the average beer drinker. One of the better APA's I've been served.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2008 05:15:54 | More by Natural510
Photo of trentley87
trentley87

Michigan

3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. I have a slight head cold so I'll probably be revising this review later.

A: Attractive dark gold with a little orange. 1 1/2 fingers foamy white head with decent retention and good lacing. Very clear. Lots of tiny bubbles.

S: Aroma is mostly grass/floral with some hops.

T: Very bitter up front, lots of hops. Not as much citrus flavor as other pale ales I've tried. Not much malt/sweetness in the finish-hops just sort of fade away.Very palatable but very simple. Slightly astringent. Not my favorite aftertaste, especially as it warms.

M: Carbonation is dead on and a nice dry finish. I would like just a little more body.

D: Not too complex but delicious nonetheless. I probably won't be buying this one again unless its on sale (I prefer SN Pale Ale to this any day) but I'll gladly finish the sixer.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 05:48:48 | More by trentley87
Photo of gkatsoris
gkatsoris


3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A darker yellow colored brew. Very clear with no haze and no head.

S: A nice deep hoppy smell. Floral, pine, honey and a slight scent of mint.

T: Little hops and kinda bitter. The taste is a little unbalanced for me. The hops immediately hit the taste buds, then leave just as quickly. There is a bitter after taste that stays on taste buds. It also has a slight wood flavor in it.

M: Pretty smooth. Decent carbonation; not too much not too little.

D: Probably won't buy and/or trade for this beer again. But I am glad I had the opportunity to at least give it a go.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 22:35:04 | More by gkatsoris
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
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 jkrich
jkrich

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with enjoy by 02/04/08 clearly stamped on bottom side of bottle. There is some information printed on the side explaining why the ale is called "Burning River" as well as alcohol content and best serving temperature.

I poured the beer in a standard pint glass which showed a clear, reddish amber with a very small white, quickly dissipating white head.

Immediately after opening the bottle and after the pour, I am not getting a lot of hop aroma with this one.

Like most beers from Great Lakes, this one is very balanced. The first sip reveals a soft maltiness and the taste of hops lingers in the mouth. This is unlike most american pale ales that attack the tongue with domestic hops and then maltiness afterward. As the beer warms, the bitterness beomes slightly more pronounced. The strong citrus hop flavors are not evident here, and that is not a bad thing. This is more like a well rounded english ale similar to the Burton on Trent style.

The body is somewhat thin with moderate carbonation.

This would make an excellent session ale even with the 6.0 % ABV. With the freshness date, you will always know if your drinking this ale at its peak.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 23:53:48 | More by jkrich
Photo of iceball585
iceball585

New York

4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden copper color, clear, very thin white ring of head, few tiny bubbles rising

S- Pale malts, lemons, honey, floral hops, hint of caramel

T- Citrus hops, sweet, caramel, toasted malts, biscuits, slight bitter bite

M- Light/medium body, medium carbonation, crisp then semi-oily finish

D- Good session beer

I would consider this a fairly good american pale ale. Good auroma, good flavors, and the hops are not too overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2008 23:55:12 | More by iceball585
Photo of chiefydawg
chiefydawg

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange amber pour with a small but vigorous ivory head. Almost a hint of some haze. Active bubbles for a couple minutes.

This throws out the fresh hop scent even without swirling. A spicy, floral scent grabs my nose and pulls my mouth down to the rim of the glass. I've been seduced.

Quite hoppy for an APA. All the bite without the body of an IPA. The spice is as prominent in taste as it was in smell. Goes down refreshing and crisp as a grapefruit soda. I feel like this could cleanse the palette and stand up to a habanero salsa.

Halfway down, I'm getting a very faint malt/fruit, like someone dipped Hawaiian bread into it - nice counterpoint to the otherwise thin and bitter previous sips. Throughout the glass, there is an aftertaste that I can't say is bad, but I don't feel like it belongs here. It's thin, and I think the low viscosity goes well with this beer.

Overall, a fresh and taste smell, and I like its edginess. I would have like a little more balance and/or complexity. Definitely will drink more. I'd like to be armed with these during Cinco de Mayo.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2008 03:16:35 | More by chiefydawg
Photo of Slynger
Slynger

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, fiery, light orange / amber color with a fuzzy white head that leaves excellent lacing. The nose is earthy-citrus hops with a biscuit and caramel malt backbone. The taste is sweet caramel malts upfront, with solid biscuit malts backing them up. The hops contribute some lemony citrus flavors, and an earthy pine bitter finish that lingers. The body is light to medium with a fresh, incredible, light oily-smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

This is one of the best APA's I've had. Great Lakes never ceases to impress me. While they don't really have much in the line of beers leaning towards the extreme side of the spectrum, they will always rank in my top 5 breweries by ceaselessly producing great tasting beer that has amazing clarity, balance, and mouthfeel. Another one well done.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 04:25:56 | More by Slynger
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from a GL Sampler pack with a drink before 2/1/08 date on it.

A - A beautiful pale ale with a nice golden, orangey color to it. The color is rather inviting and reminds me of the vats whiskey is made in. Has a nice frothy, one finger head full of bubbles. Leaves a ton of lacing down the sides and rather strong throughout.

S- Smell is of pine and hops. that's about all I get from it. Not too fragrant either but can definitely pick up the hoppy notes on this one

T- wow a good bit of pine and citrus hops in this one. A nice balance between the two flavors as they seem to complement each other rather well. The citrus is a bit more toward the orange end of the spectrum than the lemon side. Am left mostly with the pine as the after taste. A lot more hop taste in this one than I got in the nose. I like this too because it is hoppy without being overpowering.

MF - a light carbonation to this one. Also note that at some point it makes me mouth pucker even though I don't think the taste is overly bitter. leaves a light tingling on the tongue afterwards. Good but don't care for the fact that it makes me pucker that much. Consider that a bit of a negative.

D- A very nice pale ale to just sit back and enjoy the hops. Yet you can enjoy the hops without being destroyed. Would definitely consider this a good beer to drink while eating some pizza and watching the game. Another great and well balance beer from Gl. I swear this brewery just has the ability to make me want to continue to reach for their beer. They all have a ton of drinkability and all are tasty!

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 03:03:16 | More by jeonseh
Photo of littleshamrocks
littleshamrocks

Kentucky

4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with the enjoy by date clearly printed on the label. Served in an imperial pint.

Pours dark gold to medium amber with a large, frothy, off-white head. It is mostly clear with adequate carbonation. The head is generally lasting and leaves abundant lacing. There is plenty of citrus fruit aroma in the nose, along with some piney notes and underlying grainy malts. There is a decent malt base to the flavor, which helps to show off an assertive hop presence. The grapefruit and orange peel hop flavors stand out and there is a lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a somewhat dry texture and lively carbonation. Finishes lightly chalky.

Not a lot of complexity here, just a very drinkable beer with plenty of hop flavor and enough malt to allow the hops to shine. It is an extremely well crafted example of the style and another top of the line brew from Great Lakes Brewing. This is an excellent APA for those who love the taste of citrusy hops. I'll be having many more.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 01:55:14 | More by littleshamrocks
Photo of RedBeerHead
RedBeerHead

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours light amber with a two inch frothy head. The smell is fruity, hoppy and slightly bitter. Good smoky and fruity taste. My only comment is that the weight might be a little heavy considering the flavor. Great lakes beers will generally be on the heavier side, sometimes is works well, sometimes it weighs the flavors down.

And yes for those of you who are wondering, the Cuyahoga river did catch on fire and this beer was thus named.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 22:18:59 | More by RedBeerHead
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty nice APA. It poured up a light bronze orange colour with a one finger thick layer of froth. Smell was rather well balanced with an equal presence of hops and sweet malt. Taste, too seemed balanced nicely with sweet malts up front a lovely hop biterness on the finish. Everything about this seemed well proportioned, making this very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 23:15:16 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of csmiley
csmiley

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep gold bordering on copper. Got about a one half inch head that disappeared immediately. Lacing was only slightly better than average.

S - Nice complex hop aroma. Citrus notes followed by earthy tones. Malt shows up pretty stromg in the background with a little bit of a sugar smell.

T - Complex hops show up in the flavor as well. There is a combonation of citrus and pine that shows up first in the flavor. The malt profile backing up the hops makes for a great balance in flavor. Also got some slight bread and caramel flavors in the background.

M - Medium bodied. Carbonation was average. Finish is dry and bitter.

D - This is a good solid effort from Great Lakes. I think the brew could be closer to an IPA than APA but still a pretty stellar beverage in the drinkability category.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 17:52:00 | More by csmiley
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
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 tonistruth
tonistruth

Nevada

3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- 1/2" thin and soapy white head with little retent comes and goes above a clear copper brew

S- citric, bready and floral

T- subtle citric bitterness throughout, bready and toasted malt flavors, well balanced brew

M- lively carbonation throughout with a dry, hop abused palate at the finish

D- well balanced, flavor comes out much better at warmer temps, though hops feel aggressive the flavor is mellow, enjoyable pale ale, not a bad choice

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2007 06:14:29 | More by tonistruth
Photo of BDIMike
BDIMike

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dull copper brown color. No head at all.

Smell of nice hops and very pale malts.

Tastes of a great hop taste. Much like an IPA with slightly less hops, as I like.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but a good sharp taste that is prefect with a pale ale.

Good drinkability. Very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 22:40:50 | More by BDIMike
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
CDBeerDisappear

Ohio

3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear red amber color with a thin layer of foam that quickly dissipates to a ring. Not a lot of lacing. Might as well put this one in a mug since there is nothing to see. But if you don’t look at it, this is a great everyday beer. Aroma is of citrus hops and floral undertones. Nice balance between malt and hops. Good mouthfeel and nice carbonation. A very drinkable beer. A great beer to drink with snacks while watching football.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2007 22:14:32 | More by CDBeerDisappear
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into pint glass. Best by date: 9/12/07 (a little late).

A - Clear amber body with two-finger head that quickly shrunk to a thin, whispy rim that held on to the end. Very modest carbonation.

S - Hops are predominantly citrus with grapefruit being at the forefront. There is also some sweet caramel and bready malts present, but the nose is primarily citrus.

T - Sweet initial flavor with a lightly bitter finish that lingers for quite a while for a pale ale. Nothing spectacular. Mostly sweet malts and grapefruit.

M - Light body with modest carbonation and a creamy, though a tad watery, texture. Finish is a bit metallic and bitter.

D - Decent pale ale with a pretty long-lasting bitterness for the style. Just a bit watery on the palate, possibly due to the date being two months past its prime. Not overly complex - mostly caramel and bready malts with citrus hops. Still, it's tasty and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2007 02:30:36 | More by ffejherb
Photo of GRPunk
GRPunk

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a pint glass.

A- It poured a nice red-orange color with a thin white head that became a nice lace that stuck to the side of the glass.

S- It seemed pretty balanced. Definite floral hop presence was countered by a sweet malt aroma.

T- A bit less balanced than the aroma would let on. This seemed like one of those beers that blurs the line between an American Pale Ale and an IPA. Lots of grapefruit flavor from the hops with a lighter bready taste from the malts.

M- Nice solid feel.

D- Easy drinker. I could have more than one in a sitting.

Overall- A very solid beer that goes nicely with food. It can be a real "go to" beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2007 03:26:08 | More by GRPunk
Photo of jaxon53
jaxon53

Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to whoever sent me this beer in whatever BIF it was sent in. Served chilled in my new Sam Adams pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle. Poured a beautiful clear, rusty copper color. Noticed tons of carbonation bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass. Beer was topped off by a solid inch and a half head that was super white. Head had great retention and left huge amounts of sticky white lace behind. Smell was of floral hops, minor citrus notes, and tons of sweet malt and bread. Taste was quite good as well. A nice mild hoppiness balanced almost perfectly with plenty of sweet malt. Also noticed slight hints of yeast, orange peel. Seemed a bit grainy. Finished rather smooth with a bit of bitterness. Mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side and prickly. A very good drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2007 20:03:52 | More by jaxon53
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

2.93/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish/ yellow color with a white head. Aromas of a small dryness and a small citrus/ grapefruty hop. In the taste, a dry maltiness, small hops, and somewhat earthy. A smooth, small bitterness in the mouthfeel, with a dry, small hop aftertaste. Not huge in aroma, and decent taste. Somewhat refreshing and and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 22:20:06 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of BeerTruth
BeerTruth

Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a super clear burnt sunset gold with a one finger head that dies down to a thin layer of almost nothing. Stickiness is decent, a bit of webbing on the sides. Smell is a creamy almost peanut butter odor with a nice subtle citrus tingle in the nose. Caramel malt with a hint of bread in the nose. Taste is much of the same. The peanut butter flavor emerges again on the tongue with a bit of a hop bite, but is quickly taken over by some caramel malt. Aftertaste is actually pretty dry with a bit of a grassy flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good carbonation feel, but the bubbles are non-existant to the eye. Much more of a malty pale ale than a hoppy pale ale. Great Lakes makes amazing stuff. This one doesn't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 01:59:14 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of brdc
brdc

Wisconsin

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The usual interesting name, along with its history on the bottle.
Poured into an inappropriate glass which interfered somewhat with the appearance judgement.
It is a bright orange brew, with a foamy, quickly dissipating white head.
Nice aroma, floral and citric hoppiness, some (but not much) malty overtones.
Taste is reasonably well balanced (keep in mind I am not a big IPA fan); the same citric and floral hops, intermingled with some mild caramel sweetness.
All in all a nicely done pale ale, just not my preferred style.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2007 16:02:35 | More by brdc
Photo of kwakwhore
kwakwhore

North Carolina

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

Beautiful copper pour. Smallish white head leaves some lacing on the glass.
Hops dominate the smell of this beer. Hoppier than most pale ales.
Hops are the first element in the flavor as well. Bitter grapefruit with some sweet malt and biscuit malt. Again this is a good bit hoppier than most pale ales.
Nice mouthfeel but nothing exceptional here.
Easy to drink and a really delicious ale. I brought some back to NC with me from Ohio. Can't wait to get back so I can drink some more. Another quality offering from a brewer that needs to expand their distribution so we can get some in NC.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2007 02:47:24 | More by kwakwhore
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle from a variety pack poured into a pint.

A: Pours a "burning" copper. Good visibility through the glass, too. 1 1/2 fingers of white head hangs out for a bit and drops down to a slight froth. Little bits of patchy lacing.

S: Much stronger hop smell than in normal pale ales... closer to an IPA than anything. I'm sure I'll like this one. Enough malts to hold their own.

T/M: Yep, bigger hops than normal but it not a bad thing at all. Hops aren't as bitter as an IPA which are helped by a great biscuity malt character. Malts are also slightly nutting, leaving just a subtle sweetness. Very good brew. Body is below medium yet creamy. Slight drying finish.

D: Tastes great, readily available and very sessionable. I'll be getting more.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2007 23:20:14 | More by pwoods
Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,545 ratings.