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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

2,708 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,708
Reviews: 992
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 104
Gots: 218 | 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: 2,708 | Reviews: 992 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of toolbrew
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

toolbrew, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of epiinephriine
4.72/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

epiinephriine, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of Bockrules
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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 :)

Bockrules, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of ATPete
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

ATPete, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of gford217
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

gford217, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of biggmike
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

biggmike, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of generallee
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

generallee, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of JonathanL7890
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

JonathanL7890, May 31, 2008
Photo of spointon
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

spointon, May 30, 2008
Photo of mhewes
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

mhewes, May 27, 2008
Photo of mayor55
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber color with thick head . Poured in to a pint glass. Head over 1" thick. Leaves good rings on glass. very average, one dimensional flavor. burnt malty nose, weak on the hops. My first sampling of Great Lakes. Very average beer. Harsh bitter aftertaste.

mayor55, May 26, 2008
Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from Abankovich in trade. Thank you Adam.

This beer pours a slightly hazed orange color with a decent cap of bright white head on it. The scent is really nice for an APA. Loads of fresh citrus, floral notes, and sweet malt in the nose. It is assertive, but it also doesn't cross the lines into other bigger beers like an IPA, and I think it is really nice and refreshing. The flavor profile is a good balance of bitter hops and sweet malt. I get more citrus than pine in the flavor profile that is balanced quite well with the almost bready malt. The mouthfeel is very smooth with maybe slightly above medium carbonation. The drinkability is really nice, and as I said before I would give this beer a permanent home in my fridge if it were available locally.

TheodorHerzl, May 23, 2008
Photo of donteatpoop
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice clear amber color with a small white head that has little retention.

Smells refreshing, citrus flowers and hops.

Has a beautiful taste, one of the few pale ales that I care for as I'm generally not a fan.

A little thicker in the mouth than most pal'e, leaves the mouth with a slight dryness.

donteatpoop, May 22, 2008
Photo of HardTarget
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great Lakes Burning River APA
Bottle Inspection: Metals from GABF and Beverage Tasting Institute (?), notes only barley, yeast, hops and water, 6% abv., serve at 45 F and a best by date of 10/17/07 (I'm pretty late on 5/21/08).

Aroma: Nice malty base gives sweetness to the full hop smells. Floral, citric (orange peel), earthy, pine, lots of character and smells.

Appearance: Orange gold with some chill haze, active carbonation streams feed a solid off white cover that laces well.

Flavor: The citric hop is first and foremost, with a substantial toasted malt base that gives an almost cloying sweetness to the finish. The balance toward the sweet might be due to the age of the sample. Still, the hop flavors are full and still fairly fresh.

Mouthfeel: Firm carbonation, a bit too much for my taste as it goes a bit fizzy. Body is medium light and the texture is a bit oily.

Overall Impression: Good APA, skirts the line with an English Pale. In the ocean of Pale Ales, it's bound to get lost.

HardTarget, May 22, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite PA's. Really solid in every respect. Nice orangy golden with a decent head. Sticky lacing clings and hardens to to glass.

Nice floral sweet hop aroma. Sweet honey and spring flowers. Grapefruit and pine deliciousness. Great carbonation and a great bitterness. The balance is superb, with a malt profile that perfectly blends. Juicy aftertaste that really hangs in there. Oh so tasty!

Mouthfeel is full and the aftertaste is amazing. I really wish this stuff was available out here on the west coast.

SurlyDuff, May 21, 2008
Photo of Traquairlover
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to adamharbaugh for the bottle.

A = Very small white head that quickly dissipates, pours a light orange golden color, fair amount of medium carbonation bubbles.

S = Light hops smells of grass, pine, grapefruit, blended with a good sweet malt with fresh muffins and toast.

T = Nicely balanced flavors of malts and hops, with light pine and citrus blending with sweet malts reminiscent of a cinnamon bun. Taste is pretty spot on for the style.

M = Medium-light to medium body, good mouthcoating, carbonation present but not overly aggressive.

D = Good drinkability, a very refreshing APA.

Traquairlover, May 21, 2008
Photo of largadeer
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pale amber, excellent clarity. An inch of head forms from an average pour and then slowly settles into a ring.

Smell: Caramel, breakfast rolls, very subtle citrus.

Taste & mouthfeel: Bready malts, lightly toasted, with subtle earthy/citrus hops. Not a lot of complexity, but I can't fault a pale ale too much for that. Body is about medium and carbonation is just right for the style. This is definitely on the malty and sweet side, which isn't my preference for the style, but it's not a bad brew by any stretch.

Notes: Big thanks to fiver29 for the awesome Great Lakes extras.

largadeer, May 14, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice orangeish red color that was crystal clear. A nice white bubbly head that left a lot of lacing down my glass.

S- Could pick up some floral hops and hints of malt. A nice balance.

T- Very great flavour. Bitter start to finish. Spicy herbal citrus, sweet and sour caramelly malts, with a great aftertaste of more bitter fruity floral hops

M- Medium body with the perfect amount of carbonation.

D- A very solid brew and easy to drink.

nrbw23, May 06, 2008
Photo of ghostwalker
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber body with a finger of off-white head.

Smells of sweet biscuit malt, with a crisp, clean tang of light citrus hop finish.

Balanced very well! This has a solid malt foundation, bolstered with a light sweetness. Citrusy, (and maybe a little piney), hops are present on the finish, but remain light. Nowhere near IPA levels here, this is a solid APA. The ABV is a little surprising, I would have guessed 4.5 - 5%.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Carbonation is moderate, but appropriate.

Drinkability is very good. This is a solidly drinkable APA, one of my favorite styles for quaffability.

A solid Pale should be a staple in any breweries lineup, but many fall short, or omit it entirely. Kudos to Great Lakes for a wonderful brew!

ghostwalker, May 05, 2008
Photo of brushtachio
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- sunset orange color. Finger-thick head that lasted throughout the experience.

S- typical sharp citrus and baby brussel sprout smell. I think I catch the hint of a little buttery touches

T- hops dominates the taste. Understandable, but maybe a little too simple. The bitterness grabs you from the beginning and refuses entrance to any other flavor.

M- nicely carbonated.

D- in the right mood, I'll gladly sit down and have a few more of these.

brushtachio, May 05, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clean deep dark orange color. Decent off white head and excellent lacing.

S - Grapefruit hop aroma but a little weak for an APA.

T - Citrusy bitterness. Excellent level of hoppiness to the beer makes it an excellent sipper.

M/D - Clean medium body. Very easy drinking and would make for an excellent session beer.

ckeegan04, May 03, 2008
Photo of IronCitySteve
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

A: An orangish amber color. Tons of lacing follows it down the glass as you drink. A nice fluffy white foam.

S: Citrus aroma, lemon and orange with some earthy hops.

T: A good mix of some citrus with what I think was a hint of pine. Seemed like the pine flavor lasted longer after drinking.

M: Not highly carbonated and a little bitter.

D: A nicely made pale ale. Very easy to drink and quite enjoyable.

IronCitySteve, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of wspscott
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass

A: Dark copper color with white head that disappears quickly, leaves a little lace.
S: Nice spicy hop aroma with a little caramel sweetness, not as citrusy as I remember.
T: Sharp, bitter hops with enough malt to make this very balanced. The taste becomes more bready as it warms.
M: Highly carbed (but not inappropriately for the style) and well attenuated. Comes across as crisp and refreshing, great for a summer day.
D: This is one of my favorite APAs. Highly drinkable, I always want another one. Another great beer from Great Lakes (which has to be one of the most consistent breweries there is).

wspscott, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of allergictomacros
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear copper with a solid 1 inch head

S - Very malty with toasty notes and a fresh, grapefruit hop.

T - Roasty with some coffee, some fruitiness and a solid hoppiness.

M - Moderate body, slightly chewy, but dry enough to feel lighter.

D - Very drinkable. Nice, sessionably brew. Not a big, extreme beer, but flavourful very well balanced.

allergictomacros, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of JamesS
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great light copper/amber color with good head and nice lacing. It has an excellent hoppy aroma, very floral with citrus hints. Great taste, too, an excellent beer with great hoppy/bitter tastes, without going overboard; it has a nice citrus/bitter taset with a great bitter aftertaste. A nice smooth beer that is well worth drinking.

JamesS, Apr 22, 2008
Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,708 ratings.