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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

2,809 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,809
Reviews: 996
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 105
Gots: 265 | 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: 2,809 | Reviews: 996 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wheatyweiss
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic type pint.

Pours a golden honey with a frothy and substantial head that looks like whipped cream and laces the glass with sticky webs. Clarity is perfect and the carbonation actively climbs the sides of the glass. The bubbles in the middle of the glass do a sort of "St. Vitus' Dance" up to the head, replenishing it perfectly. Very pretty beer.

Smell is floral hops, with a crackery bready aroma. Big whiff of fruity yeast that has to be helped out by the hops on the middle.

Flavor vcenters on the hops which are not piney or oiley, but fresh, fruity and floral. Tannic acid flavor like a nice iced tea creeps in the middle. Big biscuity, bready flavors balance the hop bitterness/sourness.There is a decent amount of grapefruit and lemon bitterness, but not earthy or dank. Finishes dry and quenching, lip smacking actually.

Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side. but not horribly so.

Drinkability is awesome. This is a tastey APA, that is refreshing and borderline sessionable. Excellent flavor and aroma it makes me want more after each quaff.

Photo of OnThenIn
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: A finger of head with good lacing. The head was just a tiny bit off white. A nice orange copper like color to this beer.

Smell: The bulk of the smell seems to come from the hops. I get some pine and citrus smell, which makes me think of grapefruit. I also smell a little bit of sweet malt.

Taste: Some malt taste upfront, but quickly followed by some citrus flavor. It has a nice bitter finish. The hops in the taste are very similar to the smell.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and perfectly carbonated. A nice dry finish and it has a close to medium body.

Drinkability: I found this beer to be exceptional. So far this might be my favorite APA. It also is so easy to drink that splitting a sixer with a friend while watching some golf sounds like the perfect thing to do.

Photo of UA8
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear, deep orange with a light cream colored head.

S- Scents of citrus explode from the fading head, a touch of malt hangs in the background.

T- Leads with a moderate malt character. Mid palate moves to flavors of tangerines. Finishes with lightly bitter floral hops.

M- Moderate carbonation and roundness, quite refreshing.

D- Very drinkable pale with more balance and character than most pales.

Photo of JoshuaJ
4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a damn solid beer, this one.

Darkish copper with a decent head and some good lacing.

Smells hoppy. Really hoppy. A little grassy, and a little citrusy. Sweet malts.

Taste starts with a hop bite, fades into a biscuity malt and finshes with crisp, dry hops again. Not overly complex, but just about perfect for a pale ale, or IPA. And speaking of which, I'd say it's more of the latter.

Mouthfeel is really nice. Crisp, not very heavy. Carbonation is good. Very dry.

Drinkibility is good. This is one that'll please hopheads, and one that I could drink all day.

Photo of minterro
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a chilled glass

A: a thumb nail of wispy white head. clear amber colored beer.

S: bitter and sweet and hoppy, a really great overall smell.

T: wow really good, bitter goodness and finishes crisp and clean. Just really really good. Very well balanced

M: medium bodied with a great amount of carbonation

D: could drink this all day. for 8.99$ you get your money's worth.

Photo of Brenden
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a deep amber. The head forms nicely and lacing clings well.
There's a simple but well-balanced mix of floral hops and malt on the nose.
Hops bitterness is first on the tongue, and more aggressive than I expected. A strong note of pure grapefruit comes to mind first. It's balanced by a good malt presence, while the hops stays up to a lingering dry finish. There's a note of breadiness underlying and the malt adds a light caramel note. This brew reminds me as much of many breweries' IPAs as anything else. A nice, strong hops presence.
The body is medium and this one is crisp. Carbonation is moderate.
This is an overall great brew and is easily a bigger, bolder one than some IPAs.

Photo of greengorilla
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

The appearance was good with an amber color and two fingers of head. Good lacing.

The smell was fairly good with a flowery hops scent.

The taste was also good with hints of caramel and hops.

The mouthfeel was fine.

The beer was very drinkable.

Overall it was a good beer, but I was a little disappointed, because the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is one of my favorites, and this beer did not quite live up to the Porter.

Photo of wchesak
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a hold of this in Kentucky as its not available in Virginia. Poured it into a pint glass.

A - copper/orange hue, about an inch of off white head that dissipates to a wavy rim...lacing is already beginning

S - nothing in your face, citrusy and slightly grainy as well

T - caramel malt flavor starts and soon gives way to the full citrus hops taste, maybe even a peppery hint too

M - steady stream of bubbles giving it very good carbonation, slightly astringent but gradually calms down and leaves a nice hoppy aftertaste

D - very much the quintessential APA, very understated which is a nice change from some of the over done examples out there, could certainly enjoy a few of these

Photo of bound4er
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Rusty orange color with lots of tiny bubbles. Off white head of about 1/2" that settles to a 1/4" and stays that way. Good lacing is present.

S. Somewhat muted - kind of a grainy, citrusy hop mix.

T. A nice hit of malt that is quickly followed by bitter hops - Amarillo is my guess. Pretty tasty stuff. Lingers nicely after swallowing - something I find appealing in a good APA.

M. Expands across the palate nicely with its medium body and good carbonation.

D. Very easy drinking - putting two or three of these babies away would not be a problem. This is a well made beer that does its job without jumping up and down saying "look at me - look at me".

Photo of sarahspat
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.
Burning River is reddish orange with an off white head. No lacing to speak of.

The nose is very nice. Crisp, earthy, piney, citrusy. However, the roasted malt comes across a bit strong on the palate. I love all of the hops flavors going on in this brew, but the malt (roasted/burnt, sweet biscuity) could have complemented them better. Finish is citrusy, bitter and dry.

Pretty drinkable. Light body with moderate carbonation.

Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of rtepiak
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pour is off amber. a bit golden brown. surprisingly small head. white. smell is almond, protein, nutmeg, a mild apple caramel and very mild lemon. palate is earthy. protein yeast, nutty, nutmeg, and orange blossom bitter note. earthy style with a perfume kicking edge.

Photo of deapokid
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to try this offering from the highly-touted Great Lakes brewery.

This Pale Ale pours a deep amber/red with a lacy, thick white head. Very inviting and warm.

It packs a hoppy aroma with citrus fruit undercurrent. It's a bit muted for a 6.0% APA, but not an unappealing smell.

Flavor is well balanced and subtle and allows some of the hoppy character that would be more akin to an IPA into the mix, which offsets the sweeter notes quite well.

Mouthfeel works as well, both coating the tongue and hitting the tastebuds with a blast of hop bitterness. I could probably drink these all day long.

Picked this up at Galeville Grocery in Syracuse, NY on a trip back to my hometown for a bachelor party. It's great to see such a cool brewery getting more distribution and I would love to see alot more of their work in Philadelphia.

Photo of russpowell
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
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!

Photo of projectflam86
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours bright copper color with a thick white foam head that sticks well.

S- Nice floral piney hop nose with some major citrus and caramel aromas as well. Really nice!

T- Strong upfront hop bitterness that gives way to a nice light sweet malty backbone. The hops are dominating making this feel more like a well balanced IPA. Grapefruit and pine are the easiest hop characteristics to identify. Finishes with a slight biscuit malt feel.

M- Light/medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Hop bitterness lingers (but as a hophead, I like it).

D- Really surprised to like this APA so much. Has all the hop kick that I could ask for without feeling to overpowering. Easily drinkable, great brew.

Photo of Infamous7100
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This review comes from someone who is not a huge fan of pale ales, so take that for what's its worth.

A: A light amber color with about a finger and a half head. Lacing was minimal.
S: Some citrus and pine on first whiff. A little alcohol peeks through as well.
T: The citrus and grapefruit are apparent but not overwhelming. Bitterness is a factor, but not the defining factor.
M: Very crisp and clean, lager like. Bitterness fades rather quickly. Moderately carbonated.
D: For a pale ale, I would say this is highly partakable. Enjoy this as an introduction to the style and beyond.

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Golden amber color with a nice fluffy white head with nice lacing left in its absence.

S: Slightly citrusy and a bit biscuity. Very easy on the nose.

T: Light citrus notes up front with the biscuit flavor hanging on the back end.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation, and a nice hop presence.

D: This is my go to beer. As many people sit with a 6 of some BMC, I will sit with a 6 of Burning River. Easy drinking and a pleasant taste. Also a good buy! Just because this beer isn't hyped, don't turn down a chance to try this. Solid brew right here guys!

Photo of taez555
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from Notes. Tasted 3/26/09

This beer poured a clear orange body with a small off-white head.

Nose is simple classic A.P.A. A little bready, mild vegetable and garbage notes and touches of citrus.

Taste is medium body with a quick dry crispness and classic APA citrus hop taste. Bread and caramel, with a strong citric balance. Leafy, a little dirty leaf hop touch. Very dry with a mild chalkiness. Slightly resiny and a little astringent flavors. Ends with a mild lingering hop sting and bitterness.

A little over the top in astringent hops, but a very nice American APA.

Photo of berserker256
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My bottle says to enjoy the beer before 05/21/09. That's about seven weeks from now so I'm good. It's got a nice deep orange/gold color. Good foamy head retention. Fruity hop aroma. Similar to raspberries, pine, and a touch of citrus as well as malt. Very nice. Flavor is perfectly bittered to the level that a pale ale ought to be with sweet fruity/malty overtones. Reflects the aroma tremendously and in a great way. Nice medium body with perfect carbonation and easy to drink. Great beer for the $8.99 six pack price.

Photo of TheNightbird
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice clear copper color.

S- Smells just like Cascade hops. Very piny and citrusy. With a slight hint of carmel malt.

T- Very sharp taste of citrus and pine. With a lingering note of grapefruit. Very hoppy for a pale almost drinks like a IPA. Right before the after taste there is a taste of alcohol

M- Medium body and moderate carbonation.

D- Very drinkable.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I brought a six pack of this to a poker game (revisiting an old favorite pale ale that I haven't tried in years). The beer was medium copper colored with a nearly white wet foam. The smell is toasted malts and citrusy hops, maybe even a hint of what passes for wheat (but I'm pretty sure there's no wheat in this beer). The beer tastes ridiculous, as delicious as a pale ale gets. Very good balance of malt and hops and very tasty versions of both. Toasted malts, biscuit, malt sweetness, light citrus fruit from the hops, so good. Medium body and presence like all good pale ales, very very drinkable. I drank more than I intended to in a short period of time but enjoyed it.

Why did I take so long to come back to this beer, one of my original favorites from the state of Ohio? I'm going to make this my summer beer this year, along with Alpha King.

Photo of spokeydonkey
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark copper, clear. Moderate white head.

S - Floral and piney hops in the nose. Some caramel malt notes.

T - Well-hopped. A lot of flavor and aroma hops without overwhelming bitterness. Malt sweetness balanced with floral hop notes up front. Fades to caramel/biscuit notes with some lingering bitterness. Exceptionally balanced to showcase the flavor hops.

M - Good body on this beer. It's a bit chewy, which goes well with this strong pale ale, and stands up to the hops. Starts off heavier and sweeter, but finishes dry.

D - Very drinkable. Well-balanced and shows off the hops nicely, but with enough malt behind it to give it some meat on its bones. Definitely straddling the IPA/pale ale line, but it's got a bit more backbone and less bitterness than I find in most IPAs.

Photo of Rainne
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorites. Still going from notes, but it's burned into my memory anyway.

A- Orange amber color with a sweet head and crazy good lacing.

S- Malt (caramel) with a hops presence citrus and earth.

T- Hops bitterness is the first thing I get followed by caramel malt and earthy and citrus tones hovering. Nice balance. Much like an IPA actually. Grapefruit and pine in there as well and a little bread/toast.

M- Nice. Crisp and refreshing with a great body and perfect carbonation.

D- I might like this even more than SN though it's a close race.

Photo of KeefD
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to drgonzo3705 for this extra! Pours a crystal clear amber orange color with a nice, two finger off-white head that fell slowly and kept good retention. The aroma is nice and floral, slightly grassy with some hints of citrus and pine and sweet, caramel malt. There's a very nice bitterness to the flavor, it's slightly sweet at first, some toasty, biscuit-like malts make up the backbone, becomes slightly medicinal and dry on the finish. Nice use of bitter hops on this one, but missing some hop citrus flavor that I love out of APAs. Medium bodied, nice crisp carbonation. This is very drinkable, reminds me a lot of SNPA. Another delicious brew from Great Lakes. They haven't let me down yet!

Photo of KTCamm
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a nice looking orange copper w/ a slight head of foam and minimal lacing.

Nose is slight citrus with malt backing.

Taste is that of a solid pale ale. Malt front, hop finish, evenful balanced throughout.

Highly drinkable and quite enjoyable. They aren't reinventing the wheel here, but who asked them to? GLBC strikes again.

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,809 ratings.