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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

2,602 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,602
Reviews: 987
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 96
Gots: 182 | 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: 2,602 | Reviews: 987 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of happygnome


3.9/5  rDev -1.8%

a: darker golden color with about a half inch of head that dissapears fast with a little lacing
s: the first thing that strikes me is that this has a lot more hop aroma than most pale ales. Citrusy, little malt presence
t: caramel malts at the start, with a big hop presence, more balanced than aroma would indicate
m: medium bodied with average carbonation

overall this is a very enjoyable beer not very sessionable but very very refreshing

04-10-2007 23:57:42 | More by happygnome
Photo of number1bum


3.98/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a nice amber/copper color, crystal clear with a creamy looking off-white head. Lacing is very sticky and there is a nice amount of head retention. Smell is floral and citrusy hops with a touch of caramel sweetness to be found, as well. Taste is hops up front, again citrusy with some grapefruit, with a sharp but not overbearing hop bitterness. As the hops subside caramel malts add some nice balance to the bitter hops.. Biterness puckers the mouth a bit and lingers into the finish, which is very dry...a touch too dry for my liking, thus the 3.5 mouthfeel rating.

This is definitely a bit "bigger" than most pale ales - higher abv, more hop bitterness - but still a great pale ale. If you are wary of IPAs, however, this may not be a pale ale for you as it's sort of halfway between a pale ale and an IPA.

04-10-2007 22:09:49 | More by number1bum
Photo of MrMcGibblets


3.68/5  rDev -7.3%

light amber, almost blond in the glass with suprising clarity for the style, some creamy head and lacing. aroma was more subtle that i expected, some light/moderate pine notes along with light bready qualities and a touch of caramel mixed in. taste was initially a very light sweetness on the front of the palate followed by a moderate (for the style) hop bitterness, finish was clean and of average duration. mouthfeel was light/medium, dry in overall texture, and somewhat astringent.

04-08-2007 23:35:26 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of crayphish


3.7/5  rDev -6.8%

Pours a clean amber with nice carbonation trails and a dense craggy head. Intense lacing. Smell is faint floral hops, maybe some sweet citrus. Taste is crisp hops tendered somewhat by malt. A nice blend. The bitterness lingers and keeps my mouth crisp. Another fine Great Lakes brew.

04-08-2007 04:28:23 | More by crayphish
Photo of bluegrassbrew


4.45/5  rDev +12.1%

Well, I've never been disappointed with a beer from Great Lakes and the string of quality brews just keeps coming.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, this is a very clean looking beer. Crystal clear copper in color with a nice thick head. Leaves very nice lacing around the glass.

Smells of slight citrus. Nice florally hop presence. Taste is well balanced. Grapefruity hops, but not overly pronounced. A good balance of maltyiness as well. Highly drinkable! Well worth the experience.

04-05-2007 03:41:09 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of jasonjlewis


4.13/5  rDev +4%

Nice head and retention. Smell is a little faint, but hoppy. Taste is hoppy, with a decent malt backbone to follow. Malt backbone become more pronounced as alcohol warms. Failrly nice mouthfeel and very sessionable. I am growing to like this brewery and wish that they would distribute in texas. Oh well. I'll have to keep trading for them.

This is the typical apa (a sort of dumbed down ipa)

03-30-2007 02:48:42 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of quikfish13


4.45/5  rDev +12.1%

Poured in a dark orange/copper color with a tan off white head. Very clear not cloudy at all, looks great.

Smells of citrus, oranges mainly, and a malty aroma hit first. A very sweet aroma with some roasted scents thrown in for good measure. My mouth was already watering in anticipation.

Very nice floral hops taste with the citrus coming forefront. Not much bitterness at all. A nice earthy malt flavor comes through at the end with the grains dominating all the way through. A slight hint of mango as well with reminders of perhaps papaya are tasted.

Not thick at all and almost slick as it goes down. Still no trouble actually drinking this as it is one of the smoothest beers I have had yet. Being exeptionally tasting, great looking, and smelling amazing this is a highly drinkable beer. I have bought 6-12 packs of this beverage on a regular basis. Another great brew from Great Lakes.

03-29-2007 07:57:01 | More by quikfish13
Photo of jockstrappy


4.33/5  rDev +9.1%

Pours a transparent copper color with a foamy, eggshell white head that settles to a thin cap. Aroma consists mainly of floral hops, and a sweet malt note. Taste begins with a sweet, buttery malt foundation, that slowly gives way to a floral hop flavor, providing very nice balance. Mouthfeel....this beer is somewhat oily on the palate (but that's how I like 'em), going down the hatch with very little trouble. Awesome!

03-28-2007 00:05:26 | More by jockstrappy
Photo of prototypic


4.15/5  rDev +4.5%

Appearance: Poured a copper, burnt orange color with a one and a half finger head. Head stuck around quite a while and left decent lacing.

Smell: Classic pale ale aroma. Smells quite hoppy with a hint of citrus scents underneath. Primarily, the citrus scents are orange and mango. There's also a bit of a malty smell too.

Taste: The citrus notes really shine through upon tasting. It gives it a bit of a sweet taste. The hops that follow through give it a nice, bitter taste. There is a slight bit of a malty taste, which balances it out a little. But, it's still nice and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This one leans in the light bodied direction. It goes down really easy. This is a very drinkable beer, especially during the summer. Overall, one of my favorite Great Lakes beers. It's a regular in my fridge. Try it.

03-23-2007 01:30:47 | More by prototypic
Photo of xav33


3.8/5  rDev -4.3%

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale
12 oz bottle
Best by 03/07, extinguished 02/07
Medium pour in a tulip glass

Poured a clear amber with a small white quickly diminishing head with a small ring of lacing.

Smelt of moderate orange, lemon and spruce.

Taste was upfront moderate sweet lemon and cookie with a moderate bitter lemon rinds and spruce followed by a strong bitter mold, sweat and pine with a moderately sweet biscuit malt on a long finish

Palate was light to medium bodied,oily, lively and moderately astringent.

Overall, a classic tasting pale ale with little to no flaws.

03-14-2007 04:25:00 | More by xav33
Photo of scott


4.33/5  rDev +9.1%

A new favorite...
An easy drinking mild, well executed with a clean pale amber appearance and a light head that quickly rims.
Nothing harsh to the nose, nothing wild on the tongue. Thirst quenching, & delicious! Mild citrus to note.
(I've graduated from the "Extreme Brewing" culture that wouldn't allow such a heavenly review only months ago).
Nicely carbonated.
This is your patio sipper. It's well-versed, but still knows it's place...

03-11-2007 01:52:07 | More by scott
Photo of CortexBomb


3.73/5  rDev -6%

aka; Great Lakes tries their hand at an American classic and does a nice job of it.

Pales are what they are, if you're in the mood for them, they hit the spot, and Burning River is a fine example.

Amber on the pour, nice head, moderately malts (sweet) on the nose. The flavour is a very well-balanced mix of floral hops and malts with a bit of a zing on the edge...I don't really know how to describe it other than sweet and bitey, not sugary sweet, more like subdued caramel. Not a super depthy beer, but for the style it's solid.

The mouth and drinkability are both fine.

The bottom line: As I said in the intro, it's a classic style, and Great Lakes has brought their own twist to it. Good summer style brew.

03-10-2007 22:12:13 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of BEERchitect


4.05/5  rDev +2%

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.

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


3.8/5  rDev -4.3%

12oz bottle.
Pours a clear, light amber color with a short, quickly falling head and a bit of lacing. It has a nice, clean, citrusy smell with a little sweet, malt backing. The taste is dry with a slightly bitter citrus flavor. Mouthfeel is medium & dry. It's a very drinkable, good APA.

03-07-2007 02:06:18 | More by meatyard
Photo of cabsandking


4.03/5  rDev +1.5%

Pours a shade darker than golden and a fair white head. The nose displays a big fruity bouquet, honey, and bitter esters. The mouth is a little hard but smoothes out as the carbonation weaken towards the end. The hop profile here is dry, slightly chalky, perfumy florals, and a nice spice level that is a little acidic. Bready grain sweetness from the pale malts. The finish is dry and spicy with some alcohol flavor. A descent offering from Great Lakes and highly drinkable.

03-01-2007 01:44:45 | More by cabsandking
Photo of bjohnson


4.13/5  rDev +4%

Received in a trade with JAYW. Thanks for the opportunity.

A: Pours a very clean and clear peachish amber color with a frothy pillow like two finger white head. Whirlwind of carbonation coming from the bottom of the glass. Sticky soft looking lacing down the glass.
S: Floral hop presence with a slight bit of grapefruit and pears. Soft candy like notes.
T/M: Floral and citrus fruit hop notes. Toasted grain underbelly. Subtle bitterness that continues to mingle with the toasted grain well into the finish. Dryer finish with a straw or grassylike aftertaste. Medium bodied and extra crisp. A very nice example of a pale ale.
D: One of the better pale ales I've had. Excellent balance of malt and hops. Clean and crisp--all the makings of a nice session brew in the summer. Definitely worth checking this one out.

02-22-2007 00:29:56 | More by bjohnson
Photo of jpkoch1962


4.33/5  rDev +9.1%

Pours a brillant light amber, perhaps a tad of red hues can be discerned. The perfect carbonation formed a tight 2 finger white head. The aroma was a mild mixture of spicy and citrusy hops- perhaps a bit of fruity esters in the background.

This is classified as an American Pale Ale, but it could easily pass as an English Pale Ale as well. This Ale begins and ends dry. While the bittering and flavor hops dominate, there is enough of a body to smooth the taste out. The carbonation allows for a complex blend of hops, and pale/crystal malts to come through. This has got to be one of the best commerical Pale Ales I've had. Great Lakes put a lot of effort into this style, and it shows.

02-21-2007 21:45:04 | More by jpkoch1962
Photo of tgbljb


4.22/5  rDev +6.3%

Poured a crystal clear deep golden color with a alrge slightly off-white puffy head that lasted a along time. Great lacing noted.
Smell is a balanced combination of summer fruity malt and citrusy, grassy hops.
Taste blends the malt and hops together in a perfect ratio.
Great rich full mouthfeel that shows good taste retention,
A very enjoyable beer. Nice balance and good example of the style.

02-17-2007 00:18:33 | More by tgbljb
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4/5  rDev +0.8%

Pured a clear light golden orange color with a small head that fades quickly. Very tiny bubble of visable carbonation.

Fairly mild floral and citrus smell, but it is revealing more hop than most pale ales I'm familiar with.

Mouth feel is light, slightly hoppy and effervescent and complements the hop flavor.

Very refreshing beverage with a nice complexity to it. Didn't think that it tasted like a 6%. Recommended.

02-11-2007 21:37:32 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of Erdinger2003


2.98/5  rDev -24.9%

I had to pour the beer very hard to get any head and the head left in no time leaving every little behind. The color is absolutely clear and light. You can see right through it very easily. The smell is very nice and hoppy. The taste is a bit off, like it's a little old, but the bottle says best before 2/26/07. It's an ok taste, but it is just off. The mouthfeel is a bit watery and hard. I don't think I would try this again.

02-11-2007 10:58:48 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of shivtim


3.95/5  rDev -0.5%

Clear orange/red with a small white head. Nose is pretty hoppy, with a malt backbone. Taste is a decent hop flavor, slight malts, and some sour citrus. Nice. Mouthfeel is great, super smooth and well carbonated. Drinkability is good. Nice brew from GLBC.

02-08-2007 05:13:38 | More by shivtim
Photo of Phatz


4.13/5  rDev +4%

After several days off of beer reviews due to a cold, I am more than ready to have something nice. Horary I can smell again. Thanks to Akorsak I have a few covetted Great Lakes brews sitting in front of me. Thank you Adam your gift is most generous!

Allowed to warm 15 minutes and served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a golden amber color with an ivory head and lots of carbonation; very little lacing.

Smell: Hint of fruity hops some through a dominantly malty nose. Sweet malts and grains, a drop of buttery diacetyl and some toasted grain aroma are mild but pleasant.

Taste: Sweet toasted grain, browned butter, caramel malts and a floral citrus hop flavor finish very dry and crisp.

Mouthfeel: A creamy well carbonated beer leaves a bitter astringent feel on the palate.

Drinkability: To be honest with you I am often bored by APAs and hold little expectations for them. This one is really exceptional. A large amount of flavor and balance and very sessionable. Maybe it was the lack of beer for several day (due to my cold) but this beer was consumed at quite rapid rate.

Hope this is helpful.

01-27-2007 06:05:36 | More by Phatz
Photo of Oxymoron


4.05/5  rDev +2%

I love the story line /idea behind this beer. The pour is a darker golden color with good clarity. A nice pour with good tight foam and good lacing throughout the whole tasting.

The nose is on the hoppy side for pales. A mostly citrus appeal but more of a grapefruit appeal then lemony. Some piney finish as well. The malt is also noticed in the background with some lighter caramel notes.

The flavor has a more balanced hop to malt ratio then the nose would indicate but still the hops are more ubiquitous overall. The hops have a nice balance with a good piney bitterness and a more floral finish that slaps of Cascade. The malt is rather limited in overall flavor with limited caramel, but supports the hops just fine.

The body is good with a good a sweeter finish and a nice hidden ABV. Although 6 isn't exactly big, it has a nice flavor overall and a crisp and light wispy finish that helps accentuate the bitterness. I would never pollute a river with this gem.

01-25-2007 06:46:46 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of olegv40


4.15/5  rDev +4.5%

Pours a deep golden yellow and the thick head clings to the glass. Pine comes through in the aroma. Very hoppy, and quite bitter, in a good way. Just a perfect amount of citrus comes through the bitterness and cuts it quite well. Finishes very sweet and smooth. A fantastic tasting beer that I would highly recommend.

01-18-2007 02:43:10 | More by olegv40
Photo of kennyo

New York

3.85/5  rDev -3%

part of a variety 12 pack

pours a crystal clear gold color, with a nice white head that disipates fairly quickly. Nice carbonation. Aroma is hops and spice. Taste is malt, some hop bitterness, nice aftertaste. This is a very good example of a pale ale. This could be a good session beer

01-17-2007 02:09:31 | More by kennyo
Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,602 ratings.