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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

2,805 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,805
Reviews: 995
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 105
Gots: 262 | 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: 2,805 | Reviews: 995 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Baileyuk
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly cloudy golden amber.slight head, little lacing.

Smell was mainly malt with subtle hops. Not the greatest aroma.

Taste was much better. Hops are much more prominent, but not overpowering. Very good example of the style.malts balance very well.

Hops hit the back of the mouth in a pleasant way. Very easy to drink, very highly recommended.

Photo of Frosty80
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: clear golden brown with a slight amber hue

Smell: great caramel malt character followed closely by some light floral hops

Taste: slight hoppy bitterness throughout with some malt helping balance it in the last half. light bitter and biscuit in the finish

Mouthfeel: smooth, low-med body with light carbonation

Notes: another great job by GLBC. it seems everything they do is upper-middle class

Photo of Biggness
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark cloudy amber with a 1 fingered white head and some lacing. The smell is of sweet malts and nuts. The flavor is nice, some nutty tones to it, a nice malt base and a decent hop aftertaste, some citrus and some pine in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is ok with a low carbonation level and a slight dry aftertaste. A nicely drinkable brew.

Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via SS08 from kirok1999. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head above the slightly cloudy orangey amber brew. Head lasts and lasts, with goodly amounts of chunky lacing. Aroma is balanced, leaning slightly towards piney hops. Taste is slight vegetal upfront, citrus hops in the middle, and then combination through the close. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is about the same. Things just don't come together quite as well as I would hope.

Photo of saradad
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a glass raising about 1 1/2" creamy white head over a coppery gold (amber?) body, light carbonation. The scent is lemony with some light caramel malt and light bread notes. Very understated but pleasant as is the taste, an initial caramel bread then a light burst of lemony and grassy hops. The feel is full and the aftertaste lingers with the hops at the fore. There's also a little bit of tannin-like feel to the finish. Good stuff...and for what it's worth I got this in Great Lakes Sampler and this is the least favorite of the beers it contains and it's nice to find a sampler without the ubiquitous IPA and Belgian-styled-inspired-copied ale in the mix.

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a nonic. "For freshest taste, enjoy by 03/17/09" stamped on side of label.

A- Clear amber. Pours with ~1 finger of off white head, which fades gradually to a thin cap, leaving ample lacing as consumed.

S- Subdued grapefruit/floral hops, with a solid bready/malty presence.

T- Slightly spicy grapefruit/citrus hoppiness, with a very solid malt backbone. Bitterness is moderate.

M- Very crisp, with quite active carbonation. Goes down smooth.

D- Excellent. Tasty smooth drinker with a moderate ABV. Seems like a very sessionable brew.

Future outlook: Great Lakes seems to make consistently solid products, and are readily available for me, so I anticipate getting this again.

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark amber color in nature, half inch head that dissipates with great lacing for visual.

S: Scents of orange and some lemon are the high notes of the citrus. Next comes the cascade in full bloom. Not too aromatic overall, but what is present accommodates to the fullest.

T: Crisp and light in nature, the hop present with the citrus tones are where its at on this one. The withdraw is flawless, smooth, mild and a slight tingle which stays for a minute afterward.

M: A nice mild hopy sensation and clean discard. Somewhat thin in nature makes for easy sipping.

D: A well brewed APA all around. Recommended.

Photo of williamherbert
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is incredibly clear. Golden yellow with decent cratered white head that disappears rather quickly. A few tiny carbonation bubbles.

A couple hops and some mild crystal malts in the smell. A few bitter caramel malts.

Some bitter German malt flavors, with an overlay of some floral and woody hops. The malt bitterness is a tad harsh but not in a bad way. Almost a Kolsch-like bitterness.

A little ashy feel; more fizzy than expected. A decent but underwhelming bitter pale.

Photo of mikereaser
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly murky rust orange with just a little bit of foam that quickly settled into a layer of fine bubbles

S - Citrus hops dominate the nose in this one, with hints of pine and malts

T - Citrus hops and pine flavors and a bit of a spicy peppery finish. A nice hop bite lasts throughout the taste

M/D - Light bodied with an oily texture to it. Nice drinking and a nice round of hops with a zesty finish. Definitely could be a drinker

Photo of hooliganlife
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bottled obtained in a trade. pours bright copper. i catch an orange citrus scent. def some dry hopping here. piny hop bitterness up front that is quickly muted with malts. malty finish. medium carbonation. this is very sessionable and great beer for anyone that wants something low key and easy going.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 2/23/09 date on label

Special Thanks to Cooncat for providing this in a recent trade. Good trader and good guy!

Pours with a scant ¼ inch head that stays on the scene for a bit. Clear amber color with a touch of yellow highlights. Nice clarity and some visible carbonation. Slight rings of lacing.

Aroma is light malts... slight fruit & a bit doughy. Slight toasted notes....

Flavor is very nice. Toasted malts up front. Some bread/cracker tones... a bit of bitterness and settles to a toasted flavor again... Pretty well balanced. The more you drink it the more you notice the fruity nature. A bit juicy and some citrus notes... Still well balanced.

Medium bodied and fresh in your mouth.

Very drinkable. Only got one bottle.. That's too bad. I'm impressed with Great Lakes Brewing... Well done.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden orange color with two fingers of foamy white head.

Scent of piny, juicy hops, citrus, and some bready malts. An effective scent, balanced well with a good hop profile, very fitting of the style.

Taste of hops, citrus, bready malts and a hint of spice in the finish. Very nice balance, hops are noticeable but blend marvelously with the malts.

Mouthfeel light bodied and slightly oily with some carbonation.

Photo of Rhynes2
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love this beer. Great hoppy taste and a decent foamy head as well. Just a wonderful flavor and aroma combo. Had this beer with a meat and cheese sandwich and it was pretty much heaven. My uncle turned me on to this one as an employee of Great Lakes for quite some time. You can't go wrong with this one. Definitely worth a try for someone who hasn't had this one before.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: Yellowish amber with a hint of haziness. Some visible carbonation pillars rising quickly. Soft white one finger head. Dissipated to a fine head throughout and leaves nice large topographical lacing.

S: Surprisingly aggressive hop nose. Fresh, floral, grapefruit and lemony. It has a strong Cascade character. A little malt sweetness but hop dominates. Malt becomes stronger and biscuity toward the end of the drink.

T: Nice clean grapefruit hop bite with a solid caramel malt backbone. This has to be pushing toward an IPA. I'm not going to complain about that! It is well done. The malt manages to hold it's own and adds levels of sweetness under the hop that make the fruitiness take on more peach type characteristics. Lovely!

M: Light body, crisp, dry mouth. Medium carbonation that is very active but not too aggressive in the mouth. Aftertaste leaves a nice hop bite on the back of the throat.

D: A very enjoyable beer. One of the better APA's I have had. I would drink another if I had one but sadly I don't. I have yet to have a bad beer from Great Lakes - gotta love that!

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

Poured into a dogfish head snifter. Small half a fingers worth of off white head with small amount of carbonation and body looked a golden amber. At first I got whiffs of grassy hops aromas and then noticed a little citrus zest smell maybe of grapefruit or oranges. Got a little of the grapefruit zest in the first sip as well as the bitterness of the hops. It left my mouth coated after the first sip and had a lingering aftertaste. Seemed like the ending was missing a little something and I can quite describe the after taste. I picked this one up on my way thru Ohio and I would do it again as it's something worth drinking.

Photo of penguinjive7
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour shows an auburn color with a bit of a white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

The smell is of caramel and bready malt.

Unexpectedly, the first flavor to hit the tongue is a strong hop bitterness which quickly mixes with the sweetness that was found in the aroma. The finish is rather dry with almost a black tea-like taste.

This is a dry brew with lively carbonation which I feel can be a bit much at times.

This beer is not at all what I expected. The nice and strong hop character really took me by surprise after the sweetness of the smell. Very complex of a pale ale and probably one of the best that I have had.

Photo of selecter70
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

How can you resist an ale commemorating the Cuyahoga River fire? Well, Great Lakes Brewery can't & grants a better-than average pale ale that I eagerly enjoyed. A medium-shade of honey pour with light tan lacey head and sweet honey aroma already proved its appearance well. A smooth hoppy lemon malt flavor, where nothing overwhelmed definitely sat nicely & left me wanting more.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another beer that I picked up in Ohio...

I haven't had a pale ale in quite some time and this one seemed to be pretty popular on here. For me, the benchmark has always been the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and although this doesn't quite measure up to it, it's by no means bad. This is a good example of what a pale ale should be and maybe the cleanest and crispest version of one that I've ever had.

The pour wasn't anything special - a deep golden hue, some head, and minimal lacing. Is this balanced, no doubt. The hops are here but they don't overpower. Ditto with the flavors, as pine and resin dominate here with some grapefruit and apricot also present. This isn't as bright as Sierra Nevada's beers or intense as Three Floyds but it has a slight hint of dry-hoppiness to it as well. The mouthfeel is average and the carbonation isn't really here either but this never comes off as being too easygoing and poorly-crafted.

This would be a good session beer in warmer weather, even though the ABV is 6.00%. I could easily see this going well with some mildly spicy food since this won't burn your mouth or require an accompanying glass of water. The faint metallic hint in the aftertaste is enough to make me want more and realize that a solid pale ale is always a good thing, even during a cold snap like the one we're getting this week!

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

How I havent reviewed this beer I dont know. The beer was served in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The beers body pours a delightful caramel coloration. The head is a thin white coloratation. Major lacing remains behind to mark the beers consumption.

Smell: The beers aroma is caramel with a bit of floral and pine resin hops.

Taste: The beer leads with its hops. Bitter hoppyness takes the lead a bit of citrus breaks into the middle. The maltyness has biscuity, caramel character. The beer finishes dry.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: The beer has a medium body that is well served by its active carbonation. This is a beer to sit back and just suck on down. This is a very nice pale ale.

Photo of u2carew
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(A) Rust color. Pours with a nice, controlled head.
(S) Before I even read the bottle I knew there had to be Cascade Hops in the mix. Fantastic fruity / citrus aroma with hints of peach.
(T) Smooth hop bitterness combined with malty sweetness. Slight oak and Very mild, close to barely noticeable, bitter aftertaste.
(M) Good mouthfeel. Not too light and not too heavy bodied. Good carbonation balance.
(D) A GREAT pale ale. Would be even more fantastic on a summer / warmer day instead of the middle of winter.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The thin, off-white head caps a clear, amber-copper brew, with significant residual carbonation.

Light caramel leads followed by orange peel, cantaloupe and pear. All are rather subtle but play well together.

The hop profile is stronger than one would anticipate, based on the aroma. Bitterness and a touch of acid clean up in a brief finish.

A hint of alcohol and metallic notes carry through this very dry, medium-bodied ale.

This is ale is easy to drink, but not quite a session. It is worthy of quaffing with friends when beer is merely an accessory to quench one's thirst.

date consumed: 27 Oct 2008

Photo of tadowdaddy
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Cloudy amber, huge head, excellent lacing and great retention.

S- Hoppy! Citrus hops, most especially grapefruit and a tad bit of lemon in the scent.

T- Delicious! Very balanced beer. A tad bit of caramel malts and finishes with a bitter citrus hop explosion. Some earthy tones as well. More like an IPA than an APA.

M- Thick, creamy... Leaves a delicious bitter taste in my mouth.

D- Easily drinkable. Drank 3 of them in an hour and a half at Ashley's. No sense of the alcohol... Delicious and easily sessionable.

Photo of yesyouam
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Flour City Brewers' Fest 2008. Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale is a clear, slightly carbonated golden ale. The head is thick, foamy and off-white. It has great retention and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is a little muted by the head, but it's mostly fresh citrus, probably Cascade. It is medium bodied, a little starchy in the mouth and the finish is dry. It has pretty good balance, OK bitterness. There is a slight phenolic flavor. Not bad!
(rated Aug 17, 2008)

Photo of wingman14
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a light orange with a dense white head that fades somewhat slowly and leaves tons of lacing. The smell is of fresh hops that have piney and citrus notes with some sweet aromas. The taste starts hoppy, with hints of the pine flavors, moves toward the citrus and finishes with just a hint of bitterness. The bitter notes come on a bit stronger in the aftertaste, but still are very light compared to other hoppy beers. The mouthfeel is very smooth and somewhat light, great carbonation, nice flavor all through the beer. This one is an easy drinker, a very well crafted beer with great flavors. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of grs8313
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 12oz bottle with no bottling or best by date. Pours a clear copper with some bubbles rising in the glass. Not much head when poured, and only a sparse bubble covering on the top.

Smell: Citrus, hops, and malts. A very aromatic and great smell, the citrus is overtaken by the hops and the blend is great.

Taste: Hops, citrus (on the sides of the tongue), and slight malt flavors. An aftertaste of hops. This is a great, well balanced pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and carbonated and the beer leaves the mouth feeling slightly dry.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, a great pale ale, well balanced and great tasting. At 6% ABV this would not be my first choice for a session beer, but two or three in a night would be a great treat, deffinetly try it if you get the chance.

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,805 ratings.