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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,843 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,843
Reviews: 1,003
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 108
Gots: 302 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-06-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,843 | Reviews: 1,003 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tatoodkelt
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one as an extra in a trade with Auslander. Thanks again man!

Never really had this style so I'll give it a go.

Bottle dated 06/26/09 poured into a pint glass.

A- Light amber, 1 finger off white head that faded pretty quick into a thin cap. Active carbination the whole time.

S- Piney, something else I couldnt nail down, like a banana or flower aroma.

T- Alot of the smell but more bitter.

M- Not too thick but sticky, crisp.

D- Not my style but not sorry I had it.

Photo of bamadog
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review is from notes - beer drank on 5/27/09. On tap into a pint glass.

Appearance: Came to me a nice penny-copper color with a 1 and 1/2 finger head with a decent amount of rention that eventually fades to a pretty thick skim on top; a thick curtain of lacing is left behind; fairly clear body with moderate carbonation bubbling throughout.

Smell: Very piney in terms of the hops; smells nice and bitter and has a slight, but muted, citrus aspect (more grapefruit than anything else) to it as the pine really dominates the nose.

Taste: Very nice and bitter, as I would expect coming from the smell, with the firm hop presence -- very piney, earthy/grassy (citrus is essentially lost in the mouth); a very faint toasty maltiness is way in teh back, but largely buried by the bitter, but I like the way it balances it out just a little bit.

Mouthfeel: A pretty creamy body for an APA with a nice sticky finish, leaving a thick coating on the tongue and roof of mouth.

Drinability: Pretty high - a nice refreshing beer that was drank outside with some typical bar food fare and it really cut through all of the flavors.

Photo of buschbeer
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured into a pint glass to to very little white head. It is an orangish-amber color and clear. It smells floral and fruity with a bit of malt. It tastes bitter but after a few drinks the malts come through. It is a nice pale ale, quite drinkable.


Photo of endincolorado
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Clear, pale amber with one finger of off-white head. Good retention. Moderate lacing.

Smell- Pleasant, fragrant hops hit with some floral aromas and an inviting fruitiness, backed well by some toasty caramel malt.

Taste- Nice, fruity hops with a slight astringency, balanced well by a crisp, light maltiness.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, complemented by appropriate carbonation.

Drinkability- Though hoppy for a Pale Ale, this is another greatly versatile beer by Great Lakes, as it goes well with a wide variety of foods, and is refreshing anytime.

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light orange-amber in color. Lighter than your average APA. Head and lacing are a bit lackluster in that the head was smaller than expected and didn't last too long. Lacing was light and stringy.
Has a decent malt presence that gives you a flash of caramel sweetness. Goes fruity in the middle with a citric-hop flavor that reminds me of mandarin oranges. Finished dry and crisp with a lingering hop bitterness.
This one was drinkable and somewhat enjoyable, but didn't knock my socks off. I still hold to the opinion that this brewery is somewhat overrated. Each of their beers that I have tried are decent, but there's always a little something lacking that I can't quite put my finger on that keeps them from being really good.

Photo of botham
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap poured into a tumbler at the brewpub in Cleveland. pours a rich golden amber color with a single finger of frothy light tan head that has good retention and leaves moderate lacings.

aroma is of mild coniferous hops and distant caramel malts along with a touch of dark malt thrown in. well put together and pleasant in the nose.

taste follows the aroma with notes of earthy hops and caramel malts. background notes of grass and a touch of chocolate are present as well. very well proportioned in profile.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a semi dry texture and a finish of sticky piney hops. all very fresh on the palate.

drinkability is great. just what an APA should be: mildly hoppy with a solid caramel malt presence. another solid brew at the Great Lakes Brewpub. cheers!

Photo of xhcadamx
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - orangeish amber with a creamy head that settles to a ring around the beer and some lacing

S - lots of grapefruit and a bit of grain in the background

T - grapefruit dominates with a strong carmel taste which I think is overwhelming. Not as bitter as you would think.

M - the carmel background makes this feel a little heavier than normal

D - very good but wasn't mind blowing for me.

Photo of WakeandBake
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slightly cloudy golden orange with a one finger white head,lively carbonation. Aroma is of nice floral,pine and citrus hops. Flavor is crisp,fresh piny hops,citrus,grapefruit and a hint of orange zest,just enough pale malt to add some balance,not overly bitter just nice and crisp,Medium bodied with a nice, pleasing mouthfeel , fresh hoppy finish is slightly dry, very drinkable. One of the better APA I have had.

Photo of tpd975
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice golden hue with a nice fluffy white head. Litte retention with spotty lace.

S: Very floral, with a big blast of grassy hops. A touch of citrus with bready grainy malt.

T: Hoppy Goodness. Lots of grassy hops of front with a bit of floral hops and citrus. Nice caramel malt with hints of bready yeast. The finish is more floral hops with a touch of earth.

M: On the thinner side of medium, smooth, tasty with great carbonation.

D: Good, a tasty, floral, APA.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
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
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
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 +4.6%
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
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
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
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
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
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
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 +3.3%
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
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
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
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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
3.87/5  rDev -2%
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
4.07/5  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
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
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
3.95/5  rDev 0%
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
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
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 +13.2%
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
3.24/5  rDev -18%
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.

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,843 ratings.