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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

2,838 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,838
Reviews: 1,003
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 108
Gots: 296 | 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: 2,838 | Reviews: 1,003 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kimcgolf
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a dark gold color with medium off-white head that lingers well and leaves good lacing. Nice, hoppy aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel was tingly and bitter, with the bitterness carrying over perfectly into the nice, long finish. This is one of the best offerings I've had from Great Lakes.

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

Pours a three finger head that quickly fades to about a finger...decent retention. Transparent orange, very very minimal puffy lacing.

Smell is malty with A fruity sourness, bitter hops in the finish, though they are a bit subdued.

Taste is hoppy up front, carbonation, and a sweet malt finish. Light flavors of sugared grapefruit and peach.

Medium bodied in the mouth, with a crisp dry finish. I'd say it's a pretty drinkable beer, nothing too offensive and the hops are a bit subdued. Worth a try.

Photo of Derek
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At 6% and 45 IBU's, I'd call this an IPA.

A: Gold with a white head; very little retention, no lace.

S: Pine & citrus with a little toffee and bread.

T: Pine, citrus, biscuity malt. Good bitterness (not at all harsh).

M: Moderate body is smooth & creamy with a slight acidity.

D: Very good.

Photo of Duster72
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a nice one finger head that sticks around for a few minutes and leaves some lacing behind. Aroma is excellent citrus hops and really jumps out at you. Taste is citrus hops with some resiny pine. Surprisingly bitter for an APA, has more characteristics of an IPA. A little too bitter for me especially for an APA. Good beer, but not great.

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

Poured out a golden color with a thin off white head, minimal lacing. The nose was fairly sweet, accompanied by lemon and melon. The taste was slightly hoppy, sweet, with grapefruit pith and melon. Had a medium body and crisp carbonation. Was a nice, very drinkable brew.

Photo of soupyman10
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly amber copper color, lots of visible bubbles, lots of nice foam that disappears after a couple minutes. Nose is fruity and floral hops with some sweetness. Taste is solid; first fairly hoppy, floral. Some mild caramel malt. Overall mild, but tasty.

Photo of Ricochet
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a red/amber red that looks more like an amber ale than a APA, little head and fizzes like soda. Smells standard. Hoppy grapefruit in a malt base. Mouth was average also, it has a little bitterness and a clean wash. Taste, this is a good APA, a little better than average but nothing special. Hops and malt are pronounced, fruity flavor is far back there. A strange "processed" aftertaste in the background, like the malt was milled too much?? Best way to describe it.

All in all, an average beverage from GL, prefer the Holy Moses or the darker beers.

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

12 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Clean copper in color with soft orange hues. Dense off white head pours two fingers thick with decent retention. Nice sticky lacing clings to the glass.

S: Citrus juice. Floral. Pine sap. Caramel malts. Fresh baked bread.

T: Big citrus juice with floral and pine hops giving off a nice bitter bite to the tongue. Soft caramel malts blend well to give perfect balance to the brew. Tastes of fresh baked bread and wet earth are taken over by more bitterness of the hops.

M: Refreshing and clean. Moderate carbonation. Slightly dry.

D: A real nice Pale Ale that borders on the IPA catagory. Incredible balance and drinkability. Refeshing and clean. Recommended.

Photo of bort11
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to DuqTroops for this one.

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass. Not a whole lot of head here, only about a half inch at the most. Quickly recedes to a thin film. Color is a clear copper.
Smell is faintly sweet with a hint of bitterness in the back. Taste is predominantly malty and sweet up front, and the hops finishes out to give it some balance.
Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, which really adds to the drinkability. Goes down very smooth, I could session this easily

Photo of djwilson
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle exp. date 7-5-07

Appearence: Poured into a pilsner glass. nice copper color thick white head forming high above the glass, head held for several minutes leaving a nice heavy belgian lace on the side of the glass, with tiny bubbles rising to the surface.

Smell: hoppy aroma with hints of citrus, light pine and very light caramel scent.

Taste: Slightly sweet on the front of the tounge, picking up hints of caramel, slighty burnt malt, finishes with a very dry hoopy finish that lingers for several minutes.

Mouthfeel: Very typical for an APA, medium body that may get gummy if served too warm, but at 45 degrees the hop flavor is really starting to explode in the back of my mouth.

Drinkability: My old stand by from GLBC, usually enjoyed from the pub on draft, but represented nicely in the bottle. This one goes down quickly do to the sweetness from the malt but nicely balaced by a slight hop kick. At 6% ABV serveral can be enjoyed without feeling the effects the next day, especially if enjoyed at 3:00 in the afternoon.

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

Leaves the bottle a slightly cloudy gold-orange color creating a fluffy, light 1 inch thick white head. Decent foam retention throughout the glass with an intricate lacing along the sides.

Aroma profile leans toward the hops here with crisp citrusy, spicy and floral notes. A wiff of malt and caramel can be detected in the background.

Mouthfeel is fairly light and refreshing, with a slightly dry and metallic-like finsih.

Flavors are extremely well balanced starting out with a moderate light caramel and malt sweetness, followed by a firm citrusy/bittersweet orange and spicy hop presence. Finishes fairly bitter and dry.

Not a super-star here but certainly an above average APA.

Photo of BMoney575
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 4-11-07
Best before 5-26-07

Pours a crystal clear reddish-gold with a huge craggy white head.

Smell is slightly fruity and sweet, with floral and grassy hops coming through.

Taste is decent, fruity malt character with a pleasant hop flavor and non-offensive bitterness. Very earthy one the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good, goes well with the hop flavors.

Drinkability is fine, though the earthiness tends to build up.

Overall, a good beer, but I've had many APAs better. I think the reason is the earthiness in the flavor. I've noticed this in several other GL offerings, and its not really my favorite characteristic in a beer.

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

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

Photo of number1bum
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of crayphish
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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)

Photo of quikfish13
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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!

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

Photo of xav33
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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...

Photo of CortexBomb
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,838 ratings.