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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

2,870 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,870
Reviews: 1,012
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 111
Gots: 323 | 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: 2,870 | Reviews: 1,012 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atrus138
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 12 oz brown bottle with expiration date on the label. Nice amber color with a finger head that stuck to the bottle.

Nice caramel aroma with a strong presence of hops, but not as strong as most pale ales.

Taste consisted of caramel malts with floral hops, though not too strong. A nice balance. Definitely easy to drink. Another great contribution from Great Lakes. I have yet to have a sub-par drink from them.

Photo of jackorain
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper, 1/2 inch head fell to a nice bubbly head in average time.

S-Biscuit malt, green hops, floral hops. Not strong nor complex, but nice.

T-Big floral hops and big green hop bite, caramel maty biscuit malt props this up in the middle. A nice long bitterness finishes it up.

M-nice medium body, perfect carbonation.

Overall-this is more like an IPA in bitterness and strength but I really like it. Another quality brew from Great Lakes. I am really starting to like this brewery

Photo of WesWes
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a well balanced aroma of pale malts and floral hops. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth breadlike malt taste that boasts of pale and bisquit malts along with a nice selection of floral hops. The bisquit malts blend well with the hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a solid APA. I'm always a fan of the bisquit malts. The hop selection also adds a nice balanced flavor.

Photo of LeftyBWS
3.47/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured, from a 12 oz. brown bottle with a freshness date on the label, into a shaker pint glass.
A: Amber-orange in color, darkish for a pale ale. Medium amount of bubbly, off-white head that was quick to recede. Not much lacing.
S: Piney hops and some sweet, oaky malt underneath. A warm sweetness fills the nose, and the hoppiness pokes in at various points. There's also a faint but deep berry-ish scent, something floral.
T: Mirrors the smell, mostly. Hoppy up front, and more oaky/malty towards the middle. The finish is a typically nice drawn-out piney taste, but with some of the other malt/floral flavorings chiming in, too. All in all, I can understand why a lot of people like this beer, and it certainly has a unique taste for this style, but it's just not what I'm looking for in an APA. I think it would do better to have the hops more prevalent.
M: Wet overall, with some bitterness up front that lingers slightly. The finish is watery with a not unnoticeable alcohol tingling.
D: Not bad, but not great. There's nothing all that offensive while drinking this brew, except the alcohol-tinged finish, but nothing about it made me want to grab another one right away, either.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to JAYW for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice creamy one-finger head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is hoppy, malty, slight piny, and lots of caramel. The taste is a good balance of hops and malts, with lots of caramel. The finish is very dry and bitter. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice Pale Ale, glad to have a chance to try it.

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

Served from the tap, pours a copper, dark orange color with a creamy white head. Smell is sweet malt along with some floral, hoppy notes. Taste is very hoppy for an APA with a floral hop presence. Some sweet malt is also there. The mouthfeel on this one is highly carbonated as well. This is another great offering from Great Lakes. I like this APA a lot. Its a big beer for a Pale Ale.

Photo of kellyst
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale golden color. Medium white head with moderate lacing.

S: Bitter hop aroma, some citrus.

T: High bitterness for a pale ale. Almost ipa like. Nice hop flavor with both citrus and spicy hop flavors. Malt flavors come bout nicely as it warms.

D: Very high.

Photo of Risser09
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Burning River IPA On Tap
A: Golden Yellow in color. White head reaches 1” and subsides to leave some moderate lacing.
S: Creamy and almost milk smelling. Hops that smell bitter and not floral.
T: Straw and hay. This beer tastes more like a bitter than an APA. Not much hop profile or juiciness. Nice bitterness of apple and lemon peel though.
M: Smoothe and creamy with a bitter finish. Again, not very close to the style characteristics that I thought it would abide by. Alcohol is apparent in the bitter finish.
D: Great for the summer, although I wouldn’t go out of my way to pursue this one.

Photo of slagle9480
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer just didn't do it for me. I tried it three different times, but each time I had too high of hopes going into it. The third time around it improved. Rather than a 3.3 it probably bounced up to about a 3.5 in my book.

In my short history of sampling beer, Burning River has thus far been the most disappointing. Try it for yourself though. I don't know every little nuance of an APA.

If you like APA's, try Southern Tier's Hoppe. You'll thank yourself.


"Keep drinkin Southern Tier. Everything will be alright."

Photo of adammills
4.79/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I may have discovered my favorite pale ale.

It pours a faint copper almost bordering on amber. The head disapated a bit quickly, but my pint glass is not beer clean either, so a bit of a pass on that.

There is a tremendous hop aroma, quite citrusy and floral. WOW!

This is a beer that is very well balanced. Great round hop impression. Solid bitterness that is carried by the malt. Great hop flavor that really closes out each sip enticing another as a result.

A great drinking beer. I cant believe it is so big almost an IPA. I love it.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a clear golden brown with a light head and light lacing.

Aroma is nice with a healthy piney hop presence.

Bready malts and piney hops are present. It also has a touch of both bitterness and sourness to it.

Light bodied and lightly carbonated with a dryness at the finish.

This is a very drinkable pale ale and my first Great Lakes product.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a beer mug.

A clear, amber pour into the middle of the glass leaves behind an inch of thick, off-white head. The foam is retained extremely well and leaves dramatically draped lacing. This aroma is what I look for in a pale ale: sweet caramel hops, lots of citrusy grapefruit and tangerine, and a kiss of maltiness to balance it all out.

The flavor is near-mild, but it pulls through with a large hop presence on the finish. Some light, wheaty notes coat the sides of the palate while the hops get more aggressive as the beer warms. Some citrus fruit and an almost metallic copper note peek through as well. Mouthfeel is above average for a pale: medium body, well-carbonated and crisp, with a nice little bite to remember the swig by. Overall, this is an extremely drinkable beer. It's tasty, refreshing, and leaves you wanting another, which one can easily manage with the 6% ABV. Nice job, Cleveland.

Photo of scaliasux
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Light amber. Clear. Foamy off-white head with good retention.

Smell - Prominent hoppy aroma. Nice.

Taste - Begins with very mild malt which is quickly overwhelmed by strong hop flavor. Orange and pine notes. Very hoppy as may be expected in the category.

Mouthfeel - Moderate. Finishes quite dry.

Drinkability - No complaints about the beer in general. Appears to be a well-made APA, by a company that makes good beer with fantastic names and imagery. A touch too hoppy for my tastes, though.

Photo of hustlesworth
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

i've had a half dozen great lakes beers and all of em are outstanding in my opinion. living an hour away from cleveland should make it pretty easy to try the rest someday.

A- poured into a cleveland browns pint glass a very nice rusty orangish-amber color (like a dirty football jersey maybe? MAYBE? not quite) with just under 1/2in of soapy off-white head that fizzled quickly leaving minimal lace that slid back down almost immediately. but the color and clarity were very appealing.

S- fruit and malt! without the malt it would have smelled like some sort of tropical fruit cider with prominent passionfruit backed up by apple, pear, and citrus.

T- bitter start to finish. first a slightly metallic bitter pecan with spicy herbal citrus, sweet and sour caramelly malts, with a great aftertaste of more bitter fruity floral resinous hops and roasted sweet corn.

MF- nice medium, slightly syrupy consistancy with alot of carbonation. when i burp it's like a hop is gonna fly out my mouth. i like that.

D- totally sessionable. easy to drink, great flavor, tastes great with lots of different food. anything from great lakes is bound to be a winnner.

Photo of bboven
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic pale ale appearance wise; can't give a better praise than that. Great lacing.

Smell is greatly balanced between th hops and malt.

Taste leans a little more towards the malty end, but still pretty well balanced

Mouth feel is once again right where it should be.

Very drinkable, quenching, could use a touch more dryness, but that's just me trying to find something to be picky about with this beer.

Photo of mntlover
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden amber color with lots of bubbles feeding a nice off white head that falls to a ring and leaves some sticky lace behind.

Aroma is nice sweet malt caramel with good hops noted floral, pine and hints of citrus.

Taste is burst of carbonation nice malty sweetness followed by the release of hops pine resin and citrus notes tingle the tongue. Finish in lingering hops pine and citrus with decent amount of malt sweetness. Decent pale ale nothing to complain about.

Mouthfeel is right on light medium nice level of carbonation, good for drinking all day.

Drinkability is good pale ale like so many others, wouldn't be a fav but nothing wrong here either. Want to thank wcudwight for this sample.

Photo of Monsone
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured on draft into a shaker pint glass. Beer is a nice white color with a white finger width head.

S - Aroma is floral hops and toffee malt

T - Flavor is pine and citrus with a bready malt backbone. Malt and hops is very well balanced.

M - Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable, very sessionable APA.

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

12oz brown bottle -> goblet
freshest taste before 08.31.07

Pours a clear orange with a creamy full white head. Lacing appears in melted sheets of white goodness. Carbonation appears minimal.

Nose: Piney citrus hops, some sourness similiar to pear.

Big medium to full mouth. Citrus upfront, with a quick blast of malt. Finishes with a smooth bitterness that hangs around for a little bit. Clean and refreshing.

100% session able, great taste. Thanks dan for this sample.

Photo of Slar211
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from the B-Side Liquor Lounge on Coventry, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Appearance: Pours dark gold and almost clear in a pint glass with a thick creamy head.

Smell: Floral hops and sweet malt, some citrus as well.

Taste: Big hops give hints of lemon and orange, balanced with just enough sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, dry enough to invite another taste.

Drinkability: This is a good one, very drinkable.

Photo of Atron67
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a gloden amber with off-white head that left medium lacing
S- cascady hops with a piney smell. a little malt but the hops is the big player here
T- really good, a smooth but steep onset of hops after the initial maltiness.
M- a medium/heavy body with a smooth flow over the tongue.
D- forms a really good pale ale which can be easily be drank over and over

Photo of Jettanbass9
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

American Pale Ale

Color: Dark amber
Aroma: hoppy forefront (can't quite put my finger on it, but smells of german style hop) malty finish
Taste: light on the palate, dry and hoppy... cant quite go wrong here. A very unique dry malt flavor... almost reminds me of a red ale.

This has to be one of my favorite Pale ales... ever. Do yourself a favor and pick up a six pack, scratch that, make it a case.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at the local watering hole.

This is a great APA in my opinion. Pours a nice amber color with a white head. Lacing is nice.

Smells of those 'C' hops I love so much. Nice citrusy aroma backed up with a nice malt character. I used to think this beer was all hops but it does have some balance.

Taste is high on the hoppiness, big citrus and pine flavor with a little of that malt thrown in for balance. Make no mistake, this is an APA.

Light to medium bodied, carbonation is not over done, I could drink more than a few of these (and have at this very pub) in one sitting.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in West Virginia while I was on vacation there. A great session beer that I wish I could find locally, It pours dark golden with a thin head that sticks around and creates some decent lacing. The smellis lovely, with beautifully balanced earthy hops and a light malt background. Some cherry fruitiness at the finish. The taste is a beautiful example of a pale ale. Relativeley lightbodied, but with a nice fruity and bitter flavor throughout. Cherries and orange zest and earthy hops make this a delightful quaffer. Nicely balanced and crisp but full mouthfeel make this one great to have in the fridge often.

Photo of marcobrau
4.62/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Possibly the best American pale ale in the universe.

Pours pretty, light amber and clear with a white head of foam. This is a golden ale with a wonderful, cedar-pine aroma....but the taste...oh, my....crisp toasted malts mix wonderfully with cedar hops that pave the way to a dry, bitter finish. So simple, but so good. The mouthfeel trends towards light from medium and the carbonation is ample enough. I think this is my new favorite pale ale. A little strong for the style, but oh well...I'll just try not to drink too many.

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

A - Clear, copper-orange with an inch of foam and good lacing.

S - Seductive citrus and floral notes over bready malts

T - Soft malts, oranges, lemons, and rosy floral flavors. A slight nutty flavor comes through in the aftertaste.

M - This is creamy and velvety with a lower, sessionable carbonation level.

D - It fills up the mouth but goes down very smoothly. A fantastic pale ale.

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,870 ratings.