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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes Burning River Pale AleGreat Lakes Burning River Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,319 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2319
Reviews: 975
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.06%

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: 2,319 | Reviews: 975 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of allboutbierge


4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The only beer of this style I have to compare it to is Yard's Philly Pale Ale. I believe this is significantly better (not to say Yard's is w/o charm).

Body is a deep copper with a slight red tint. Head is small and bright white. Aroma is attractive--floral with a citrus bite and tickle of pine. Flavor is much the same with a slight bite of grapefruit flavor. Very very drinkable. Medium-light body and light carbonation does not fill the stomach while flavor keeps the drinker yearning for another, and another, and quite possibily another.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2003 20:48:45 | More by allboutbierge
Photo of PhantomVodoo


4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brownish gold in color with a nice off-white head.
Nice aroma of citrusy hops and grainy malts.

Bold AND beautiful. This one is balanced to near perfection, although the hops stay in the forefront. Big citrusy grapefruit and pine hop flavor throughout. Toasted malt sweetness that really comes through middle to end. Dry, hop bitterness and malt sweetness continue to both show their strength at the finish. Very clean and smooth.

Good medium body with a nice, somewhat creamy mouthfeel. The good malt backbone shows here.
Good drinkability; excellent considering the 65 IBU's. I'd be happy with this one anytime, no matter what my mood.
Overall, a great pale ale in a great line of beers from Great Lakes Brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2003 21:13:26 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of Ahhdball


3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Y'know, before I started paying attention to the craft beers I'd been drinking I thought I'd hate Pale Ales. I was wrong. Loved it. Not exceptional but very tasty. I had this at a pub down the street from where I used to live and had never heard of it before so I tried it.
Color: Reddish Copper hue with a fair head which dissapated fairly fast.
Taste and Mouthfeel were very pleasing with a nice crisp hop flavor and a good malt finish.
I'll definetly have this beer again. Goes great with F&C!

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2003 15:22:25 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice appearance with a slightly hazy orange-tinted amber that's capped by a foamy bone-white head. The head holds well and leaves some nice lace. The bouquet displays soflty sweet, caramelized malt over a mildly floral and gently citrusy hoppiness. A medium/full body and smoothly creamy mouthfeel accentuate the lightly toasted/caramelized malt while floral and citrus hop flavor and bitterness balance it out perfectly. Very well done. Although there's alot of malt going on in the mouth, it thins and dries in the finish, and yet still retains a light touch of malty sweetness at the tip of the tongue... really, really nice! This APA exhibits a slightly fuller malt than many examples, and maybe a touch less hop flavor and aroma, but it's all still there and balances exceptionally well. It offers a great amount of drinkability while still retaining a good amount of character! Very well done and well worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2003 08:44:06 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of ADR


4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewery/pub...

Very clear amber, refuge head of an 1/8 of an inch of yellow skim. Cascadey-hop aroma. Nice and very solid grapefruit pith flavors early and to the finish, but with an excellent honey and caramel counterbalance. Some sense of light fruit as well. "Out there" but excellent flavor for an APA. This brew is first rate in balance, boldness, and drinkability. Would be my "house" beer if I lived in Cleveland -- a chewy and close match to Summit Extra Pale Ale on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2002 10:45:16 | More by ADR
Photo of Dogbrick


4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found on draught at the Old Bag of Nails pub here in Columbus. Pours a beautiful dark amber color with a medium thick foamy off-white head. Aroma is all hops baby. I was expecting the hops flavor to snap my head around even more than the bottled version but that was not the case. The flavor here was actually slightly more subdued, although it was served very cold. Either way this is still a killer beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2002 21:01:22 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of johnrobe


4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another solid brew from Great Lakes. It pours a deep orange amber with an off-white head that maintains 1/2 inch throughout and leaves plenty of lace. Smell is predominantly hops...citrus, pineapple, and a bit floral. The taste is, again, mostly spicy hops with lots of grapefruit flavor but there is plenty of sweet malt for balance. Perhaps not as aggressively hopped as some west coast interpretations, but, unless you're a 'dyed in the wool' hop-head that's probably a good thing.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2002 18:00:05 | More by johnrobe
Photo of beernut7


4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This tasty pale ale pours with a deep copper color and thick foamy head wafting a HUGE spicy grapefruit aroma with a malty punch. The initial bready sweet malt flavor is supported with a grapefruit citrus hop profile and an aggressive, but pleasant bitterness. Very powerful and tasty. The sharp bitterness flows through to the finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2002 12:46:23 | More by beernut7
Photo of mickstepp


4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I get into Cleveland on business frequently and I always stop in at Great Lakes. Their brews are consistently exceptional and the Burning River is among their best offerings. Nicely hopped but with enough toasty malt to keep it well balanced. Citrus aromas. Pretty copper color. Nice head. Nice lace. This beer ranks right up there with my other favorite Pale Ales (Hopdevil, Stone, Bell's, Hop Ottin, Barrel House, Three Floyds, Sierra Nevada). The convivial atmosphere of the brewpub doesn't hurt. One of the top five beer spots in America.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2002 11:36:20 | More by mickstepp
Photo of aaronh


4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a wonderful ale. It has a deep copper color with a nice full head that dissipates slowly. A very well balanced hop flavor with a touch of maltiness to round it out and a nosefull of flower aroma. This is second only to Hop Devil in my opinion as far as ales are concerned. Can't imagine ever passing on one of these. Great Lakes Brewing creates some of the finest beers I've ever experienced.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2002 18:29:26 | More by aaronh
Photo of zakery


1.45/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

I'll start with the easy stuff: A white fluffy head pillows on top of a good looking crystal-clear amber brew with low visible carbonation.

Now to the tough part: Let me begin with a little bit of background. In Sweden, there exists a kind of tobacco called "wet snuff". It is Kentucky tobacco that's been matured and ground into tiny particles. This is then moistened and stuffed into small round boxes. When using it you grab some and squeeze it into a loosely compacted mass that you stuff under you upper lip. It also comes in portion sizes in something that looks like a tiny tea-bag. We used to joke about how it would make the most awful drink if one brewed a tea from these portion bags.

Now on with the rest of the review. This beer tastes _exactly_ like one would imagine a tea made from this wet snuff would taste like. I'm not talking subtle over or under tones here... smack bang exactly like the snuff. Both in smell and taste. I do recognize the quality of the beer, and I would generally enjoy a highly hopped beer like this. If I'd never tried the snuff it would've been fine I think. I tried to persist through the bottle, but it was just too much. The more I drank, the more it reminded me of the tobacco. The aftertase of the beer is exactly like when you accidentally swallow some of the snuff. Too bad... I had high hopes for this beer as I love other Great Lakes brews.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2002 14:46:44 | More by zakery
Photo of cokes


4.68/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A rich looking amber glass that spawns a tight, greasy off-white head. Great retention, sufficent lacing.
Nose of fresh grapefruit juice and perhaps a hints of honey sweetness. Some grain here too, but buried.
Great Lakes pulls an incredible balancing act here. Lots of grapefruit is perfectly evened out by a slightly toasted sweet malt. A pleasant graininess remains on the finish, with lingering, assertive, but not obnoxious hops. Phantom apparitions of vanilla throughout.
Solid mouthfeel. Silky smooth and creamy. Medium-full bodied. Thins out towards the finish. The only chink in the armour.
A beer that can be appreciated and quaffed. But is is hard not to drink this fast. And keep 'em coming.
A favorite among APAs. I love this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2002 22:56:35 | More by cokes
Photo of StevieW


4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich copper color, fluffy tan head, lasted quite a while. Resiny, yummy hop bubbles bust through. Tough, nearly skunky smell, then yields to a heavy cascade hop nose. Taste was right in line with the style. Rich hoppy cascade bite. Sublte malt flavors balance nicely. Slightly watery feel near the end of the glass, other than that, no complaints. A very good American Pale Ale. Cheers to tjw5877 for sneaking this into the 6 pack of edmund fitzgerald porter he traded me.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2002 19:11:40 | More by StevieW
Photo of Bighuge


4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is pretty clear and copper in color. A nice rocky white head tops it off and sticks around for awhile. This is a very nice smelling Pale Ale. Citrus and grapefruit rind and pine all come to mind when smelling this brew. Taste qualities are similar to the nose: rind, citrus, pine, fruity and floral. This has some great qualities to it and is very assertive. This is bordering IPA bitterness. Very nice. Light to medium in body. Easy drinking and great tasting. This is an elite Pale Ale in my book.

Gotta give my sis some credit for hauling this back for me on her trip to Pennsylvania.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2002 20:07:41 | More by Bighuge
Photo of ZAP


4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Just noticed I reviewed this in the wrong spot...there are two of these listed)

Tastes like a west coast pale ale to me..copper in color with a nice little creamy head...nose is citrusy...maybe a little pine needles on the nose too....the mouthfeel is nicely balanced....good maltiness supports the citrus hoppiness....very enjoyable and well above average...

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2002 21:40:09 | More by ZAP
Photo of chilidog


4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper color with classic notes. A good three-quarter inch head and nice lace. A bit of a bite to this hopped-up brew but still very smooth.Goes with anything on the grill.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2002 04:22:59 | More by chilidog
Photo of Wildman


4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out a nice light copper color. Formed a nice off white head that left some nice lace. Quite a bubbly beer, with an aroma of hops and some citrus. Nice hoppy flavor that gives it a bit of bite in its finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2002 11:49:12 | More by Wildman
Photo of MTMugs

New York

3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up when I took my daughter to Oberlin College for a weekend visit. It was the highpoint of the weekend since I was stuck in the motel on my own the whole time. It has that great hoppy bite that I love, but just a touch too bubbly for me. Brought another 6 pack back home to NY and dolled it out to myself over a couple of months. Haven't found it since. Bummer

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2002 08:38:23 | More by MTMugs
Photo of packetknife


3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bubbly with small bleached head. Golden in color. Smelled vaguely like chaimpagne. A bit of orange along with the hoppiness.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2002 18:10:35 | More by packetknife
Photo of stoutman


4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasty Pale Ale with a mild hop aftertaste. Wonderful palate and flavor. Definitely an ale drinkers ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2002 20:25:56 | More by stoutman
Photo of jtw5877


4.83/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an amber orange color with a white head. Plenty of hops and more hops, What can I say, I love it. This is a great example of a great style of beer, enough malt to balance things, but alot of hops. Another great beer from Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2002 13:08:34 | More by jtw5877
Photo of Jason


4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown with a drink before date clearly marked.

Appearance: Tarnished amber with a well formed head which clings all over the glass.

Smell: Caramel maltiness with a big floral hoppiness in the nose.

Taste: Crisp and medium bodied yet dries to the puckering point in the finish. Aggressive and sharp hop bitterness dominates the front with some notes of citrus on top. The bitterness pretty much tags along into the finish though there is a decent amount of malt character to add a depth to this brew. Underlying caramel and biscuit flavours come though middle to end which adds to this brews greatness.

Notes: Its funny, some breweries don't even brew their IPA this hoppy and/or strong. A BIG Pale Ale here with a great finish ... very impressive, one of the top pale ales I have tasted in a while.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2002 00:36:55 | More by Jason
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice hoppy flavor,not enough head though.But a well made APA,most of their beers are well made micros.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2002 08:46:59 | More by oberon
Photo of John

New York

4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent pale. Highly hopped but balanced.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2001 11:13:44 | More by John
Photo of bk3nj

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

You gotta love micro-brews. a nice pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2001 12:29:51 | More by bk3nj
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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,319 ratings.