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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.

1,003 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,003
Hads: 3,015
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.48%
Wants: 125
Gots: 442 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,003 | Hads: 3,015
Photo of SheepNutz
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this fine brew in a 12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. It comes out a light copper color that is only slightly hazy. There is 2 fingers of head that has pretty good retention and a slight bit of lacing. The smell is a rich hop aroma with some citrus. The taste surprised me because it tastes like an IPA, but is listed as a pale. Of course this isn't as hoppy as a ruination or a two-hearted, but ranks up there in IBUs. There are hints of citrus and pine with a good hops bite. This is super refreshing. The mouthfeel is fairly heavy and the drinkability is very nice. I would recommend this to a friend that thinks IPAs are a little too bitter. (656 characters)

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

This beer pushes the pale ale envelope into the realm of an IPA. This is one great pale ale. When we were at the brewpub, they told us that their IPA had just ran out and was a big success. I would of loved to have tried it. This beer poured a deep golden color and was topped with a small cream-like head. Strong citrusy hop aroma with lemons leading the way. Taste was somewhat malty, dry grassy and bitter. Alcohol presence. A very flavorful and well hopped pale ale and overall an excellent beer. (500 characters)

Photo of AudioGilz
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a deep copper color with a solid half inch head. The aroma allows for the conclusion that this is a pretty damn hoppy beer. Caramel malt pleasantly balances the assertive hops that provide a solid bitterness throughout and floral/crisp feelings. It's definitely more bitter than many other of the style I have tried. It's also very dry and crisp, great stuff here. (369 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A transpicuous deep amber color as it sets in my favorite glass, one I borrowed from St. James Gate some time during the Middle Ages.

Head is prodigious in size, creamy in structure, and a beauteous tan in color, as it erodes; the obviation by the lace is complete. The nose a mixture of sweet malt and some hop floral tones, crisp and fresh, a treat to this old schnozzle. Start is sweet and malt laden, the top I feel is middling, the finish smacking in its hop spiciness, moderately acidic, quite dry and long lasting aftertaste, and a fine drinking beer from a fine brewery. (581 characters)

Photo of cretemixer
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber orange in color with a prodigious off-white head. After several minutes, I'm left with a solid layer and a clingy lace.
A citrusy hop aroma dominates with a sweet malt back.
Nice bitter taste. Almost more like an IPA than a pale. Grapefruit and caramel hinted malts. The bitterness gives way to a sweeter presence mid-glass. Finishes with a mild lingering bitter aftertaste.
A quality beer that is worth seeking out. Another fine Great Lakes brew. (462 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GLBC rules - never a bad beer. This is an IPA look-alike in sheep's clothing. Kick-butt hopping, great look, and a fair nose. Lacing that sticks like glue all over the glass. I'm glad this one is shipped down state in bottles because is a real winner and Cleveland's too far away. Clear amber and off-white head. The taste is citrus at the start and finishes dry due to the great hopping. Super! (395 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You have to love Great Lakes, when they make a beer this well balanced and drinkable. I raise one to them. It pours a copper amber with a slightly tan head very nice head retention. The aroma is chalk full of hops that create varying aromas such as citrus tones and pine cones. The flavor brings a lot of hop bitterness to the back of the tongue, very crisp clean finish. The malt just kind of surrounds the palate with warmth and of course the alcohol brings a nice tingling sensation. Awesome brew that I would partake in at any given opportunity. Us West Virginians are thankful to have access to such a fine brewer. Amazingly drinkable, could be one of my favorite pale ales of all time. (691 characters)

Photo of jackndan
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burning River: Very tasty beer, prominent malts and crisp tang o’ the hops. Reddish amber beer, thick head that lasted and lasted. Left some thick lace on the side of the glass. The aroma, unfortunately, not so much, kind of a dampish malt sack aroma. The taste, as previously noted, is extremely well balanced, and a very nice beer. Get out there, find this beer and buy it. (381 characters)

Photo of allboutbierge
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (547 characters)

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.25/5  rDev +6%
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. (725 characters)

Photo of Ahhdball
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
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! (500 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +11%
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. (921 characters)

Photo of ADR
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
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. (496 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (406 characters)

Photo of johnrobe
4.25/5  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. (484 characters)

Photo of beernut7
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (338 characters)

Photo of mickstepp
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
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. (542 characters)

Photo of aaronh
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
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. (405 characters)

Photo of zakery
1.48/5  rDev -63.1%
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. (1,398 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
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. (762 characters)

Photo of StevieW
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (472 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (613 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.05/5  rDev +1%
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... (363 characters)

Photo of chilidog
4.53/5  rDev +13%
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. (185 characters)

Photo of Wildman
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (226 characters)

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,003 ratings.