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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

1,009 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,009
Hads: 3,035
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 19.05%
Wants: 126
Gots: 469 | 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: 1,009 | Hads: 3,035
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to a Leffe tulip glass

A - Poured a somewhat cloudy amber colour with a half finger of creamy white head.

S - Citrus hops up front that are well balanced with sweet caramel malts.

T - A good balance of bitter citrus hops and sweet bready, caramel malts. Bitterness lingers on the finish.

M - Light to medium body, moderate carbonation.

D - A very good pale ale. Not a single complaint about this one. Another great GL beer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a bright light orange hue with a crystal clear body and a small off-white heat that is very creamy. A nice slow carbonation of small bubbles.

S- A nice aroma of green hops and citrus notes with some pale malt notes.

T- Nice grapefruit hops very bold at the begining of the taste. A slight orange hint is mixed with the pale malt flavor and a nice hoppy bitter finish.

M- Medium-full mouthfeel with no astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This is a very smooth drink with a great juicy hop flavor. A well-built, easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle obtained in a trade with jdoolin.

A: The ale is a coppery red color with auburn orange highlight. There is a small ring of white head in the glass.

S: The aroma is a strong biscuit maltiness with a slight hint of hops.

T: The beer has a big malty base, grainy with a cereal finish. The carbonation adds an astrigent sharpness. The hops add a nice finishing flourish without detracting from the malts.

M: The malty graininess is the real winner here, providing thick tasty body of beer.

D: The ale has a nice malty grain flavor that makes it easy to drink.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale is another great offering by the Cleveland Brewery. The appearance is a rich clear copper color. The carbonation is very good that led to at least a finger think head....which laced thoughout the draw. The smell is dominated by pine, but there is a touch of smoke or roast. The taste is very good. There is a good balance of hop and malt that keep the beer from being too bitter. The taste is slightly down graded because I did taste some Alcohol which I though was interesting cuz its not a high ABV. The mouth feel is fine...certainly could session without question. Overall is is a very good beer.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/6/11
*From notes

A: A good pour yields a 2.25 finger head and some pretty healthy lacing. Clean amber hue.

S: Bready, with a touch of bitter hops.

T: A bit hop forward, then it gives way to a hearty breadiness. A good amount of earth and grain arrive on the mid, and the finish is slightly green. Exactly what I look for in an APA.

M: Thicker then many in the style. Good depth here, and the carbonation is on point.

O: Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale is a damn fine APA. Easy drinking, flavorful and something even some of my BMC friends would enjoy. I'd prefer it at a lower ABV (say 5%), but as it stands, this beer kicks some serious ass.

Yet another winner from the great folks at Great Lakes.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via SS08 from kirok1999. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head above the slightly cloudy orangey amber brew. Head lasts and lasts, with goodly amounts of chunky lacing. Aroma is balanced, leaning slightly towards piney hops. Taste is slight vegetal upfront, citrus hops in the middle, and then combination through the close. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is about the same. Things just don't come together quite as well as I would hope.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a light haze and a lazy effervescence. Head is two fingers of frothy ivory foam. Not bad at all!

Smell: malty aroma with a strong biscuity/bready quality; in truth, not my favorite character. Moderately sweet and otherwise pretty nice, though.

Taste: sweetish malt aroma with more of that bready/biscuity quality. Hops are earthy in character with a balanced bitterness at the end. Not bad, but it just isn't my favorite flavor combination.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and creaminess. Good.

Overall: I want to like this beer. I feel like it is well-crafted and could be delicious to the right palate, but mine is not that palate.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A bright orange color sits in the glass revealing a medium strong effervesce that was quickly paced. On top sits a dirty bone colored head, foamy in nature, with some patchy spots with an overall slight statue and average retention. The lacing was weak on the hold, leaving quickly sliding bubbly patches that soon vanished within the drink leaving little to hold interest or impress.

S: Dried toffee and caramel along with some sugary pine hints first opens things up aromatic wise. The strength is light with some fresh soft citrus. With a name like burning river I expected perhaps a bit more feistiness and strength from the nose.

T: Nice sharp delivery and definition of citrus hops come to light with a flavor of sweet caramel malting. Proof you cant judge a beer by its cover, err smell. Sweet start turns to a warm toasted affair of caramel malts on succeeding sips with a warming citrus and alcohol presence. There is a bit of dried ale like fruitiness that comes to light briefly before the close along with some pine oils and a flowery dryness closing with a dose of toasted grains.

M: The mouthful was medium in body, warm citrus oils are detected on the inner cheeks while a good bitterins sense could be determined on the tongue. The carbonation is a bit tame at the start hurting the crispness factor but the swallow makes up for it with a dry flowery bitterness lingering behind.

D: Good drinkability, nice balance of toasted malts and hops that is neither over the top in execution nor under appreciated, seems they got it just right for the drinking factor. You can easily down a few of these with general conversation.

End Beer Musings: though my rating may say differently I did enjoy the flavor aspect of this drink, the most important. When not scrutinizing such factors such as appearance and aroma, you will find this to be a good pale with a moderate strong hopping per style and worthy of a try and to put down in repeats.

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Photo of Derek
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a copper color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of hops. Taste is also of hops, lightly malted, a good balance, slightly bitter at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a quality brew.

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Photo of DrJay
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short, dense, off-white head with plenty of clumpy lacing. Clear golden amber colour. Citrus hop aroma, slight floral character with sweet, biscuity malt. Good balance between hop bitterness and malt sweetness to start, citrusy flavour with a bit of floral hop and pine resin fill out the middle. Bitterness grows and lingers in the finish, but never overwhelms the rest of the flavour. Medium/light body, moderate carbonation. This is a solid pale ale.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

It pours an orange amber with a huge head of foam and some nice lacing. Great head retention!

The smell is of earthy malt, some caramel, some fruit, and a light nose of citrus but it also has a bitter smell in there.

The taste starts off bitter with some grass and just a tad of citrus. Another sip in and I notice the malt which has both caramel and earthy flavours and...oh there's some biscuit as well. The mouthfeel is medium and very nice, the carbonation medium, and it finishes with a nice bitterness that lasts through to a shortish aftertaste. Very refreshing and easy to drink.

My second brew from Great Lakes and yet another tasty and interesting brew. My hat's off to them, for sure, for making an APA that kept my interest from first pour to last swallow. I really do like well made APAs. :^)

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Photo of Viggo
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, purchases in Buffalo.

Pours a clear amber orange, some copper, thin white head forms, quickly settles down to a medium sized ring around the glass, a few lace spots stick, looks alright.

Smell is nice, big citrus aroma, orange peel, some lemons, nice sweet malt character, caramel and biscuits, grapefruit, floral, a bit of fruit, pineapple, really nice hop character.

Taste is similar, heavy on the malts for a pale, caramel and biscuit jump out, quite sweet, some nice fruitiness, apricots, strawberries, grapefruit and orange peel hopping, nice floral, balanced bitterness, a bit peppery going down.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. I like my pales a bit hoppier but this is still damn nice and almost perfectly balanced.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another elite of the elite level APAs, hoppier than most non west coast ipas. Great amber appearance, hazy orange.

Great dry hop aroma for an apa, taste does not crush your palate, but dances with its relatively substantial hop character. A little thicker than your usual apa, but needs balance, hence the aforementioned viscosity. Citrus.

Straightforward, no nuances or unique aspect throughout the bottle, a good price for a good almost if not great beer.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.59/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a middle of the road amber with good clarity. Not much in the head or froth department. OK bubbling though. The aroma has a strong hop with some orange spice and a little white pepper. The taste is about 70% hops and 40% malt. Mild toast flaked grain, but plenty of juicey orange peel hops. Starts sicey, and finishes lemon/lime juicy. Palate is a light juice to thick water, if that makes sense. This beer is great on tap. And very drinkable.

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Photo of Brad007
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden copper color with a one-finger head into my fluted glass.

Aroma is full of floral hops with a decent amount of biscuity malt underneath. Seems about right.

Taste is full of grassy hops upfront with a good transition into biscuity malt with a good texture to it. Just a tad buttery. Otherwise, has a decent feel to it.

Mouithfeel is full of lingering grassy hops and biscuit malt. Carbonation feels right. Leaves a decent taste in my mouth.

Definitely a good example. Not the best but still quite drinkable. Worth a shot.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I brought a six pack of this to a poker game (revisiting an old favorite pale ale that I haven't tried in years). The beer was medium copper colored with a nearly white wet foam. The smell is toasted malts and citrusy hops, maybe even a hint of what passes for wheat (but I'm pretty sure there's no wheat in this beer). The beer tastes ridiculous, as delicious as a pale ale gets. Very good balance of malt and hops and very tasty versions of both. Toasted malts, biscuit, malt sweetness, light citrus fruit from the hops, so good. Medium body and presence like all good pale ales, very very drinkable. I drank more than I intended to in a short period of time but enjoyed it.

Why did I take so long to come back to this beer, one of my original favorites from the state of Ohio? I'm going to make this my summer beer this year, along with Alpha King.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours an amber colour with a large off white soapy head. There is an low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fantastic lacing draping down the sides of the glass. The head on the beer lasted for over 5 minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - hops, fruit/apples, caramel

Taste & Mouth - The is an average amount of carbonation and the beer has an amazing mouth feel. A nice balanced flavour and the beer feel very creamy and velvety. The most noticeable flavours are hops mixed with a fruity sweetness. There is also a light woodiness and mild caramel. The beer finishes with a pleasing fruit and hop aftertaste.

Drink - Just a fantastic pale ale, I'd rank this one up there with Sierra Nevada. It is extremely sessionable and it is a must try for pale ale fans.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant gold to amber under a 1” clingy white foam cap.
S: Grassy, grain, light malt, not a lot of hops, smells like the inside of a malt house as the steep tanks empty into the kiln.
T: No caramel but a light malt sweetness, fresh grain, light fruit, citrus.
F: Very creamy medium light to medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, dry finish
O: A well made and easy to drink American pale ale.

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Photo of claspada
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aromas of light citrus/flowery hops along with trace amounts of pale and bready malts.
Tastes begin with mild citrus bitterness and a full bodied pale malt backbone. Tastes play "pong" with each other back and forth across your palate fantastically. Subtle flowery and earthy notes along with more biscuit malt. This is a perfectly balanced beer. I usually don't comment on appearance but the lacing is out of this world gorgeous and top 5 I have ever seen from a bottled beer.
Mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated and finished full yet deliciously bone dry. Bitterness lingers so so so minimally which is perfect for the style. Overall, this and Deschutes Mirror Pond are the best 2 Pale Ales I have ever had.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A beer like this really makes me want to invest in the variety case.

A - Pours a solid golden amber with at least an inch of the fluffy stuff.

S - Wow very hoppy indeed. Slight citrus and grapefruit hops in the nose with little grain.

T - Ow man this beer drinks good! As most Pale ales make me avoid the style this one comes off as a sweet IPA. Almost as hoppy as Dale's Pale ale but not quite with a solid malt base making it smooth.

M - Light to medium. Enjoyed every drop.

D - I have been impressed by every Great Lakes beer I ever had and this one is no exception. Full of hoppy goodness, solid malt base sweetening the deal, and affordable cost (cases starting at a mere 28 bucks) its pretty much a go to beer. A world class Pale ale!

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Photo of Gusler
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

single 12oz bottle bought at Steve's (University Ave.) in Madison, best enjoyed by 9/30/05

appearance: pours a see through, yet hazy, amber with a fluffy white head and decent lacing

smell: subdued floral hops similar to many ipa's...citrus, earthy straw aromas...nothing too strong but inviting nonetheless

taste: floral hops, nice citrus flavors ala tangerine, apricot, orange...nice hop profile balanced out by mild malts. Taste follows along the lines of alpha king and pushes the boundary between APA and IPA.

mouthfeel: oily hops, medium body, nice hop bitterness

drinkability: extremely drinkable, not too bitter and very clean finish

another solid offering from Great Lakes that I am just getting around to rating.

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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,009 ratings.