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

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Burning River Pale AleGreat Lakes Burning River Pale Ale

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999 Reviews

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Reviews: 999
Hads: 2,986
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.48%
Wants: 122
Gots: 420 | 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
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Reviews: 999 | Hads: 2,986
Photo of Kicksmile67
3.37/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was just another beer by my standards. The appearnce was nothing unique with a golden color and a moderate head. The smell was hoppy and almost bitter. The taste was mild at first with a powerful bitter finish. Dominant hop flavors overpower the other notes. The mouthfeel is caulky and thin, but is someone expected from the smell and color so not a bad trait. Over all drinkability isnt fantastic but good for a tasting with friends. (440 characters)

Photo of BatsforBeer
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden Amber with glints of orange, head off white with good lacing. Beer is clear and not very lively

Nose: pleasant nose with overtones of hops and hint of malt and floral yeast

Taste: Initial taste is a bit malty, with the hops kicking in a bit latter. Notes of citrus are present and add to the many layers of flavor nicely. The beer balances very well and the hops flavor lingers for quite awhile, but is not over bearing.

Mouth feel: Frouthy and a bit slimly, carbonation is good.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely drinkable and is a great summer brew. I look forward to having another.

This is my first attempt at reviewing a beer, I drafted this review before reading any other reviews or the lable. Let me know your opinion or sugguestions! (773 characters)

Photo of JKuras
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an effervescent and very clear golden-amber. About an eighth inch of head that lasts for a few minutes.

Smell: First hit by malty chocolate notes and light, sweet caramel. Not too heavy. Very faint traces of citrus.

Taste: Much more bitter and hoppy than I was expecting from the smell. Some light roasted coffee flavors. Clean. The malt and bitterness of the hops come through more than anything else.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel. Slightly syrupy, creamy-smooth effervescence.

Overall: A very clean tasting brew with powerful malt and bitterness characteristics. Doesn’t have the citrus I usually associate with pale ales. Not overly complex, but well done. Might be better drinking in the fall. (741 characters)

Photo of rlcoffey
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours with a large golden tinted head, 3 fingers tall. Light copper color. Lacing all the way down the glass. Aroma is very noticable; fruity and floral. The taste is what an APA should taste like. Citrusy but not overpouring. Bitter but not "blegh" bitter. Crisp. Just a touch of the hop aftertaste left behind. The mouthfeel is not thick, not thin like water. Leaves a thin film in the mouth. This beer goes down fast. I had two down very fast. (446 characters)

Photo of psyphin
4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Bright copper orange with a fluffy white head with nice lacing.

S - Toasty malt breadiness and oodles of citric american hops.

T - Chewy malt middle mixes very well with the hop combination in this beer. One of the best balanced examples of a true APA and not an ipa light.

M - Perfect carbonation with a medium body.

D - Superbly sessionable pale ale that I come back to time after time. (396 characters)

Photo of Buckeyes67
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love to drink this beer simply for the taste of it. It has a great appearance, smell, mouthfeel, and is very is to drink but it all comes down to the taste. I haven't tried a beer from here that wasn't of good quality. I have had a beer or two that wasn't suited to my taste but that was a style differenc not a production flaw. (330 characters)

Photo of rjhaupt
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - On the darker side for a pale ale, amber and honey hues. Excellent head with good retention.

S - Smells heavy and musky for a pale, which to me promises a richer flavor than many pales.

T - Taste like a smoot, heavy pale. A bit watery. Good for a pale but disappointing for a Great Lakes beer. Overall feels closer to an IPA than a pale ale save for the fact that I know their IPA is an even stronger presentation of hop character.

M - Feels great, light, airy and smooth.

D - Good hot day sipping beer but a bit light on the flavor for my tastes. (557 characters)

Photo of Marcrates
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a golden brown with a nice sized, bubbly head that sticks to the glass.

S - Sharp, fruity smell, with a hint of the hops to come...I'm smelling grapefruit and possibly some vanilla?

T - What a great tasting pale ale! This definitely has a strong hops bite to it, but it i balanced and not overwhelming. The after taste levels out with a nice, bread like taste.

M - Not to heavy, not too light. A very balanced feel.

D - This is very drinkable and enjoyable. Unless you despise tasting hops, this one goes down smooth and leaves you ready for another glass.

Overall - I'm very glad I decided to grab this beer from the local Kroger here in the Cincinnati area. I've heard some good things about the Great Lakes Brewing company, and this certainly didn't disappoint. This is a great example of an APA, and should be on everyone's list if you havn't tried it. (872 characters)

Photo of BeerYoss
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Amber/orange, some lazy carbonation, quite clear. the off-white head fairly quickly retreats to the surface and stays there. not much lacing on the way down

S- Strong citrus and pine hop smell.

T- Strong pine hop taste. I am not a fan of super hopped piney pale ales but this one presents the hops in a very clear and strong way without blowing away the rest of the beer. quite enjoyable. something in there reminds me of apples.

M- Clean and refreshing. pretty high on the carbonation. light body, doesn't coat the mouth too much

O- Very approachable. one of my favorite pale ales. it's not trying to be anything too unique. it is just good. (650 characters)

Photo of BamaWorKs
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this with the Great Lakes sampler pack, which I highly recommend. Poured from the 12oz bottle into pint glass, maintained a copper tone, with acceptable lacing and head. The aroma was strong with hints of pine and pepper. Strong flavors in this one, I feel that if you like an IPA you'll be more pleased with this than the average APA drinker. Overall very drinkable and enjoyed this one. (392 characters)

Photo of MuchoCerveza
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really enjoyed the Burning River APA, but I could have gone for more hops. The smell was nice and not overpowering and really set you up for what you were about to taste. The appearance was nice, looked like an Amber Ale but a little lighter and didn't leave a whole lot of residual head. (288 characters)

Photo of NuggetNectar22
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At least Cleveland still has the Great Lakes Brewery... This is a great tasting beer that is extremely drinkable. You can enjoy a few of these.

It has a nice amber color with a 1/2 inch head. You will taste the hops in the after taste.

Cleveland Rocks!

Enjoy - T (266 characters)

Photo of Murrdogg
2.8/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the GLBC brewery itself

A: medium-dark golden, small head

S: Strong hop smell. slight pine-y/wood in the back

T: Bitter, hoppy taste. This was not for me. The hops were deep, some citrus-y, some sweet, but was a bit overpowering for my taste. Finished even more bitter than it began

M: Somehow light, which was surprising with the robust hop presence. but much too hoppy for me

D: I was able to finish it, but the residual hop presence in the mouth along with the bitter aftertaste would keep me from ordering another one. This would probably be good with some strong dishes, heat or spice. I laughed, as it almost tasted like a decadent burning river.. (679 characters)

Photo of mrpicklerelish
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance - Poured a light orange honey color with a nice full sized light brown head that left behind a good amount of lace.

Smell - Smell is primarily hops with a few citrus notes thrown in.

Taste - Hoppy goodness for sure. That is what I first taste with every sip. Great hop taste that isn't overpowering in the least. Also has a hint of citrus and malty sweetness that comes out towards the end.

Mouthfeel - Heavier feeling beer that leaves a really great aftertaste in your mouth after every sip. It has a lot of carbonation but not to the point of getting in the way of this great tasting a feeling beer.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink, especially if you are a fan of hops. Despite being a heavier feeling beer it drinks very easy and smooth.

Comments - Thanks are in order to chilidog for sending this great brew my way during this years holiday exchange. If I could only get more of this great tasting beer around my area all would be right with the world. (983 characters)

Photo of atuite
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as 6 pack in local beer/wine distributor for 8.99 retail. Best by date 5/7/8. Have had on tap before out east but forgot about until I saw these bottles. Appearance is a golden amber with medium bubble lacy head that adheres well to glass. Smell is citrus, burnt-sugar hops. Taste is citrus-bitter hops but surprisingly smooth and easy to drink. Deserves the overall A-rating for Pale Ales. Not the best but a darn good one. (434 characters)

Photo of cfriend2
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber/orange in color with a decent amount of bubbly, off-white head that doesn't hang around. Very little lacing.
The smell is dreamy; floral hops and some sweet caramel, and earthy malt as well. The sweetness of this one fills the nose. The taste is only somewhat similar to the smell. Extreme hop bitterness up front, almost off-putting, and lingers throughout the drinking experience. The fruity flavors are almost completely masked by all the hops. The finish is dry with a hint of alcohol. Moderate mouthfeel and good carbonation.

I was let down with this one. Not that it was bad by any means, but I was expecting much more. All the same, I'm looking forward to more from Great Lakes. (698 characters)

Photo of badturtle
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After popping the top, my first thought was I was smelling a porter. There is a hint of chocolate and citrus, mostly orange. It has a good blast of hops. The color is dark amber. The head was small and didn't last long. I bought this on sale. The normal price is a little high. It is good, but not $8 per six pack good. (319 characters)

Photo of Turbansurfer
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a better than average APA and this breweries flagship beer.
A light red beer with a medium amount of hops. the beer is one that doesn't have the strongest body with a mild taste overall but- not that strong of a start or finish but a good middle of the tongue taste.

The beer is just very drinkable, can be a bit thick for an APA at times.

I have found that this beer ages well in the bottle and the flavor has gotten a bit more complex when I have forgotten about it for a few months.

The brewery itself is very impressive. Very environmentally conscience, gorgeous building on a brick street in downtown Cleveland. Food much better than average in a 200 year old building that Elliot Ness got shot in. (That's what you get for trying to stop me from my daily intake). (772 characters)

Photo of otersen73
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear copper color into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Small, creamy white head that receded instantly. Nice Belgian lace cascading down the side.

Great aromatics...woodsy and nutty.

Beautiful balance between malt and hops here. Not sure I would classify this as a Pale Ale...more of an IPA. Sweet carmel malt up front and then the hops kick in leaving you with a with a subtle dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is great too. Well carbonated, not chewy or over malty...just right.

Would have a matter of fact, excuse me while I indulge.;) (566 characters)

Photo of OSUbrewman
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undoubtably one of my favorite offerings from Great Lakes.
Smell: Fruity Hops, hints of citrus
Taste: Nice balance of bitterness and fruityness. A nice, citrusy finish that lingers pleasently.
Mothfeel: Creamy and satisfying. Goes down very smooth.
Drinkability: This is one that I never get tired of. A great session brew from the north coast. (349 characters)

Photo of NDZonie
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice blonde color with a white lacing head that trails down to the final sip. Highly carbonated with LOTS of small bubbles active in the glass.

S: Cascade and Centennial hops galore. Smooth up front with a nice lingering bitterness on the finish.

T: Smooth Caramel malts with a nicely balanced citrusy hop bit on the finish.

M: Active carbonation on the tongue with a crisp feel.

D: A wonderfully well balanced pale ale that should be enjoyed sip by sip. (461 characters)

Photo of ben68cat
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

this is an excellent american pale ale!if you havent had anything from great lakes let me tell you you are missimg out,they put out great stuff!it pours a brownish,dark red,nice head to it.smells almost like an ipa.taste is some bitterness,hoppy,and drinks incredibly well!it is even better on tap! careful cause this one may make you want to drink them all night. (364 characters)

Photo of largecar73
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixer of this in Wooster OH last week. 12oz bottle into a mug.

A: Nice golden color with orange hues. Got a one finger eggshell colored head that diminished quickly, not much lacing to speak of. some carbonation bubbles rising up.

S: A good whiff of this beer produced the smell of bread dough, a little grass, and the faint smell of orange peel coming through.

T: Right off the bat when I took a sip of this brew I tasted grains, and the bread dough I got from the nose. Some citrus in the middle from the Cascade hops, and then it finished strong with the taste of grains and malt once again. To me this Pale Ale leans toward malty side of things.

M: The mouthfeel was thin, and slick with quite a bit of tingle from the carbonation.

D: I didn't have any trouble finishing off a six pack of this, and at 6% ABV it didn't make me stumble around.

All and all this is a pretty solid Pale Ale. (910 characters)

Photo of epiinephriine
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A solid APA; good hop flavor on the back of the pallet, which is not too overpowering, though strong enough to fool you into thinking it might be an IPA. Has a multitude of spices for smell and taste, as well as a hint of caramel. It has a decent mouth feel, and is certainly not light or watery. It reminds me a bit of Stone's Ruination, though certainly milder. This beer is fantastic on its own but do not drink with pasta! (426 characters)

Photo of BillyBob78
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale Ales are one of my many favorite styles of beer and this one doesn't disappoint. Great Lakes is one of my favorite brewery's.

A nice clear golden brown appearance with a nice white head and decent lacing.

Taste was awesome! A great balance between the hops and malt which just makes this a wonderful beer. Nice carbonation.

Smells citrusy and bready. Hint of alcohol.

Very Drinkable. One of my favorite pale ales! (422 characters)

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 999 ratings.