Burning River
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Burning RiverBurning River
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American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #297
Ranked #8,573
3.96 | pDev: 11.11%
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Very Good
Burning RiverBurning River
Notes: A toast to the Cuyahoga River Fire! For rekindling an appreciation of the Great Lakes region’s natural resources (like the malt and hops illuminating this fresh Pale Ale). Crisp and bright, with refreshing flickers of citrus and pine that ignite the senses (not our local waterways).
Reviews: 1,053 | Ratings: 3,309 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Dr_Gonzo
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall pint glass. Has a pretty and colorful deep amber color, transparent and glows, and about a finger or so of tan head with good retention and lacing.

Aroma is malty, with roasted grain and nuts, brown sugar/caramel, floral notes, and some pine and slight floral notes.

Taste is both hoppy and malty. Notes of pine, roasted grain, bread, and nuts, along with some orange and grapefruit rinds. Also some biscuit. Pretty straightforward flavor and balanced, slight bitter aftertaste. Body is medium-light.

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Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky, May 27, 2020
Photo of sulldaddy
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp 12 oz bottle poured into my snifter.
The beer is a gift from my friend Jeff in Iowa. Thanks!
Beer pours a clear bright copper color with dozens of streams of active carbonation rising towards the surface. A large frothy eggshell white head of 4 cm foams up from the pour. This foam fades slowly to a sturdy surface leaving some large pockmarks as it settles down.
The aroma is some grainy malt and a bit of caramel mixing with a little flowery hop character. Pretty good nose that isnt overwhelming or bold but works for the beer.
The first sip reveals an average body with fine tingly carbonation and a crisp texture. Easy drinking physical character on this brew.
Flavor is similar to what nose advertises, with some grainy note and a bit of light fruit mixing with caramel and then some rich toasted malt note that lingers on the swallow. This finish is slightly bitter hops that dry out my palate after the swallow. This is a well balanced and highly drinkable brew. Im glad to have tried this one.

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sulldaddy from Connecticut, Aug 02, 2019
Photo of jmac556
4.78/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My favorite "year-round" beer coming out of GLBC. Not a traditional APA, and not my favorite APA, but still in the top 5. The caramel is a very good addition. Overall a well-balanced and very drinkable beer.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very clear amber color. Around medium carbonation with a just slightly thin body but overall a nice feel
Aroma is malt, caramel, bitter flowery hops.
Taste follows the nose with the caramel and malts showing up first. The hops are a bit more bitter than I expected and lingered in the aftertaste.
Overall it is a solid beer that could probably please most different beer style drinkers

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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey, Jan 14, 2019
Photo of beergoot
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, copper-colored body capped with a thick, frothy head. Malty nose with some mild fruitiness to the aroma. Mild roasted grain and caramel flavor; excellent hop bitterness balancing things out. Medium body; crisp with a gentle sweetness at the finish.

A delightful pale ale, highlighting clean taste with a crisp hop bitterness. Well-balanced and quite drinkable.

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beergoot from Colorado, Nov 16, 2018
Photo of jkblr
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle bb 10/30/18 poured into a perfect pint glass at fridge temp 6% ABV 45 IBU. The beer pours bright light copper tinted amber with off white head. The head recedes to a few bubbles and a pencil thin ring. The aroma is caramel and toasted malt with a hint of hops. The taste is toasted bread and some caramel with a lightly bitter vague hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied, adequately carbonated and mostly dry in the finish. Overall, good. I'm guessing this is about 5 months old from the best before date and it's definitely showing some age. Purchased warm two weeks ago. I'll revisit on draft or fresher at some point.

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jkblr from Indiana, Oct 01, 2018
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Label is stamped 'For freshest taste, please enjoy by: 02/18/18'.
Clear, pale amber colored body. Two finger off white head settles to bubbly cap and ring. Rings and strings of lacing.
Caramel malt aroma, with citrus/pine hops.
Taste has mild pine/citrus hops with caramel malt. Slight zing at the end but minimal bitterness.
Medium mouth feel, with good carbonation support.
Well balanced and full flavored beer, made for session work. Very refreshing, without palate fatigue.

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Photo of Bierwizard
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a chilled pint glass. Extremely well balanced. Moderately hopped with a nice malt undertone. Amber in color with a with a robust, white head that laces nicely. A very nice beer indeed. Could easily enjoy several of these in one sitting.

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Bierwizard from Pennsylvania, Jan 29, 2018
Photo of Schlitz74
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is an above average beer. It pours a nice deep golden color with a finger of off white head. There was some lacing left on the glass. I noticed a nice bitterness, I think it was from the 45 IBU's which to me is pleasant and mild.

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Schlitz74 from Illinois, Nov 07, 2017
Photo of feuematt
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Copper colored beer with a rapidly fading head. The usual pine and citrus of an APA but not overboard which I like. I am not a big fan of hoppy beers but this one is OK.

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feuematt from Pennsylvania, Oct 10, 2017
Photo of edward_boumil
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Light brown/orange colored beer, clear, great head retention
S: Sweet caramel, brown sugar, light citrus and fruit aromas
T: Very lightly sweet up front, rounded out by a grain or bread flavor. And then finishes with a light hop bitterness
F: Light, pretty easy drinking, really refreshing with a nice hop finish to keep thing balanced out in regard to bitterness. High-medium carbonation
O: Enjoyable pale. Something that can be tossed back really easy, but doesn't hold back in regard to flavor. Different than pales I'm used to but certainly a fan of this.

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Photo of TPZEM
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark and muddy gold color. White foam head that seems to dissipate quickly. Very light lacing, which was somewhat disappointing. Smells of a nice citrus and mild pine hoppiness. Tastes overwhelmingly of the citrus hop variety, but not so overpowering that you cant get a nice finish to the ale. Excellent lingering flavor on the tongue after the swallow. Medium-bodied. I can tell something is there, but not heavy enough to make me believe I am drinking something special. Overall, a good APA. Would recommend.

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TPZEM from Illinois, Jul 25, 2017
Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Pours a reddish orange with a half finger Whitehead with plenty of carbonation.
S- predominantly a mulch smell. Secondarily, a nice citrus hop smell.
T- Extremely balanced with a big, yeasty breadiness I was not expecting. Follows with candied citrus fruot with nice hop. A little resin sticks around. A bit of spice bite.
O- A good change of pace apa.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The appearance was a nice golden amber close to orange color with a decent transparency about it and highlighting some light carbonation that was seen rising. The head was about a finger’s worth and slightly foamy as the head died and left some thick lacing clinging fairly nicely. The smell had a super nice allocation of bitter piney to slightly citrusy hops and still lets a nice sweetness take the helm at odd times throughout the beer (doesn’t really combine together), but still is good for the most part. The taste was mainly sweet and bitter at separate times. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium in body with a decent sessionable quality about it. The carbonation is still good and slightly sharp for an APA. Overall, I say this was a nicely done APA for the most part.

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Photo of Brolo75
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a clear copper, auburn color with a white creamy head, lots of carbonation and lacing, head dissipated into a thin soapy film.

A: Citrus zest up front, subtle notes of pine and needles, also picking up a slight sweet caramel malt in the finish.

T: Nice balance of flavor, citrus zest, pine, and grapefruit with a moderate amount of piney, citrusy bitterness in the middle, the finish has slight notes of citrus and sweet malt, very tasty.

M: Light/medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation that adds a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, finish is fairly dry.

O: This bottle is old, yet it still has a decent amount of hop presence, I'd like to get hold of a fresher bottle as the bottle I purchased online has a Best By Date of 6/28/17. This still has a good amount of flavor and I really enjoyed the citrus and piney notes.

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Brolo75 from California, Jun 19, 2017
Photo of Brianz81
4.85/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Being from Michigan, I am blessed to have some heavy hitters in the IPA realm. Traditionally, us Michiganders look down on Ohio. Not with this one! Burning River is one that I will go out of my way to find. To me, Burning River is the best APA, and is at the very least, the best in the Midwest. Burning River is a very smooth and forgiving APA. The citrus taste is pleasant, and not too overpowering. I can really enjoy a 6 pack of this beer.

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Brianz81 from Michigan, Jun 05, 2017
Photo of Try-em-all
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours to a dark orange with a thick head at first and then it dissipates. First thought after the drink caramel with aome spice. Tends to leave a malt taste in your mouth, but with a kick. While it is not among my favorites, it is pretty good and worth trying.

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Try-em-all from Missouri, May 15, 2017
Photo of Roby923
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tastey pale ale. Plenty of biscuit malts and cascade hops to create a balanced ale. At 45 IBU this doesn't completely obliterate the tase buds, but at 6%, does give a punch. Thank goodness for the Clean Water Act, this Cleveland brew doesn't catch on fire. Bottled at Mr Smalls in PIT (great craft brew list for a live music venue).

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Roby923 from Alberta (Canada), Mar 10, 2017
Photo of challenja
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Boulevard Tulip

A - Golden orange hue, a light haze that uses the carbonation supports a..
S - Subtle grapefruit nose..this one has a malt nose, lots of bready malt notes with ripe grapefruit.
T - Taste follows the nose, bready & malty,buttery... toasted biscuit, hints of spruce, ripe yellow grapefruit rind, orange peel, with crisp carbonation.
M - Fantastic body and weight for a pale ale. Crisp and perfectly carbonated for this style. Full mouth feel, great weight on the tongue.
O - A great take on the pale ale. This was definitely going to be in one of my to go Pale's. Great, great pale ale.

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challenja from Virginia, Mar 04, 2017
Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lovely pale ale, with good citrus flavors and a solid malt backbone that keeps the bitter bite in the close from getting too taxing. A solid reminder that a well executed pale never needs to be boring and is one of the most drinkable beers out there.

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Tsar_Riga from Indiana, Dec 25, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First of all I really dig the inspiration and label art for this bad boy. Well done, humorous. This one starts to take on those orange hues, usually a good sign in a hoppy beer. One of the first dry hopped pale ales I tried in the Midwest.

Citrus, caramel, these things seem like tired cliches at this point, but 15, 20 years ago, this was a pretty novel little pale ale that geographically pushed the envelope not long after these became almost ubiquitous in California. Definitely straddles that ipa line, heavier malt bill consisting of stuff other than pale malts, crystal, get those thicker caramel feels. Good price on a 6 pack of these.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep orange/gold beer with an off white head that leaves a fine curtain of lacing behind. The aroma is lightly sweet with a hint of peach, flowers, yeast and a hop spiciness. The taste is lightly sweet as well with a grass and melon taste the ends with a deceptive bitterness. This is a nice balanced and pleasant beer.

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FriedSlug from North Carolina, Sep 08, 2016
Photo of jp32
2.05/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Tried this one last night and couldn't even finish it. The diacetyl practically overpowered any kind of hop flavor the beer may have otherwise had. An oily, buttery mouthfeel. Really nothing positive about the one I had at all.

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jp32 from Michigan, Jul 19, 2016
Photo of SABERG
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle best by 9/26/16 into the modified tulip glass.
A - Dark straw colored, nice clarity, steady carbonation supports a modest cap, lacing is cirrus in form.
S - Subtle malt nose, biscuits out of the oven, some resinous notes blend seamlessly with warm tropical breezes.
T - Beautifully balanced, pitch perfect malt base, a bit of toast and orange, some spring spruce, finished with a touch of honey.
M - Medium in body, carbonation is delightful, very quick to clean out that just right bit of hops.
O - A slightly earthy, beautifully balanced offering. This was picked up at the brewery, highly recommended.

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SABERG from Massachusetts, Jul 11, 2016
Photo of laketang
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz. bottle
floral, tropical undertones, mild scents
caramel, mild sweet backbone
light to medium mouthfeel, crisp
a pleasant beer worth trying out

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laketang from Illinois, Jul 09, 2016
Burning River from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 3309 ratings