Burning River Pale Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Burning River Pale AleBurning River Pale Ale
BA SCORE
3.94/5
Very Good
3,268 Ratings
Burning River Pale AleBurning River Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
greatlakesbrewing.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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).

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-06-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#5,995
Reviews:
1,043
Ratings:
3,268
pDev:
11.17%
Bros Score:
4.15
 
 
Wants:
146
Gots:
637
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,268 |  Reviews: 1,043
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Some of us are old enough (barely) to remember that fateful summer day in '69 when the Cuyahoga River caught fire. Cleveland has really come a long way since then. It's a great town!

Not quite clear orange-amber with fine carbonation and a firm, French vanilla colored lid that has good staying power and leaves abundant lace. The aroma is bright and hoppy, smelling primarily of lemon and grapefruit zest. The flavor is well-hopped with a lovely bitterness. Again, grapefruit peel (Cascade?) is dominant.

Burning River isn't overly complex, but it's a more than solid, straightforward, high-quality pale ale. The finish is austere, with more than a hint of dryness. The mouthfeel is medium for the style. I could drink this beer all day and all night.

A couple of thoughts. GLBC seems to be incapable of brewing anything but outstanding beer across a wide range of styles. After sampling three of their offerings, I'm convinced that they have absolutely nailed down head/lace and carbonation/mouthfeel. Lastly, this bottle had a 'best by' date of Sept. 18, '03, a full 3 months before I purchased it and 3+ months before this review. I detected no problems whatsoever.

 1,173 characters

Photo of dvmin98
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 829 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up at Wegmans, enjoyed chilled from a pint glass.

The color is dark copper with off white head which leaves confetti lace and has great clarity with visible carbonation. Retention is good and bead is very fine. The smell is very fragrant of hops with a mild pine accent and very gentle fruity yeast scent. The feel is good with moderate bitterness and carbonation level with mild sweetness and light alcohol tinge with a mostly dry finish.

The flavor is a very good mix of malts with more of a German toasted perhaps vienna flavor with mild herbal and pine hop flavors following with some mild orange rind accents. The flavor of malt is pretty well balanced with the hops with a generally clean yeast taste very nice dry finish with no alcohol in the taste to speak of. Overall this is a different take on the pale style, with more german type munich toastiness and more herbal/noble type flavor than straight citrus, but it is very drinkable and well worth repeat tastes

 990 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a 8oz hote water glass, but heck at least it was a glass right?

A - Poured a very nice and deep dark amber with lots of carbonation visible coming up from the bottom of the glass. There was not really much of a head here, rather just a thin film of foam lace covering the top and a tiny bit of side glass lace down the sides. Overall fairly average look for me.

S - The aroma was rather nice. An English IPA type of smell that was muc sweeter then your average british version. Instead of having the huge amounts of floral and citrus hops, this was much more earthy with a a nice grainy and grassy dominance that had a touch of bitter in it towards the end. This was rahter nice and had a good bread like malty back bone coming though in it as well

T - The flavor to was very nice especially for an English IPA. There started out a very nice grainy and grassy like hoppiness that was very dominant even from the beginning. This evolded nicely into a finely grained and bread like base that really pushed the envelope as far as hop much malt could go into this one while still keeping it true to its IPA roots. This then showed a touch of sweetness, almost caramel like, but more toned down then that. The finish was strong with dominant bitter Ero like hops draing out the finish and really drying everything out waiting for you to take the next sip from it.

M - Very nice medium bodied IPA. To be honest I was quite impressed with this one and it really seemed to make a nice little addition to the Great Lakes Brews I have been trying as of late. Rich and almost creamy like in the feel the crbonation held up great throughout the entire session and really have nothing bad to say about this one here.

D - A really nice and different session beer for me here. I normally like the deep citrus bomb for my session ale, however this was quite different and really thoroughly enjoyed every last drop. I could really see this one as a classic session ale if I lived around here. It was really quite tight profile was and had little ABV which made it just about perfect.

Overall this was a pretty damn fine ale. Stayong up here in Ohio for a few days I am getting to try all these nice Midwest brews and this is one I would be glad to try again. A quality ale I will be sure to pick up more of the next time I am around.

 2,346 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeff for this one.

A: The beer pours a clear amber color with a finger of white head on top.

S: Slightly sweet aroma with a little bit of toast and bread character. There isn't too much of a hop profile to it, but there is a bit of citrus peel and grass. A light caramel aroma which gives it a slight creaminess.

T: A similar story on the palate. Sweet bread, toffee, and pale, cracker malts. A light floral and grassy hop flavor along with a soft hop bitterness. Creamy caramel notes on the finish with just a touch of orange peel.

M: On the light side of medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: While this is a drinkable beer, it isn't up there with the better pale ales that I've had.

 707 characters

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of SadMachine
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright orangish-copper with a quarter of an inch of creamy, white head that fades to a thin lacing after a few seconds. The nose light; malty, bready, citrusy with some grapefruit notes. The flavor is lightly malty and toasty up front with smoothly, bitter, piny hop finish. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a crisp, smooth finish.

This is a solid beer. It's balanced, flavorful, and refreshing. It's easy to drink though a little too carbonated for my liking. I would definitely have this again.

 517 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Beers of the World on a recent family vacation, I should have picked up more!
Pours a clear deep copper/amber color with a bubbly beige head that impales itself to the glass all the way down. Smells of citrus, light sweet fruit, slight mineral. Taste is smooth citrus with a fruity burnt sugar malt sweetness. Great balance! Twinge of hops, bit of malt leaves a hop bite at the end of every sip. Crisp carbonation, sticky, resinous mouthfeel, medium body with a semi dry finish. Great session ale here.

 520 characters

Photo of stakem
3.37/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint. The brew appears a clear copper color with a slight off-white cap. Some stringy lace sticks to the wall of the glass.

The aromas is strikingly similar to a strong tea than beer.Ffaintly herbal and a little mineral filled. Some slight fruity alcohol emits as it is swirled.

The flavor is also tea-like and astringent like strong tea with a bitterness that creeps in slightly herbal. A bready grain backing is also present to contrast.

This is a light bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is an ok offering but I really dont think I would revisit this.

 600 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

 798 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.54/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Back during my Boilermaker years, my boyz and I believed that if the Wabash ever had a cigarette thrown it, it would explode into an inferno that would make Lucifer consider relocating. This has no real importance, but this beer tends to bring that memory bubbling to the surface. (Seriously, don't swim in the Wabash.) It pours a clear copper topped by a tall bit of thick, light ecru froth, which leaves some decent lacing behind as it subsides. The nose is pretty unspectacular, with notes of caramel, maple syrup, and a light touch of hops (not citrus, not floral, just hops in general). The taste comprises a slight bit o' citrus, some bitterness, and a solidly bready caramel backbone. The body is a light medium, with light carbonation and a crisp finish. Not bad, though I wish the smell were a little better.

 860 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of thatoneguymike
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Hayley_86
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
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 smartassboiler
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of BMart
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 3,268 ratings