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

very good
3,225 Ratings
Great Lakes Burning River Pale AleGreat Lakes Burning River Pale Ale

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-06-2001

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,225 |  Reviews: 1,033
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear copper with no head to speak of. No lace. Smells of fruity pale malt and agressively bitter hops.

Taste is very bitter and bitingly so. No subtle citrus nuance, no floral complexity, just a cutting, sharp hoppy bitterness...and I like it. After awhile you can pick out some fruity malt but this is a vehicle for delivering hops to the bloodstream. A lingering hoppy bitterness. Very long. Not so hoppy to be an IPA but really close. A hops showcase. Pretty good.

 487 characters

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smells almost like orange juice. Bright fruity hop nose right off the bat. Notes of grapefruit and citrus.

Super orange hop flavor up front with underlying grapefruit notes. Hop flavor rolls over the tongue and stays consistent through out the sip. Medium bodied with a touch of malt sweetness. Sweetness lingers but bitterness builds with each sip make for quite a balanced beer. Goes down almost too easy.

 408 characters

Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of bort11
3.17/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to DuqTroops for this one.

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass. Not a whole lot of head here, only about a half inch at the most. Quickly recedes to a thin film. Color is a clear copper.
Smell is faintly sweet with a hint of bitterness in the back. Taste is predominantly malty and sweet up front, and the hops finishes out to give it some balance.
Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, which really adds to the drinkability. Goes down very smooth, I could session this easily

 496 characters

Photo of KeefD
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to drgonzo3705 for this extra! Pours a crystal clear amber orange color with a nice, two finger off-white head that fell slowly and kept good retention. The aroma is nice and floral, slightly grassy with some hints of citrus and pine and sweet, caramel malt. There's a very nice bitterness to the flavor, it's slightly sweet at first, some toasty, biscuit-like malts make up the backbone, becomes slightly medicinal and dry on the finish. Nice use of bitter hops on this one, but missing some hop citrus flavor that I love out of APAs. Medium bodied, nice crisp carbonation. This is very drinkable, reminds me a lot of SNPA. Another delicious brew from Great Lakes. They haven't let me down yet!

 702 characters

Photo of Dewsby
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of zoso1967
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice candied orange/amber color with a smallish head that is beige in color. Retention and lacing are both very good. On further inspection this beer seems to be just slightly hazy, but overall is quite clear.

The aroma on this beer is very inviting with plenty of ruby red grapefruit and zesty orange aromas. It also carries a nice sort of toasty edge to it and a very clean malt sweetness that makes the grapefruit aromas that much more mouthwatering.

Clean is not usually a word associated with pale ales, but that is how this one tastes to me. Superbly balanced with a wonderful mix of malt, hops, sweetness and bitterness. It starts out understated and a bit sweet with some nice citrus hop flavors, then transitions to a bit dryer finish that is really evident on the back of the tongue. The malt seems very transparent to me in the flavor, with just a bit of caramel sweetness. This is not the brash and hoppy American pales that I have grown accustomed to.

The carbonation on this is perfect for the medium/light body and clean balanced mouthfeel. This beer finishes with just enough bitterness to beg for that next sip.

Burning River is super drinkable and well made. I just keep coming back to the world "clean." This is sort of like a pale ale that was brewed to be like a easy drinking German lager. This is a quality beer and a great one to enjoy if you want the conversation of your company to speak louder than the flavors in your pale ale.

 1,472 characters

Photo of amishbooze
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of jimmah120
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with no date into pilsner glass

Pours a clear gold-orange with fluffy 2-finger head and good lacing. Smell is crisp bread, malts, yeast, and a healthy dose of piney, earthy hops. Taste is bitter orange pineapple hops, sweet butter bread malts, with a swampy pine aftertaste. Nice, creamy feel. Maybe a tad cloying.

Excellent APA more reminiscent of an IPA.

 370 characters

Photo of BMoney575
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 4-11-07
Best before 5-26-07

Pours a crystal clear reddish-gold with a huge craggy white head.

Smell is slightly fruity and sweet, with floral and grassy hops coming through.

Taste is decent, fruity malt character with a pleasant hop flavor and non-offensive bitterness. Very earthy one the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good, goes well with the hop flavors.

Drinkability is fine, though the earthiness tends to build up.

Overall, a good beer, but I've had many APAs better. I think the reason is the earthiness in the flavor. I've noticed this in several other GL offerings, and its not really my favorite characteristic in a beer.

 656 characters

Photo of Hockey_Fan
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of LloydDobler
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BierFan
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a weizen glass.

Appearance: It poured with a small head, and a copper / orange body. The color is similar to an American style Octoberfest beer.

Smell: All I could smell is the hops. It smells like an IPA which is disappointing for me because even though I love a good IPA I prefer my pale ales to be malty.

Taste: Once again, it's mostly hops. Some malts in the background.

 412 characters

Photo of beeragent
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a medium gold forming a 1/2 inch off-white head. Medium spots of lace cling to the glass.

S - Citrusy hop aroma dominates the nose. Not much else is detectable.

T - Nice citrusy hop flavor up front, followed by a smooth malty finish. The malts seem to balance out the hops in the finish, reducing alot of the harshness from the hops (not always a plus, but in this case it works).

M - Medium bodied with a slightly harsh finish from the hops. Good amount of carbonation throughout.

D - Overall not a bad pale ale at all. Very refreshing. Nice full flavor thats not overpowering and sessionable ABV.

 661 characters

Photo of LarryMyers
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of martyl1000
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of JeffSK
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of meathookjones
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber with a decent sized light tan head. Some scattered lacing around the glass as the head stays afloat. A bit of citric hops jump out first with the smell before the sweetness of the malt comes in. Nice balanced smell but nothing too spectacular. Citric hop bitterness combines with a caramel sweetness in the flavor. Notes of biscuit, pine and earthy hop under tones could be noticed. Slightly bitter after taste with a touch of grapefruit. Mouthfeel is medium and a tad rough on the tongue with its hops. Solidly drinkable as it is good and flavorfull. I could have a few.

 577 characters

Photo of BeerImmediately
2.22/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle into thin-walled glass at 40 degrees. Dated as best before 9/21/09. (Had two, just to double-check my initial impressions).

Good looking 2F, white head which took a while to fade to film. Amber-orange in color with plenty of visible carbonation.

Smell is a bit of a disappointment - really had to pull it out. No hoppy character. Some bland vegetables - squash and cooked zuchini.

Did not enjoy the taste either - cooked corn water, with a hint of citrus hop trying desperately to pull through. Finished with a bit of the euro pale lager skunk.

Mouthfeel was ok - little bitter bite, not as smooth as most APA's I've had, hence the score. Sour film left on tongue.

With an unmemorable smell, poor taste and rough MF, overall drinkability landed in the basement.

Have no idea how this beer won a Gold Medal or so many rave reviews - maybe I hit a "bad batch"

 880 characters

Photo of OriolesFan1008
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of cosmonick
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Giantspace
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of ridgeline23
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Knoxrb12
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of OleDixie
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 3,225 ratings.
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