Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
87
very good
167 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good
Read the review
Bridge Burner Special Reserve AleBridge Burner Special Reserve Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States
lakefrontbrewery.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cokes on 06-27-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
167
Ratings:
391
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
11.92%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
38
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 391
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn."

--David Russell

Polished pomegranate that explodes with gemstone-like brilliance when sunlight is added. The pastel gold crown, that is milkshake thick and creamy, looks even better as it melts. Thick sheets of BB-shot lace coat the upper third of the glass, cementing the sky-high appearance score. What a looker!

According to the aroma, Bridge Burner SRA smells like a caramel-malted barleywine with a generous amount of citrusy hops. American strong ale? Pretty much the same thing when you come right down to it. If the alcohol is masked as well on the taste buds, this could be Lakefront's best brew yet.

Since this bottle is at least 6 months of age (and probably older), it doesn't have the kickin' hoppiness that it probably had when fresh. That's really the only thing holding it back from the next highest taste score. What was probably a pretty serious hop punch initially has mellowed into something... well... more mellow.

BBSRA is still delicious beer. It also appears to have aged well, for those of you who prefer more malt and less lupulins, relatively speaking. A brown bread and English-toffee-covered-with-nuts bass line is complemented by candied orange and grapefruit peel top notes. The ABV would have been easy to guess, but the alcohol is almost impossible to appreciate. Kudos to the brewers for that.

As the beer falls with drinking, a gorgeous, lace-crusted pint glass is the visual reward. Although the mouthfeel comes close to keeping pace, it doesn't quite get it done. It's a fraction light for the style and the bubbles don't inject enough creaminess. It sure does make the beer easy to drink, though.

Lakefront is a better brewery than my memory gives them credit for. Holiday Spice Lager, Riverwest Stein Beer, IPA, Cream City Pale Ale and White Beer are all solid. This one is as well. Next time I'll drink it fresh and hoppy. Bottom line: Bridge Burner is a barn burner of an American strong ale.

 2,022 characters

Photo of Vancer
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A strong performer from Lakefront - clear and dark mahogany brown in to the Bitburger glass, darn nice froth tan head explodes up and leave nice Brussels lace.

Aroma of a stronge pale ale - lots of spicy hop mixed with a good malt presence. Same with the quaff, with bits of doughy wood resin mixed in for good measure. Nothing strong ale about this one - it's a hop bomber, but a darn tasty one. 8% is well hidden, I'd have no problem recommending this one to try. Glad I got the chance to try it here as it's a new brewery reaching the area.

 544 characters

Photo of nsmartell
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 22oz bottle to a snifter glass. Bottled the first week of January.

Appearance: Pours a deep red mahogany color with a thick, especially for the snifter glass, off-white head that stuck around for a while.

Smell: Fruity malts and grassy hops. Apricot?

Taste: Just as the nose suggests, malty goodness with a nice balance of hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and sticky. Good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable brew. Definitely one of the better efforts put out by Lakefront.

 568 characters

Photo of GarrisWH
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rather hazy, rich reddish amber color with a two-finger, light tan, frothy head. Head settles down to a nice cap moderately quickly, leaving sticky lacing.

S - Nice, hoppy aroma with a mostly spicy, and slight citrus character. Sweet fruitiness and biscuity malt also notable in the background.

T - Hops up front, with the spicy hops coming through strogest. A bit of grapefruit also detectable in the hop character. Fruity yeasts and a big, biscuity malt character balance out the hops. Nice, somewhat bitter finish with a little hint of pine.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Somewhat resinous feel.

D - Smooth-drinking with a very interesting flavor profile. I was pleasantly surprised by this brew and hope I can try some more from Lakefront in the future.

 789 characters

Photo of u2carew
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A) Pours with a big foamy head, then settles quite quickly. Reddish brown in color. Some haze. Thin lacing.
S) The hop aroma is fairly robust, guessing Cascade hops. Very light citrus notes. Caramel sweetness.
T) Sweet up front - caramel with some toffee. Hop bite in the finish and lingering in the aftertaste. Well balanced malt and hops.
M) Smooth. Mild creaminess. Medium to full bodied (closer to full bodied)
D) Delicious. I'd definitely have another. Well crafted with a good balance between malts and hops.

 514 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.14/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark amber color. The head is two inches in height, and recede slowly into a sticky ring of lacing. The aroma is a perfect balance of caramel malt and citrus hops. The problem is that it is very faint. The taste is a mirror image of the aroma; nice but faint. Honestly, from what I detect this beer is very simple so even if it were more pronounced I still don't think I'd like it much. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and a texture that is a little thin and watery for the style. Overall, this is a beer that is truly lacking. It surely reinforces my previous conclusions that Lakefront brews really good lagers, and really poor ales.

 679 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. The color is a nice deep amber and the head is thick and creamy. There's a large amount of lacing.

The nose is mostly malt of the toffee and roast varieties. There's also a strong pine hop presence finished by an alcohol astringency.

The taste is a nice blend of caramel malt, toast, and a load of hops. The hops are pine and earthy. The aftertaste is much more bitter than expected. They've acheived a very nice balance of malt and hops.

The mouthfeel is my favorite characteristic. It's thick and creamy and makes me want to swish it around on every sip. It has a very smooth finish to it with a slight puckering effect.

This one is easy to drink... delicious and smooth. There is a slight alcohol astringency but I'm willing to overlook that.

This was a very nice surprise. I've never had anything from this brewery and was going out on a limb to try something new. I wasn't disappointed. At the risk of sounding blasphemous, this kind of reminded me of Arrogant Bastard. Not as robust, maybe AB light?

 1,056 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely one of the better Lakefront beers I've had. Pours dark amber with a very thin head. Smells citrusy and a bit piney with a lot of firm malt and a slight nuttiness. The taste is rich and thick with malt, and quite creamy but not too sweet. Lots of piney hops followed by a touch of malty sweetness on the back end. A bit thick in the mouth but quite smooth. Big, and with lots of hops and a fair bit of alcohol, but it's all well supported by the malt.

 461 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky magenta...medium creamy toned head.

Aroma jumps with hops, fat, plump with apricot, peach, plum...apple, ...vibrant and lively. Bitter smack attack.

Hop smack returns in the taste...big, biscuity malt meets the hop. Juicy, bright, citrusy...yum...

Good, medium body, full flavor, persistent finish. Delicious.

Probably the best Lakefront Brew I've yet had. Here's to more!

 382 characters

Photo of GilGarp
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had to drive a detour tonight to get home from work. The reason? They were taking down an old bridge and replacing it with a new 4 lane wide version. I'm going to pretend they were burning it and drink this in the old bridge's honor.

Served cold and poured into a pint glass. It has a nice redish mahogany brown color with pretty good clarity and great head. The head is thick and sticky leaving lace all down the glass.

Aroma is malty and caramel-y sweet with a nice bit of hops. It's not overly hoppy smelling but it's decent.

Flavor is good classic American strong ale. It has a really solid malt backbone and a healthy dose of hops to keep the sweetness in check. Nice balance overall but still with big flavor. It has a carmel apple sweetness up front that has a good earthy hop bite midway though and finishes somewhat dry from the alcohol.

Nice creamy mouthfeel with big body and low carbonation, just how it should be for this style.

Overall a nice version of the style. If they do it again, I would hope for more hop aroma and a more "fresh hop" flavor instead of this "old IPA" thing. Still not bad at all.

 1,124 characters

Photo of DarbyOGill
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Dark amber coloration with about 3 fingers of yellowish head. Nice sticky lacing.

S: Boozy nose. I pick up hints of piney hops and some roasted malt.

T: The bottle says it is only 30 IBUs, from the taste it is kind of surprising (strong hoppy taste). Strong piney hops with a hint of some citrusy hops. Nice caramel malt balances this ale quite nicely and has a boozy finish, but not overly boozy. Very nicely balanced beer.

Overall: Good beer, actually like it more then some other "American Strong Ales" such as The Hairy Eyeball.

 580 characters

Photo of blackearth
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber almost brown color with a frothy white head. Strong caramel malt and hop aroma. Medium bodied with a great balance between the big hop and malt flavors both of which last until you take that next sip. This would be an excellent session beer except the high alcohol content will put you on your butt if you drink the whole 22 oz. bottle. Best enjoyed with a friend.

 383 characters

Photo of CaptainIPA
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

P: Presented in a 651 ML. brown bottle.

A: Pours a dark, tawny amber with a massive, two-finger head that falls to an impressive rimming of foam. Wonderful lacing.

S: Caramel, pineapple and floral hops.

T: Opens with a hoppy bitterness that's held in check by an immediate surge of fruit sweetness that's quickly balanced with caramel malt. Tartness plants itself firmly at the back of the tongue. A spicy hop flavor emerges from the bold, malty foundation. Powder-dry finish with a trace of alcohol that announces itself at the conclusion.

M: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

D: Complex and tasty, Bridge Burner is a special reserve sipper brewed with fierce integrity.

 695 characters

Photo of rajendra82
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown (Dubbel like) appearance was not all that attractive, but the head atop was beige, two finger thick and decent looking. The aroma was a lot hopper than I was expecting, as the smell of resinous hops was unmistakable. The taste matched the smell with drying bitter hop taste evident up front. Backing this up were raisin like malts that was not too sweet. The body was soft and viscous and finish very dry and chalky. A nice strong ale I would love revisiting.

 471 characters

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber pours a slightly hazed copper brown body with a medium sized khaki head. Plenty of sticky lacing.

Aroma of toasted caramel and a boatload of hops. Grapefruit and orange citrusy notes, assertive pine, and a hint of spiciness.

Full medium body has a pleasant creaminess and moderate carbonation. Alcohol is concealed underneath.

Taste evokes thoughts of Arrogant Bastard, as other reviewers have noted. Similar hop profile, I think. Plenty of bitterness of the pine and grapefruit school. Hint of blood orange joins with the brown sugar and caramel maltiness. Finishes hop bitter, with a lasting hop bite.

Nicely done and certainly worth a try if you're a fan of Stone's Arrogant Bastard.

 697 characters

Photo of everetends
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle I picked up at Green's off Ponce in Atlanta. Hadn't heard of it before and the story on the bottle intrigued me, so what the hell. I am always a sucker for a strong ale. Served up in an imperial nonic.

A: Pours a pretty nice dark brown in color. Held to the light a really nice, dark, sunburst orange comes out. The beer is pretty clear considering the darkness, you can see through it with added light. The pour yielded a pretty decent, nearly perfect finger of off white to light tan head. The head is thick and has a bit frothiness to it. The lace is pretty tight, with the glass aborbing and keeping pretty nice rings all the way down. Looks good for sure.

S: Man, this is really reminding me of an Arrogant Bastard. Smells like this was pretty aggressively hopped with a good amount of spicy ass hops. Lots of pepper and pine coming out here. The alcohol has a bit of booziness sticking its head out a bit. The malts really come through, cutting that booze and hops with some sugary and caramel hops. With all this said, it is easy to lose the aroma at times. I don't know how it happens but sometimes I smell nothing, and at others I get more scents. Wierd but good.

T: Yet again, Arrogant Bastard is coming out. There is that spicy ass hops presence. Its bitter but then you get some pepper, then the pepper is cut by some grapefruit, and then that grapefruit is cut down by some pine resin. Lots of hops, but it all works well. The malts come in with some balance but don't kill the hops. The malts are sugary with some dark brown sugar and sultry caramel goodness. Also a touch of bready malt as well. Dig it.

M: This is a medium bodied brew but on the full side. This has a touch of creaminess to it that I was not expecting. Its thick at times but still remains light on the palate. The ABV is very well hidden with almost no heat on the palate or throat. There is a slight bitterness that lingers on the palate along with some sweet malts. Carbonation works really well here keeping it a bit high and easy drinking.

D: This one goes down very well and executes nicely. I really dig the flavors and aromas. This beer is very much like an Arrogant Bastard type of brew, but I think that is a good thing. The ABV is somewhat high but its well hidden, keeping this from being a chore to get down. I think this beer executes well and was worth the curiousity. I am not mad at this beer.

 2,413 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark amber and crystal clear. Impressive head that recedes in a rocky fashion, leaving rings of chunky lace on the glass.

Nice blend of crystal malt and fresh hop. There's a mild fruitiness to aroma...in an attractive way.

Creamy flavor with a small amount of sweetness. This is quickly lost in a hop bomb rush. This continues through the swallow and long into the aftertaste. The body is surprisingly thin, but it does not take away from the powerful flavors. Could be described as a weak-bodied DIPA.

 504 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is strong and rather hoppy, but not fiercely so, with a subtle fruity undertone. It pours a clear dark coppery amber with a fairly thick, slightly yellow beige head. Flavor is hoppy but not too bitter, and has a firm undertone of orange. Texture is thick, smooth and fizzy, leaving a hop-bitter aftertaste.

 312 characters

Photo of dhd1491
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours red-orange with light tan head. Lacing ladders down the sides. Bitter and malty with floral hops and some buttery/oily mouthfeel. Some cereal biscuity notes. Well balanced and alcohol is pretty low profile despite 8% ABV.

Solid brew, just not quite in my top tier.

 271 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear dark copper brew. Dense head lasts well, with thick frothy lacing. Aroma is heavily sweet with piney hops. Taste follows the nose, with bitterness overpowering late. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, cutting the bitter some, and drinkability is good as well.

 392 characters

Photo of WalterSobchak
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours ruby/brown with a very solid tan head that leaves exceptional lacing.
Smells like delicate hops with a pine and citrus front. Although I keep getting a soapy follow-up.
Has a nice malty flavor with a great hops background. Very creamy, fairly well balanced, but a bit too much malt for me.
Nice beer, I would go for it again and it would make a good substitute for a brown.

 380 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a large off- white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a nice blend of hops, dark fruit, citrus, brown sugar and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out malty with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit. Then a strong hops presence comes in and provides a decent balance. The combination of flavors fades out and leaves a dry and slightly bitter after-taste.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this beer but after reading the label and then smelling the beer, I thought I would like it more than I actually did. However, overall, I consider it a pretty good beer that is worth drinking for a while.

 926 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Poured a deeper and clear copper color with a large sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, caramel, some floral hoppiness, and just a tad fruity. Tastes of caramel, citrus, some spicy hops, and some fruitiness. The body was a little on the thinner side. Lacing left on the glass.

 295 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Cock&Bull.

Poured clear brown color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted and produced good to excellent lacing. Moderate sour citrus brown sugar aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture. Moderate to heavy bittersweet flavor with medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

The beer goes well with spicy food.

 363 characters

Photo of joe1510
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
$5.99
Steve's Madison

Bridge Burner pours a surprisingly dark red bordering on brown until backlit, it then glows a clear mahogany with carbonation bursting to the surface. Two fingers of off white head form on the pour and slowly drop to a thick cap with a thick collar. Sheet lacing is left behind after each sip along with some chunkiness that will take a lot of hot water to get off. This is a damn good looking beer!

The aroma is a little dead compared to my expectations. There's a good amount of caramel maltiness and gooey toffee in the back with noticeable clean alcohol rising through the air. The hops have a slight citric note to them but they do play well off the booziness. Pine needle hoppiness is what really stands out though and is a nice addition.

The flavor follows the aroma fairly closely. The caramel maltiness lays down a firm base while a little bit of a sugar cookie like sweetness comes into play. The growing hoppiness ends up treating the tongue like a second class citizen with all the pine this beer throws at you. The swallow brings along some candied citrus that play well with others. The booze comes across fairly big but is so clean it never gets in the way.

The carbonation on this beer is lively and keeps things moving along. The body leans toward the larger side of medium and the bitterness continues to grow until it peeks with a numbing of the lips.

This bomber is going down pretty fast and this beer continues to grow on me. A few nice piney burps have been popping up here and there.

This is a solid brew from Lakefront. It's nice to see them start bottling some special release type brews and the price tag is nice compared to others within the same alcohol range. I'd pick this up again.

 1,753 characters

Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.86 out of 5 based on 391 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe