Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale | Great Lakes Brewery

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Great Lakes Orange Peel AleGreat Lakes Orange Peel Ale

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
In our quest to bring you the most flavourful and unique beers possible, we are proud to release this tasty spring and summer beer. Handcrafted with five specialty malts and five varieties of hops, along with just a touch of honey, we added heaps of fresh oranges and peels into the boil. A little different, you say? We sure hope so. Orange Peel Ale balances the unique flavour of oranges with generous amounts of hops to achieve a slightly fruity and refreshing taste.

Added by pootz on 04-10-2007

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 82
Photo of hopsolutely
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

As much as I absolutely love most of the beers brewed by Great Lakes, this is not their most flavourful ale and was purchased solely to formally review it.

Pours an attractive orange with minimal white head that disappears quickly. Grain-forward aroma with only a hint of orange (marmalade?), and nearing the end of the 650 mL bottle, it is getting increasingly harder to discern. Its sweet taste lacks a lot of complexity, but malted barley provides a solid foundation. I can't detect orange pith as such, but there is orange flesh, with a mild bitterness in the finish.

An excellent transition beer that may pull the less adventurous towards the world of craft brewing.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-ish to yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, orange citrus, kind of sweet to dry. In the taste, dry orange citrus and a small dry hop presence. A small bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry earthy hop in the aftertaste. Dry orange citrus in the nose and a nice earthy hop flavor, not too shabby.

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Photo of thehyperduck
2.74/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle from the LCBO; no production date. I usually get a craving for witbiers around this time of year, but I wasn't able to find any new ones, so this seemed like a decent compromise.

Pours a light amber-orange, completely translucent, topped with slightly more than a finger of sparkling, off-white coloured head. It lasts a few minutes before dissipating into a thin, creamy, even cap on the surface. Attractive, but nothing to write home about. Rather bland aroma, which is a shame because as far as fruit beers go, the smell is one of the few aspects I will usually really enjoy. It is comprised of hints of orange citrus, with an underlying backbone of light, malty honey sweetness.

The taste is ok, but I am not encouraged to give it any more praise than that. I'm seriously having trouble coming up with adjectives to describe the taste because there just isn't anything of substance to talk about. Even the orange notes are surprisingly subdued, which makes me wonder if this is just an expired bottle or something. What little flavour there is can be placed into one of the following three categories: diluted orange citrus; lightly honeyed biscuity malt sweetness; and gentle hop bitterness (which becomes more pronounced at the end of the sip). Medium-bodied, without the heavy soda-pop carbonation I find in most fruit beers. Easy to drink.

Final Grade: 2.74, a lame C-. I honestly feel bad about giving it such a low score - I like Great Lakes and I've never had a bad beer from them before, but their Orange Peel Ale is just profoundly unimpressive in every sense of the word. Stale bottle? Given the weak aroma and taste (and lack of any sort of date or code anywhere on the bottle), this seems like a significant possibility. Given that, I may consider retrying this in the future, but it would have to be on-tap or directly from the brewery. I would recommend serving this relatively well-chilled (i.e. similar to the temperature you'd drink a macro lager at).

The bottom line is simple: if this really IS expired, GLB putting a date on the bottle would have easily prevented me from buying this and posting a bad review of what may very well be an adequate beer... because to be fair, it doesn't taste *bad*... it just tastes bland. If it ISN'T expired... well, then I don't really understand why anyone would want to drink it at any price, let alone 5 bucks a bottle. As it stands, there is no way I would recommend this to anyone for anything, because in my opinion, it is neither a good fruit beer, nor a good amber. Passing this over would be no big loss.

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Photo of korguy123
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass. No date.

A- Slightly hazy orange pour with a soapy two finger white head. Lacing is sticky sheets around the glass.

S- Slight biscuit, floral and citrus hops and a sweet orange presence. Slightly dry smelling.

T- Sweet biscuits, floral hops and a slightly faint orange presence. Juicier than the aroma. I get orange but it doesn't jump out at me like I thought it would.

M- Light to medium bodied, decent carbonation.

O- Refreshing Summer beer. Not as much orange as I was expecting but not bad for what it is.

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Photo of SebD
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice cloudy colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down fast and has minimal lacing.

Smell: The aromas give out hints of orange with some bready malts and light hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a dominant orange taste with some bready malts and a bit of hops adding a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with an ok balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavours and aromas.

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Photo of drinkininthewood
4.26/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from my wife, part of a bunch of brews she picked up for my birthday.

650 ml bottle no freshness date.

A- golden/amber color with nice head of foam that diminished a few minutes later to a thin layer.

S- orange rinds, touch of honey, malty, aromas of orange blossom flowers.

T- Like bitting into an orange, peel and all. Touch of floral hops present, as well as some nice malt.

M- medium bodied, carbonation work wells for this beer even if its a tad spritzy.

D- Very flavorull and refreshing.

Overall I've been looking to try this brew for awhile (years) and finally got around to it. Its a great beer, very flavorfull, sessionable ( if you like oranges ) and probably my new favorite beer from Great Lakes. Its good to switch things up once in awhile.

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Photo of slitherySOB
4.01/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The one thing that amazed me about this ale was the head. This was white and thick. It didn't look like the head you'd expect from a beer. It looked like the foam from an overpriced cappucino. Wow. About three fingers thick above the glass, and another two fingers below the rim. A dark orange/amber colour, with plenty of lace sticking to the glass as it empties. I was expecting a more, hoppy, aroma. Definite floral hops and citrus/oranges, though nothing that really screams out orange peels. Bit of a dark honey smell as well. Taste is surprisingly refreshing. It's a bit light without it being weak, sweetness mainly from honey and some malts, great hop sourness, with a floral and citrus aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit medium/light, which for the type of beer this is, is just fine. It's a refreshing summer beer, nothing terribly fancy. Overall, decent session/lawnmower beer. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of SgtStout
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light orange-amber, one finger of light head with not much retention.

The smell is predominantly orange, some of the honey comes through. Some light malt and floral hops.

Taste is predominantly orange, very tart, somewhat sweet. Not much malt, pleasant bitterness on the back of the tongue. Average mouthfeel.

A nice summer beer for hot days working in the yard.

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Photo of uno99
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the brewery, served at 55 degrees.

A: Straw body with egg shell white head. decent retention and laces well in my Stella Artois glass.

S: Really nice balance here. All the players can be heard equally here. Orange is present on the "fringes" of the nose. Quite well hopped but not a bomb, malt is clean and bready.

T: Orange is a little more apparent in the taste, and becomes more so as you work your way through the (650ML?) bottle. Things stay fairly balanced however and the brewer has thankfully resisted the urge to over spice this brew.

M: Light-Medium bodied. A little oily. Carbonation is spot on and doesn't feel too artificial.

O: Very refreshing, but lacking character. This beer would do well at a BBQ or as a reward for pulling the lawnmower out.

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Photo of peensteen
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale deep golden colour, 1.5 fingers of white sticky head, nice lacing on the glass. Smell is malty, fresh cut orange, light hops, citrus, very floral, but very much dominated by orange. Taste is huge orange, citrus all the way through, good bitterness, lightly hoppy, malt is way back there, dry orange finish. Aggressive carbonation, crisp, light to medium body, carbonation far too heavy. Decent brew, very different, not really my thing but I can see the appeal for some people.

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Photo of Mit
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden colour with a decent lasting head. Lacing on the glass is also nice.

Orange peel....slight malt odour...very clean smelling.

Def orange peel tastes...spicey crisp...very refreshing...nice hoppy flavours. Really balanced.

Solid mouth feel...not too thick or too light....just right.

Overall it's very solid...and decent priced...I will be buying it again.

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Photo of mrnobody
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

650 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear bright orange with a little bit of foam.

S: Faint orange smell is predominant (orange pop?).

T: Tastes of orange on the front-end followed by a little hop bitterness; pretty tasty.

M: Light-medium body with fairly lively carbonation.

D: Drinkability is good but having this once per year is sufficient.

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Photo of bryehn
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden colour with a big soapy head that leaves a fair amount of lace before it settles as a film and collar.

This beer definitely has the aroma of orange peels, though it invokes grapefruit and/or lemon at times as well. A week or two after arriving in stores, this beer smells extremely fresh, crisp and clean. There is a warm, sweet honey backing that comes out as the beer warms. My wife describes it as a Creamsicle smell.

The taste is very dry, bitter and almost sour. There is a rich honey tone to a well-balanced malt backing though which creates a thoroughly refreshing and "sunny" Spring beer; though this time of year isn't exactly orange season in Ontario.

I'm not sure what to make of the mouthfeel other than its dry and yet kind of creamy. Its on the watery side and sort of reminds me of an Orange Julius.

The wife and I sessioned three bombers the first night we got our hands on this (we planned on having one) and enjoyed every last drop. Going back to review it a week later, I'm still very much a fan and will probably buy these until they disappear again.

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Photo of Jason
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Head happily drapes some lace on the glass, clear and golden. Orange aroma of a creamsicle and sweet zest. Very smooth with a crisp pop in the moderate sized body. Orange flavor from start to finish, grainy with a dry and light malt tone. Light on the hopping as well to let the orange flavor shine, bitter peel and sweet zest. Finishes a little bitty and very dry.

Refreshing, a good change up beer as well.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.66/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a somewhat-light orange color. Starts with a single-finger head that quickly falls down into a bit of moldy-looking white color on the top of the brew with a faint touch of lacing. Nose is a very faint, slightly-tart odor consisting mostly of a bit of orange. Really faint. I've having a bit of trouble picking out anything else.

The taste is slightly oxidized with a very mild amount of orange peel. Some very light bready malt and slight cardboard character. Body is quite light with a low amount of carbonation. There is a touch of sweetness there. The finish is like water, as there's really not all that much there and the carbonation is quite low. Slightly-harsh in the end. Not too many off characteristics, but it doesn't do all that much.

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Photo of kwjd
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this in bottle over a year ago and wasn't a fan. Decided to try this again on-tap at C'est What's 2010 Fall Festival of Craft Breweries. Pours an amber-orange colour with huge head and nice lacing. Smells very strongly of oranges. Flavour has a mild hop bitterness, but other than that it is sweet orange, almost verging on flavour of an organe soda. Good carbonation level. Certainly a better beer than I remember, still not a favourite though.

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Photo of karait95
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pretty amber orange color, intense and on top a big head that dissipates slowly leaving a good quantity of traces behind attached to the glass, low carbonation.

S: Hops and orange citrus can be felt, it is an intense aroma that invite you to taste, balanced combination.

T: Bitter flavor, bitter exactly as the orange peel so you cannot expect otherwise, also the citrus tasting is present combined with hops, interesting combination and balance but to bitter.

M: An intense bitter tasting that not last forever with in this case is a good thing.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pored in to a pint glass

A - Poured yellow with a slight amber tinge to it. A lot of visible carbonation and half a finger of white head.

S - Slight hoppy bitterness and bready malts. A very slgiht citrus scent exists that is hardly noticeable.

T - Bitter hops with some citrus, which is predominantly orange rind. Some bready malts balance it out. The orange rind flavour is enough to be noticeable without being overwhelming. A nice balance of all the flavours.

M - Light body, medium carbonation.

D - A good ale. I am happy that I tried it but I would not seek it out again.

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Photo of biegaman
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange Peel Ale is clearly without pulp; the beer's clarity, although not perfect, is still its most praiseworthy feature considering that it has no head and virtually no colour apart from the generic, stock golden that describes so many, many bland and featureless beers. Beyond the gimmick, there is nothing setting this beer apart from the mundane.

And that includes its aroma, too. My nose is able to perceive but a hint of orange and it's likely the power of suggestion as much as it is anything else that attributes for it. Even still, it's more of a general fruitiness and it's nowhere near aromatic enough to even worth noting. I've smelt much more citrus in just about any Wit or moderately hopped IPA.

Great Lakes should have put all those pictures of orange slices and orange peels on a milk carton rather than the bottle, the fruit and zest are desperately missing. The drop of honey, although tasted only about as much as it advertised, is probably more noticeable even than the fruit. Even a smack of marmalade would have been nice.

You'd almost wish they used an artificial syrup to flavour the beer. Here's the thing: if I wanted a refreshing, zestful, fruity ale I'd have an IPA or a Witbier; if I were in the mood for a plainer, sessionable drink I'd opt for a much maltier, less lager-like pale ale. Under no circumstances would this ever be a superior choice than the aforementioned.

If you're going to name the beer 'Orange Peel Ale' and wrap the bottle in orange foil and paint it with all kinds of pictures of oranges, it seems dishonest that the beer have virtually no orange flavour to it at all. Moreover, it's only half as refreshing as a glass of actual orange juice (and not even a quarter so most half-decent Witbiers or pale ales).

Before Great Lakes first brewed this beer four years ago, they took suggestions from local beer geeks about what they'd like see on the market - I highly doubt this is what any of them had in mind. For a brewery that seems so anxious to get their feet wet making more progressive beers, why is it they insist on staying in the shallow end?

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
2.81/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hi gloss orange hue with slight haze. Fizzy head settles leaving mottled surface, slow lazy carbonation, lace not bad. It looks like a decent brew. Smell is underwhelming, slight sweetness with a syrupy kind of aroma, I expected more. Ditto on the taste, this comes off as very earthy, a bit metallic, there's an artificial tasting saccharine tartness that's on the heavy side, unpleasant. Body not bad, light to medium, some malt weighing in but the whole thing doesn't jive for this reviewer. I doubt that I would buy this again although I have enjoyed other products from this brewing company.

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Photo of Ralphus
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must say, Great Lakes is starting to rachet things up a little. Their winter ale and pumpkin have been good, the Canuck Pale Ale was really solid and this is a very nice and refreshing summer beer as well.

It pours a clear golden colour with a hint of orange. The head was well presented, slow to descend and left a clump of lacing behind.

The smell is nicely done. A light fragrance of oranges, caramel malts and some earthiness. It's not going to knock your socks off but it's well tuned. The taste is similar. A light lager with a bit of hop bitterness followed through with a touch of orange, metallic like aftertaste. It's remarkably well done for a fruit beer. The balance is perfect.

Mouthfeel is good and the light carbonation combined with the simple but well balanced taste makes this one an easy drinker. I could easily demolish these on a patio all day long.

Nice work GLB.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 670 ml bomber. Nice, foil top, let's give it a whirl. Popping t he top yields a delicious biscuity dry malt smell with hints of banana. Pours to a ever so slightly cloudy orange yellow with a nice almost tan head. Head recedes quickly but clings nicely. Taste hits right away with a nice hop bite that is quickly mellowed by a fresh squeezed orange juice flavor followed by a noble hoppy bitterness. Aftertaste is balanced with a bitter maltiness and still hinting. I was a little wary of this brew expecting too much orange boldness but it is truly an ale more bitter than orange. This is a very drinkable brew. Something new for breakfast?

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Photo of cratez
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle from the York & Ridout LCBO. Part of the Spring 2010 Beer Release. Awesome new label, very eye-catching. Golden amber in colour with a ring of white head and dots of lacing on the pint glass. Smell and taste are fresh blood and navel orange peels, pale, caramel, and wheat malts, lightly spicy and earthy hops, and a semi-sweet dryness (possibly the honey?) in the finish. Medium mouthfeel is somewhat juicy, good carbonation, a little bite mid body, fleeting aftertaste. A refreshing and drinkable fruit beer. Seems like the brewer added more oranges this year, and it makes for a cleaner and more flavourful quaff than previous versions. Great Lakes is doing an excellent job of continually improving their product line while pushing the envelope with Project X. Keep up the impressive work guys.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer appears a hazy medium orangish-amber colour, with one finger of creamy off-white head, which leaves a solid wall of thin lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of orange peel - natch, barley grain, and a bit of orange liqueur. The taste is sweet and bitter orange, and soft white grain. The carbonation is mild, the body on the light side of medium weight, and it finishes off-dry and fruity (guess which variety) - acidic and sweet.

Nothing complicated, to be sure, but quite enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A silk screened bottle wrapped in an orange foil cap. This beer pours deep amber, leading to a decelt frothy white cap, The lacing is steady, and nice looking. The aroma is subtle orange peel, caramel, lemon zest, wheat, some burnt malts. Pretty sweet, yet enjoyable while sitting on my patio in summer heat. Very citric and acidic, some wheat, bread crust, rye bread, suragy koolaid. Pretty refreshing. The hops are here and so are the malts. Finishes bitterly with hops, citrus, and semi sweet from sugary malts.Very good. This is a good effort from this brewer, but from thier scores, it seems Ontario raters are not behind. Shame on you.

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Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
3.47 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
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