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Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: Ohio
  • Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
  • Malts: Harrington 2-Row Base, Crystal 45, Crystal 77, Biscuit
  • Hops: Northern Brewer, Cascade
  • ABV: 6.0%
  • IBUs: 45
  • Tasting Notes: citrusy, piney
  • Preferred Glass: Pint
  • Food Pairing: Smoky red meats and aromatic cheeses like Stilton and blue
  • PHM Grade: A-

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale

Written by

Michael: I’m not much of an environmentalist. I’m not saying that the glass bottle I just emptied isn’t going in the recycling bin. I’m not saying I throw candy bar wrappers out my car window or burn tires in my backyard. I’m just saying I’m not very, well, fanatical. However, if the Fox River spontaneously combusted one day, due to an overwhelming level of pollutants being daily strewn about, I might change my tune.

Burning River got its origins from just such a story. But no worries, this tasty brew is a far cry from river water. If you’re seeking a refresher, this one has hit on all the right points. Its color is rich, but not dark, an orange on the verge of tan in places. The head is frothy, but not sticky, puffing for a minute or two and then easing its way down into the glass. The hops are primarily grapefruit, simple, clean and clear. Carbonation is great, leaving a perfect balance of spark and smooth. It tastes much the same as it smells, but a caramel layer sneaks its way in and ends more bitter than it begins.

As a reward for a couple hours of lawn care, this was the perfect opening act for a relaxing afternoon. Grade: A-

John: This is my second favorite pale ale. But second is great considering pale ales are my favorite beer. This beer pours beautifully. It is inviting from the get go. Pristine in its clarity, gorgeous red in color, inspiring in carbonation and a strong foamy head. I’m talking myself into this being #1. But not quite. The fragrance is slight but hoppy. Beside the hops you have a backbone of yeast, florals and pine. The malts are slight enough so as to not overshadow the hops but strong enough to give substance and content to the beer. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy so much so it’s nice told swish it around. At some point make sure to stop to enjoy the sweet caramel before the wonderfully bitter finish. Not my #1 but wouldn’t hesitate to spend a day on the Burning River. Grade: A

ABV: 6%

Overall Grade: A-

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
  1. Kinda sad that the polutants have to get so bad that they spontaniously catch on fire before we’ll actually do something about it.

    But, yeah Burning River is one of my favorites!

    Dave — May 3rd, 2010, 5:32 PM
  2. Big fan of this beer. Especially on tap.

    Matt — May 4th, 2010, 4:04 PM
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