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Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Conway's Irish AleGreat Lakes Conway's Irish Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,167 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,167
Reviews: 449
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 51
Gots: 72 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: chilidog on 07-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,167 | Reviews: 449 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brew33
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I make it no secret that Great Lakes is my favorite brewery. I like ALL their beers... except maybe this one....

It isn't bad, but it isn't very good either. Bland as can be. Looks like a red, smells like some malt, tastes slightly malty but no real depth of flavor. Wow.... I was very disappointed to taste this from my favorite brewery.

Oh well, I'll just keep drinking the rest of their excellent collection.

Brew33, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of BDIMike
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice red color. There is a nice amount of carbonation that creates a thick white head that stays nicely throughout the drink.
There is not a ton to the smell of the beer, but that is normal for the style. There are some good toffee and caramel malt smells, though.
Taste is really a nice taste of some great malts of toffee and caramel. There is a good hop bit as well.
Great mouthfeel to this Irish red. There is a very nice thickness paired with a nice smoothness as well. Great smooth feel.
Drinkability is awesome on this irish red. This beer is a nicely balanced selection that has some really great tastes to it, but nothing so strong that you can get sick of it. One of the better Irish reds I have ever had, but a nice session beer to drink all day...the way the Irish intended.

BDIMike, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of DoctorDog
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a nonic. "For freshest taste, please enjoy by: 04/06/09" stamped on the side of the label.

A- Amber/copper and clear. Pours with ~2 fingers of light tan head, which fade slowly, to a thin, complete cap.

S- Malty, bread notes. Not a lot going on here.

T- Moderately sweet malt flavors with bread like notes. Slightly earthy, roasted bitterness on the finish.

M- Moderate carbonation, fairly smooth.

D- Decent.

Future outlook: This beer just didn't quite come together for me. A rare miss for Great Lakes, though still not something that I would say was "bad" or push away if offered. I won't seek this out again, but could accept it as part of a variety mix-pack.

DoctorDog, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Red Ale is a clear amber ale with a fading white head. It has a slightly sweet aroma that's a little resiny. It is medium bodied, smooth, bubbly, and the finish is clean. It is simple and balanced, with notes of resin, smoke and peat. It has a good bitterness and a touch of sweetness. Not bad.

yesyouam, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of Getinthevan
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

From first appearance, its a strong amber red/almost rusty colored red with a fair if not small amount of lacing. Not many bubble are surfacing, but nonetheless the color is striking.

The smell is faint in roasted hops. Overall this brew has a very roasted smell to it as it seems perfect to go with steaks, ribs and anything cooked on the grill. There's a small hint of other hops in there somewhere as well. Definitely carries its own.

Taste is good. From the first sip entering to the end of the mouthful, this is a genuine tasting beer. A bit sweeter than a typical Irish ale, it nonetheless comes through satisfying and refreshes the tastebuds. Definitely a good Midwestern craft brew.

Mouthfeel was a bit average on flavor retaining. After it lingered in the mouth for a bit, it began losing its flavor fast. Not bad, but it could be better.

On the plus side, this is a drinkable brew. A few of these to sip on with definitely clear your mind and make you relaxed in no time. Definitely worth a purchase!

Getinthevan, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of midnite2sixman
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange/amber color ok size head. Not much lacing, may be the glass.

Bread, rye, touch of hops, and a dash of sweet. Perhaps the malts, maybe not.

Savory, not too sweet, levels off. Not huge hops or rye, but a subtle finish. Not a typical irish red.

Fairly balanced. Hits up front but levels off fast.

Give it a try. Easy going, good taste, smooth and delicious.

midnite2sixman, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of adamette
2.55/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap last night at Winking Lizard into a clear pint glass. Review from notes taken while enjoying the beer.

A Great Irish Ale presence with 1 cm head and a nice light brown tranlucent body.

S Almost no smell whatsoever. I have to fight to get some barley maybe. I am not impressed with the smell which is really difficult to detect.

T Thin, some barley, malt but really kind of forgettable. This really reminded me of a lager with a bit more barley. It is not a complete departure from its style but I remain not very impressed at all.

M Moderate with minimal malt, barley. Thin physicially, somewhat watery. Appropriate to the style but not much more here.

D Fair since it is just kind of forgettable. Style suggests that it should be even higher drinkability wise.

Notes: Not Great Lakes best offering and maybe one of their weakest.

adamette, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of Jae27
4.85/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Pitcher to frosted mug.

A - Pours a wonderful copper color with a good inch of off-white/tan hearty head that stays through the end of the glass. Lacing is on the higher end of the Great Lakes line about average.

S - More complex than most of the style. Notes of baked apple, toasted nut and molassas. The first glass was masked by the cold temperature but by the second the warmth really brought out the natural aromas that make this beer special.

T - The most distinguishable flavor is toasted malts with sweet notes of caramel and hickory. The hops are very well balanced and do not dominate at any point. It finishes with a fruity grapefruit and apple. All elements are balanced throughout which yield a flawless taste.

M - Slightly on the dry end, the finish is exceptional. This beer does not ware your palate out in the slightest which makes it the perfect compliment to food.

D - This is the easiest drinking beer GLBC has to offer. Easily got through the pitcher with a buddy. I could drink this beer all day.

This is my favorite beer from GLBC. It is a seasonal beer but I wish it wasn't. I reviewed it from draft but it is just as good out of the bottle. The only complaint I had was that it was served too cold. The twelve pack box is a wonderful buy. Do not hesitate to pick some up!

Jae27, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.75/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a Great Lakes pint glass.

This is a beautiful beer, very pure red in color and a small frothy head.

Overpowering aroma of sweet malt. Smells like butterscotch.

Not nearly as sweet as it smells, but just right. Good and malty with just enough hops for a good bite of a finish.

Goes down smooth and easy. Great Lakes never lets me down.

GoodKnight1220, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of UDbeernut
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap Poured into standard pint glass

A: clear ruby red color, plenty of carbonation. Decent head with good retention and stiky lacing

S: sweet aroma most likey from carmelized malt

T: sweet taste, carmel malt slight hop bitterness balances

M&d: Medium bodied, nice buttery mouthfeel very drinkable beer.

Another great selection from GLBC


UDbeernut, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of hooliganlife
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle. pours deep copper with light head. smell is very malty. the taste is huge malts with little hop presence really. I kind of get a wet hop flavor? which I found odd. the mouthfeel is pretty perfect, nice light carbonation. this is pretty decent but after maybe a few i would be looking for something new.

hooliganlife, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of Avagadro
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 1-16-2009

Enjoy By: 3-19-2009
6.5% ABV

A: Light copper in color with a frothy head. There is a small amount of carbonation visible, and the beer is crystal clear.

S: Bouquet is active, grabbing the drinker's attention immediately. Caramel, toast, and clove come together to create a great aroma.

T: Flavor is dominated by malt. Sweet barley takes the lead, with a great toasty/roasty flavor to back it up.

M: Medium to full in body. Carbonation is lightly active on the tongue.

D: Another great brew from GLBC. This is an excellent example the the Irish Red style.

Avagadro, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a wonderful looking tawny ruby brown, soft ropes of carbonation do their best to hold up this well worn looking head which subsides rather quickly into a soapy lace.

The aroma is a true accomplishment in brewing, a wonderful aroma coming from any beer and simply heaven for the style. Initially the aroma is slightly citrusy with notes of grapefruit being the easiest to distinguish then moves/melts into a remarkable malty essence. I knew I've smelled this before and I've finally put my finger on it, this beer smells like a piece of fresh toasted bread spread with a thin layer strawberry preserves, not even Southern Tier could top this with their next creation. I could smell this every day, all day, they should pipe this aroma into anywhere such things can be piped to.

Soft carbonation makes me contemplate the flavor of this beer. Not as quite straightforward as the aroma but close. There is a slightly sweet hop fruitiness in this beer that is easily balanced with remarkably fresh cereal grains. I could go on about this beer but then I wouldn't be drinking it any longer. It has pretty much everything I like in a beer, hops that are not overly done, malts that are not overly sweet, a nice dryness that makes me yearn for another sip and a mouthfeel that reminds me more of a cask ale than a bottle of soda. Go out and get this stuff while it's fresh.

bluemoonswoon, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of UA8
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a crystal clear amber color with a tall yest somewhat thin off white head.

S- Slight notes of citrus and grassy hops with a biscuity malts.

T- Kinda light on flavor starts with light biscuit malts, mid palate has a hint a citrus and herbal hops, finishes sweet and yeasty.

M- Nice and refreshing with a lively, moderate carbonation.

D- Ive had this beer twice and have to say that the first time it made a stronger impression than it did this time. However with that said it really comes off as more a of a lighter ale than an Irish red. Its refreshing and the flavors are nice but could stand to be slightly more pronounced.

UA8, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of kels
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the first beers that got me interested in drinking craft beer. I wasn't reviewing back then, so I was excited when it came back out this week so I could get to it. This is from a bottle poured into my Great Lakes pint - how fitting!

Appearance: Pours a lovely golden brown with red highlights. Very clear with good carbonation running throughout and a 2 finger white fluffy head that quickly fades to a half inch skim and leaves behind good, sticky lacing.

Smell: Deliciously sweet and subtle malty smell with a bright, crisp hop presence. Very lightly detectable, as with most Great Lakes beers I've had.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The taste is a balanced and flavorful blend of crunchy, bready malts, and bright, crisp hops. A subtle sweetness comes from the toasted grains, and a very clean feeling comes from the medium-bodied, mildly carbonated mouthfeel. The only thing I'd like is a little higher CO2.

Drinkability: So high, and even better with food.

Just as good as I remembered. I'd love to try it on tap.

kels, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of Freshie
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at their Main location in downtown Cleveland. 1/3/09

ABV and IBU of 25 listed on tap menu, with description.

A- Amber, and clear, with slight white head. Missing that tint of red.

S- Semi-sweet malt aroma. Light barley and toasted malt. nothing special really. Probably due to the cold serving temperature. Aroma did not come through as with their other beers.

T- Light sweet malt. some light floral hops.

M- Very watery, with some carbonation.

D- If anything, it did go down smooth.

Not much to this one. A very light Irish ale. Very average too below average. I don't think this batch was up to snuff.

Freshie, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of treyrab
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad I finally found this one. Great Lakes is by far one of my favorite breweries. Poured into a pint glass...

A: Hazy deep copper red with a small head. This one does not lace, though it is so sweet and lacking hops I was not expecting it to.

S: The smell is pure sweet caramel and munich malts. Smells like a sweet caramel apple with some sugar on top, fantastic.

T: The taste is very, very sweet with caramel. Extremely malty, which I was expecting. But other than sweet caramel and munich malts, there is not much hops.

Great Lakes never disappoints, and this is no exception. A great example of the style!

treyrab, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of kinger
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Seasonal Irish Amber from Great Lakes, named after their grandfather an honor for sure. Faintly sweet malty aroma not much else aside from a very low key hop nose. Twinkling amber pour sizable head that soon becomes a thin film leaving mild lacing. Crisp with an easy finish this has a real good medium bodied fullness to it. Flavor is more intense than the aroma, lots of sweet malts caramel and a touch of honey. Low key hop presence nice change from this brewer. Overall one of Great Lakes' more simple beers but it's a nice choice for it's respective style.

kinger, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a DFH off-centered pint glass.

Pours a fiery, copper-orange body; excellent clarity beneath a thin, decently-retained khaki head that eventually recedes to a wisp of bubbles. The nose picks up fruity notes of grape juice, pear, and green apple, alongside sweet caramel malts and a light biscuity note. Very good so far.

Very enjoyable taste: peppery hops with a hint of citrus, perfectly balanced by amber malts and breaded notes. A kiss of alcohol and hops leaves a complex and intriguing finish. Body is perfectly carbonated with a medium thickness--everything an Irish Red should feel like. All in all, Great Lakes delivers once again...a stand-out beer.

wagenvolks, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of beveritt
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass. The label shows a turn of the century policeman in front of a church or chapel and explains that this is Patrick Conway, the owners grandfather. I loe the info Great Lakes puts on their beers, ABV, recommended serving temperature, and a best buy date.

Appearance: Pours with just over one finger of almost white foam. This settles into about half a finger of head that sticks around for the rest of the glass. The beer itself is a honey orange, with a slight reddish hue. Beer is absolutely clear.

Smell: A little fruity upfront, with hints of orange and other citrus. Very slight metallic tang. The barest aroma of sweet malt and hops in the finish.

Taste: Just a hint of citrus upfront, followed by solid malt backbone. Subtle sweetness blends well with some breadiness. Finishes with mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is average. Body is very good!

Drinkibability: Another solid offering from Great Lakes. Easy drinking yet flavorful.

beveritt, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of johanvond
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the Archives

This offering form Great Lakes pours amber-red with a tall white head. There was a sent of toasted malts and seeds. The malt profile is of slight carmel, roasted nuts and toffie. There is not too much for the hops because the malt is so dominent. There is a nice malty body with a reasonable amount of carbonation. The aftertaste has too much bitter coffie flavors.

johanvond, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of mhewes
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A : Pours a good copper color with a nice head that leaves a little bit of lacing behind

S : Not too strong in the smell but there's some bready aroma along with some nutty smells. Not picking up any hops

T : Mainly toasted malts with a little bit of hop bitterness on the finish. Not too much going on.

M : Smooth with good carbonation

D : Not bad. It's a fairly simple beer that is easy to drink but I'm not sure how often I would pick it up in the future.

mhewes, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice rich deep copper color. A light tan colored head that leaves a light lacing.

S- Not a whole lot going on here. Lit hops and small amount of caramel. Overall pretty light.

T- A very nice balance between hops and malt. Also has a nice bready taste.

M- A nice feel to this one maybe a little dry in the finish.

D- A great brew and excellent example for the style. Very drinkable.

nrbw23, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of PorterLover83
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a orangish coppery hue that leaves a slight head. First smell is sweet flowery hops and very slight malt coming through. Malt hits first with a kind of a toasted creamy hop, afterwards. Its not a sick creamy though, just the texture. This one has a medium mouthfeel and an overall good drinkability. I'm usually not an over the top hops guy but this is a good balance. Definately recommend.

PorterLover83, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of sleazo
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a light brown with a one finger cream head. This dissipates after a few minutes to a luzurious looking cap which coats the sides of the glass with lace.

S_Sweet biscuity malt domiates the smell without venturing into caramel territory. Hint of sourness.

T_A bit richer than a pale, the roasted character comes through in the initial taste. Backing that is a milder biscuit malt and minor grassy hoppage. Starts out sweet finishes slightly dry with a bit of acidity.

M_Rich, creamy mouthfeel with a mild carbonation.

D_A nice combonation of malts and a very drinkable ale overall. Another winner from Great Lakes. Thanks to pimppfor the chance to try this.

sleazo, Apr 01, 2008
Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,167 ratings.