1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,270 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,270
Reviews: 470
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.61%
Wants: 56
Gots: 126 | 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:
Beer added by: chilidog on 07-28-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,270 | Reviews: 470 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from pwoods, Cheers Patrick!

Pours amber with a finger of tan head. Some lacing & minimal head retention

S: Cereal notes & not much else

T: Caramel, grainyness & dryness up front, plus some nice pear & apple notes lingering in the back of the throat. Some leafy hops & biscuitty malt as this warms, plus a bit more caramel apple-laced grainyness. Finishes with a semi-yeasty bite & more green apple. .5 Deduction for being a bit off style

MF: Medium bodied, semi-sticky, with moderate carbonation

Drinks very easy, not the best Irish Red I've had, & has some aesthetic issues, but session worthy!

Photo of littleshamrocks
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very clear copper body topped with a respectable creamy off-white head. About average in the carbonation department. Looks a little bit like tea. Left very small traces of lacing.

S: Up front smell of toasted grain to bread-y malt with noticeable floral to herbal hop aroma in the background.

T&M: Medium body with a straightforward flavor similar to the nose. Toasted malt, herbal hops, toffee, caramel, and pepper spiciness come to mind. Carbonation is medium at best and the finish is relatively clean.

D: Solid brew to be sure. I have yet to taste a poor offering from Great Lakes, and this is no exception. I think they hit the nail on the head by calling this a "meat and potatoes'" kind of beer on the label. It's a no frills, solid, good tasting beer. Recommend.

Photo of Rennpferd
4.36/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It was poured clear with a deep red hue. It had a nice one finger head that held during the entire sitting.

It had a lite scent, malt was present.

It had a nice clean malt taste that was accompanied by a slightly bitter hop taste. It was medium bodied with a clean finish.

It was a great beer. Excellent for a session.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sasa in Cleveland. Poured into a shaker pint glass (in Shaker Square, no less!).

A--Poured up a little more red than amber, nice ruby colored body with a fizzy thin half finger head that bubbled and gurgled itself down the drain pretty quickly, with no rings or lacing in its wake.

S--Subdued, even for the style. A little bit of sweetish toffee and some whole wheat crust, but not much. The nose suggested this might not have been the freshest keg in the world.

T--Taste was better, and bloomed into a bigger malt profile with a sharp and instant bittering finish. Glint of oily hoppiness that's unexpected but welcome. Mostly more crackery wholegrains and breadcrust in there, and while the finish isn't quite as clean as Victory's Seamus, it's certainly in line with the style.

M&D--The mouthfeel they pretty much nail, as it's creamy and full and an all around foamy good time. Not what I expected given the head, but made my mouth happy for sure. Drinkability is decent--had a couple pints, one before dinner and one during, and it stuck out to me as a beer you could either belly up to or pair food with pretty easily.

Not the best Irish red I've had, but far from the worst. Hits all the right notes without challenging the taste buds, but without surprising them either. One of those brews (and styles) you wouldn't be ashamed to stick with when you're sick of throwing down big beers. My biggest complaint is that there could be a bit more punch in the flavor given the abv, or could lower the abv the bit while keeping the current profile.

Photo of bamadog
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is really a solid beer that's got all the potential in the world for me to be a session beer. I had a brief sip of this once about a month ago and I thought it was very interesting, so I was happy to try a full serving on my own. Like with the other Great Lakes beers I've tried, I'm pleased... Poured from the bottle into a trusty pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a nice deep copper color with a core of amber; moderate carbonation coming up in even lines; started with a nice 1/2 finger head that turned quickly into an inconsistent skim, as well as the ring at the top; left a slightly oily/foamy lacing along the sides of the glass on the swirl, but as it was drank down it left the sides clean.

Smell: Sweet, mildly carmelly maltiness comes across the nose, followed by a pretty strong yeasty/bready/biscuity smell; ever so slight hints of alcohol are way in the back of the nose. I'm loving the bready nature of this, and this the first beer I've had where this feature is this strong, so it's sticking out nicely in my mind and in my nose.

Taste: Malts and bread right up front; does have a mild and subdued hoppiness to it that leaves a nice, slightly bitter aftertaste in the mouth, but largely the filling bread taste is dominant. While this is the dominant flavor and what I'm focusing on, overall this is a pretty mild beer in the grand scheme of things, so it's actually pretty refreshing. It's not an overwhelming beer at all and I feel it's very easy to drink (more on this in the drinkability portion). This would be a great pairing with many kinds of food, but for some reason I was thinking that grilled foods would be good with it.

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated, feels lively in the mouth and a little prickly on the palate. Light and crisp, very refreshing and not heavy at all.

Drinkability: As mentioned in the taste portion above, I found this beer to be very drinkable and easy going. Not challenging at all but very tasty and fulfilling. To me, this one comes across as a little more unique because of bready-like quality (I know, I keep coming back to that), but I really find that to be most pleasing. I give this a higher drinkability because it is indeed easy to get down, but also the ABV is pretty do-able.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Chimay Goblet

A - A red/copper color that looks incredible is sadly overshadowed by the disappointment with the off-white, sudsy head that lingered for mere moments before disappearing into a small ring.

S - The nose is bursting with malty sweet and creamy smelling aromas with caramel hints.

T - Very malty across the palate with a touch of sweetness and a caramel hint. Finished off dry.

M - A creamyness flows across the palate only to be followed by a dry finish. The dry finish, however isn't as prevalent as a normal red leaving the creamyness to distinguish it.

D - For an Irish Red it's certainly creamier and maltier than the standard Red which definitely gives it a leg up in the drinkability catagory.

The Conway's Irish Ale has a good aroma and flavor profile to it with out commanding your attention. I really enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone.

Photo of ROBORB
3.37/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Mike B., thanks man!

Beer pours a reddish/brown hue with a short lasting head. I picked up lots of malts and toffee/carmel in the aroma. The finish improves as the beer warms as the carbonation is a little to prickly at first. Not a bad beer but nothing extraordinary.

Photo of twaddlac
3.26/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear reddish orange with a little head dissapating into a light lace. smells of faint honey with a mild hop note. Taste is slight hoppiness with a honey like aftertaste and a bit of sweet grass. drinkability is good but not what I was expecting.

Photo of dmamiano
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a beautiful reddish copper with virtually no head but lacing hangs to the glass.
initial hit on the nose is a slight sourness, musty with hints of malt following a bit of sweetness.
taste is rather bland. a mild mix of sweet malts, souring vegetables? and a little hop bite at the end for bitterness.
Not of of Great lakes best.

Photo of penguinjive7
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with about a finger of head.

Smell is mostly sweat malt with a hint of a floral aroma.

Taste is very sweat with a bit of tree bark. There is a tiny bit of floral/pine sap flavored hops that immediately fades to a sweat finish.

The carbonation is done very tastefully and the brew goes down smoothly.

This brew has a very earthy character which lends itself nicely to the Irish style.

Photo of endincolorado
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Clear red-amber with thick foamy cream-colored head.

Smell- Bready malt- light hop aroma to balance.

Taste- Rich bread malt, fairly sweet, toasty caramel- light hop-bitter finish to balance.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, fairly creamy- helped by good carbonation.

Drinkability- High. This is one of my favorite session beers for this time of year.

Photo of RickKrumenacker
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- crisp, clear amber in color...two-finger, light-tan fluffy head...leaves a thin cap across the top

S- cedar chips and tobacco...very pleasant

T- I don't know if I've ever hand anything with these flavors before...smokey earthiness...tobacco really comes through like a good cigar...floral hop notes afer I swallow

M- clean and smooth...medium bodied

D- more punch than the standard Irish Red but still easy to drink

Photo of LeftyBWS
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams specialty pint glass.
A: Bright orangey brew with reddish tones. Full two inches of thick frothy white head after a particular vigorous pour.
S: Sweet caramel malts and piney/oily hops. Good balance.
T: Subtly sugary at first, leading into a little hop nip but still mostly sweet. Finish is mostly malty and sweet, too. Occasional taste of breadiness, yeast, and wheat, but the sugars (and to a lesser extent, some oily hops) tend to dominate.
M: Fine, malty and somewhat hoppy, with a bit of alcohol in the finish.
D: Actually pretty good, considering the 6.5% ABV.

Photo of robbtjones68
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Here is one of those cases where the beer from the tap is Sooo much better than out of the bottle. I will review the tap version and give Great Lakes the benefit of the doubt. I had one several years ago from the bottle and was not impressed; even disappointed since I have been a huge GLB fan since the late 90's. Have made several trips to the brewery Mecca over the years. My last trip, my buddy advised that I try it as a draft. I did and it was like a different brew. It came to life with punch and aroma. It delivered on a brilliant Irish Red which can be drank endlessly when done right. Bartender, pour me another! This one's on Eliot Ness....

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew in a trade with drgonzo3705, Thanks Paul!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear amber color with a fluffy beige head that left good lacing.

S - toasted malt aroma with a hint of earthiness.

T - rich malty flavored brew with a light hoppy bite right before a sweet finish.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - it would be easy to drink a few of these.

Photo of Pauly2X
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Solid clear amber with a half finger head.

S- Rich malty aroma with roasty/toasty notes.

T- Full caramel malty flavor that increases in complexity as you go to include some toasty notes along with a light hint of roasted malt. Toward the end there's a very light floral hop note right before the smooth sweet finish.

M- Medium boby with a nice light level of carbonation.

D- These are going down great.

Sometimes Red's can get boring but this is very full flavored while maintaining the approachability that reds are known for.

Photo of turnblom79
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoy most Irish ales, but was a little disappointed in this one. I had just sampled Michelob Irish Red, and felt that this one tasted a little watered down. The smell and appearance were great, but was thinner than I expected when drinking. Great Lakes has so many great products, it was a shame that this one fell a little short.

Photo of n811
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my new Sam Adams sensory pint glass (thanks to James)!

Deep copper color with a nice fluffy head, crystal clear. Smell was nice malty sweetness, promising for the style.

Taste was nice and smooth, but less sweet than the smell indicated. Malty graininess, a bit of alcohol, a bit of hop bitterness - the balance is very good. The aftertaste is relatively short with a dryness coming through. Ready for my next sip!

I love Great Lakes beers, and this was no exception. Maybe it's the yeast strain they use, but many of their beers share taste characteristics - I've tasted many of the same notes in their Oktoberfest and Christmas ales.

Photo of ABOWMan
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice burnt copper color ale withr perfect clarity. Head is a fluffy modest one finger of off white foam.

Amoma is caramel and malt.

Flavor is slightly roasted malty sweet with brown sugar notes. Very full mouthfeel almoswt more like a creamn ale.

Goes down easy and will rate high drinkability wise.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice copper color, very clear with a thin white head that did not stay for long.

A nice toasty aroma, almost a charred wood note with some sweet malt and earthy grain as well. There is something slightly vegetable like in the aroma as well. I cannot place it exactly, it is not unpleasant but it is definitely vegetable.

The taste has the same thing, again not bad just different and I need to identify the actual plant still. Some good sweet malt and even a little hop spice involved here. Dries out in the end and turns slightly sour with alcohol sneaking in as well.

This is a hearty ale, very different from a lot of Irish reds I've had, but good in it's own right.

Photo of JamesS
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice mid-copper color with good initial head, although it rapidly fades and there is no lacing; a fair bit of carbonation, as well. Nice scent, deep almost like a brown ale, with just a hint of sour to it. Good taste, a bit of Irish red sour, but with noticable hop tones and a deeper, thick malt flavor. Goes down quite well, if a tad over carbonated. Nice Irish-style red ale.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of seanpachefddfa - thanks! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a filtered orange red body, full of active, fine-bubbled carbonation, streams and streams of which swim up the curvature of the snifter towards the huge, fluffy, near-permanent, slightly offwhite head. The stick on this one's great, big and clumpy, cloud-like, and the head leaves sticky swaths and curtains of lacing as it's forced to recede (as a result of the level of the beer lowering). Just a really attractive beer.

Aroma: Very fruity, and heavily reminiscent of pineapple. Canned, and slightly faded pineapple. What is coming across as the corn syrup in a can of pineapple is the lightly roasted malt backbone, and faint nuttiness brings up the rear. Interesting, though a little odd.

Taste: Make that very odd. Incredibly fruity, slightly nutty, faintly spicy, and lightly roasted about sums this one up. It's an odd combination, to be sure. Hints of cherries, citrus, and pineapple - perhaps imparted by hop additions, perhaps the result of a high fermentation temperature or other yeast-manipulation technique - meld with light nutmeg and hints of walnut, all over a bed of somewhat neutral and subtle but definitively roasted, caramelized malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied to perhaps a little thin and reasonably well-carbonated, making for a somewhat even but nonetheless relatively full body.

Drinkability: This one was very odd, very heavy on the fruits, moderate on most everything else. It wasn't unpleasant, but I can't say it was stylistically too accurate! The 6.5% is also pretty up there for the style. I'd have it at a party, but I dunno if I'd seek it out in the future.

Photo of schoolboy
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I first tasted Conways several years ago I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Since then, every winter these become available and quickly disappear from Northeast Ohio retailers' shelves.

It's a special brew, with a smooth, drinkable character. I hope to drink these until I go to my grave. The color and clarity are second to none.

I think I should go out tomorrow and try to find some more before they are gone.

Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice dark reddish brown with a nice off white head that lingers for several minutes...

Sweet deep malty aroma... Almost a little fruity in nature...

Deliciously sweet and malty... Very thick and rich and filling... The fruit is present in the taste as well...
I could drink a few of these but they are so filling I'm not sure I could session them...

Photo of sliverX
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poored a nice transparent copper color very little beige head that dissipated down to nothing but a ring around the glass
Smell is sweet caramel malts, some biscuit notes along with some toast notes
taste is perfect Irish red, big malts no hop presence just nice caramel maltiness
mouthfeel is light with decent carbonation, a string or 2 of bubbles constantly streaming towards freedom
drinkability is very high a good beer to session with

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,270 ratings.