Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

473 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 473
Hads: 1,377
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 19.69%
Wants: 66
Gots: 208 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 473 | Hads: 1,377
Photo of allengarvin
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: This is a light walnut-colored beer. The pour developed a significant head, fading after a minute to a solid half-inch.
S: Bready, with a lot of caramel.
T: Good malt, with crusty, toasted bread notes and light caramel. Bitterness keeps the sweetness at bay, and adds some earthy hop flavor. Finish is relatively dry.
M: Neutral texture, medium carbonation.

Well-crafted. In fact, nearly every beer in GL's lineup has been good. I'd never had them before last week.

 471 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Smooth easy drinker from Great Lakes. Pours a brilliant copper color with a very thin white head and light lacing. Nose of caramel malts. Taste is up front light brown sugar and caramel with a crisp clean aftertaste that satisfies. Light carbonated mouthfeel makes it an excellent session beer and a good beginner brew for the new beer nut palate. It is worth noting that this beer varies a bit year to year, just like many Great Lakes brews. Some times more malty, sometimes thinner, but all in all highly quaffable.

 517 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours orange red with a small white head that dissipates but leaves a tad of lacing. Smells of lightly roasted barley with a little but ad fruit, grape jumping out the most. Tastes of medium roasted malt with a bit of creaminess. Beer is light-medium bodied with good carbonation and nice finish. Overall a pretty good beer.

 378 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep copper, like a shiny penny. Totally clear. Robust carbonation; 1/4" beige head with a ring of lacing that lingers, some sticks on the side of the glass as it goes down.

Aroma: Malty, roasty, sweet, slight floral/fragrant note.

Taste: Semi-sweet arrival, dry across mid-palate, clean, bitter end. Leaves the impression of more sweetness on mid-palate than is actually there. Really distinctive malt profile lingers.

Mouthfeel: Hefty, bordering on slick, viscous.

Overall: I don't know the style well, but the BJCP guidelines overall description fits this to a tee. "An easy-drinking pint. Malt-focused with an initial sweetness and a roasted dryness in the finish." I swear I did not read that until AFTER I rated it.

 738 characters

Photo of 57md
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a reddish-copper color with a thin layer of head. The nose is lightly malty. The flavor profile is clean and relatively light with a focus on malty sweetness. The finish is semi-dry and very pleasant. This is a very sessionable red ale.

 250 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with enjoy by date of 03/25/2014, which happens to be today, so I am just in time! Another new beer to me from Great Lakes Brewing Co., acquired as part of a mixed six pack at the local beer store.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a nice coppery amber colored body with one finger of fluffy off-white head. Thins to a nice ring with some good scattered lacing. Some decent clarity. Looks pretty good.

S - Smell is pretty minimal, but pleasant. Roasted malty nuttiness, and some underlying hints of indistinct hoppy fruitiness.

T - Taste follows the nose - smooth crisp malt body. Roasty and nutty. Light yeast character is detectable. Subtle hop resins. Malt forward and lovely.

M - Crisp and smooth. Excellent drinkability. Light-bodied with perfect carbonation.

Overall, a simple but excellent and tasty beer. Most everything I've had from Great Lakes has been delicious, and this one is no exception. I would definitely have it again.

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale ---4/5.

 1,012 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours amber with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of caramel malt, citrus hops and some fruit. Body is full and crisp. Earthy hops, caramel malt and tropical fruit fill the mouth.. Finish is long and semi-dry. Well made brew.

 277 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

fairly clear and light brown in color, sort of red-tinged.... scant head or retention, minimal lace

somewhat bold toasted graham cracker malt aroma and flavor... a bit more toasty than I expected or is traditional.... some mellow sweetness in there

vague pear esters (or hop flavor?), mildly minerally.... actually, there is a fair bit of hop flavor and bitterness, but more so on the perimeters, in the near background

clean light-medium body with a slight tannic bite

all in all, it's a fine drinking beer... had the one - would've gone well with some buttery, flaky crust sort of food (pot pie?) if I'd had it.... when I was offered another one on the house, I gladly said yes.... it doesn't blow you away, but I would certainly pick up a sixer of this

 760 characters

Photo of StoneTSR
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Deep mahogany and perfectly translucent. A thin head on top, about a quarter-inch thick pops up and quickly fades into a few wisps. Lacing is minimal.

SMELL: Very, very bready without much else going on in the nose.

TASTE: A big dose of sweet caramel malt is the most distinctive flavor, but by no means the only one. A nice mild spice keeps things interesting while a drying, bready finish provides some balance.

MOUTHFEEL: Very sweet to start, but dries throughout the sip. I expected this to be a much thinner beer, but it is medium bodied leaning towards the bigger side. It's really nice to have an Irish Red with some substance.

OVERALL: Slightly sweeter than I prefer, but without that sweetness the body would not have been as solid, so I'm good with it. Great Lakes still does not suck in my book! Great to try a new (to me) seasonal from them, I'm thrilled that the woman was able to bring some back from the brewery for me.

 950 characters

Photo of dahlen22
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Aroma: Bread, malt, and caramel.

Taste: Smooth is the word. Medium body with notes of bread, caramel, and a hint of hops in the end.

Overall: Extremely drinkable even at 6.5%. Not the normal Irish ale for sure. Almost has a New Belgium Fat Tire appeal in the smoothness and drinkability department. Have already went through 3 six packs, and I got another as this will be gone soon. Cheers!

 393 characters

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before 4/7/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cal that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, pear, apple, raisin, floral, herbal, pepper, light nuttiness, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt, hop, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, raisin, pear, floral, herbal, light pepper, light nuttiness, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, raisin, pear, floral, herbal, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of bready malt, yeast ester, and light-moderate hop flavors; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Irish red ale. All around good balance and robustness of bready malt, yeast ester, and light-moderate hop flavors; and extremely smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,409 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours much more amber than the "ruby red" that is described on the label. A thin, wispy head leaves a little lacing.

The smell is of caramel with very light toast and a touch of earthy hops.

The taste is of caramel, light toast with a bitter-ish finish. A bit of alcohol shows.

It has a malty smoothness to it and reaches medium-bodied.

An interesting, enjoyable American interpretation of an "Irish Red" - a bit hoppy and more alcoholic than traditional but it works for a different slant on the style.

 507 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Crystal clear amber with 1-2 fingers of bone-white head. Good retention with low carbonation.

Nose
Lightly toasted bready malts, caramel, honey, and brown sugar.

Taste
Caramel, lightly toasted bread, and biscuity malts. Honeysuckle and brown sugar. Perhaps just the slightest touch of an earthy hop aroma.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, smooth, and sweet.

Overall
Bread, biscuit, honey, and caramel. Sweet and malty.

 466 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a clear amber orange color with a 1" head that slowly falls. Spotty lace develops.

Smell: light fruity aroma is all you can detect.

Taste: caramel, bread, ripe fruit sweetness, some hints of toasted nuts, and a moderate bitterness nicely balances the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp from start to finish. Aftertaste is brief and short-lived.

Overall: a very quaffable ale that is refreshing and hits the spot.

 455 characters

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into DFH footed pint glass; clear amber with a two-finger white head that falls after a bit into a cap/ring of foam.
Smell is toasted malt, some crackery sweetness.
Taste is simple and follows smell...toasted crackery malt, slight herbal hops in the end to give a slight crispness to the finish.
Mouthfeel is thin and slick, clean.
Overall, a tasty Irish Red. I can't remember what others of this style I've had, but this is a good beer.

 448 characters

Photo of Ohiolager
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this is a great lakes brew i have never had before. so i had to try it!

Conway's Irish ale.$8.99 6pk bottles.(OH)

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

freshest taste date clearly marked.

poured a nice amber color. with a 1.5 finger head that rather quickly left a decent ring of lacing around the glass.carbonated just right, nice amount of bubbles from the glass etching.pouring it i did notice it was not as thick as some other GLBC brews.

it has a beautiful fruity, yet toasted malt smell. at first appearance it doesn't smell like a 6.5 abv brew.

the flavor is very smooth and inviting. you can taste the toasty and fruitiness that cant hide.medium bodied beer with a great toasty flavor and a slight warmth on the finish, and aftertaste.

the mouth-feel is as i thought, not watery but not as heavy as some other of their brews. the smooth coppery feel kind of reminds me of their Christmas ale.

overall a great beer by any means. however i did not enjoy it as much as other great lakes brews. that could be because GL couldn't make a bad beer if they tried.

 1,071 characters

Photo of barczar
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant amber with a frothy tan head that lingers as a thin layer of foam.

Aroma is floral hops, light fruity specialty malt character, with a toasted malt base.

Flavor follows suit, with underpinnings of fruity malt character turning dry and bready mid palate, finishing with just a hint of bitterness. That malt fruitiness dominates.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with light alcohol warmth at the finish.

I'm not a huge malt fruitiness fan, but this at least has a nice malt backbone for support.

 517 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Conway

Best by 3/21/14. Poured 2/16/14.

Appearance: Poured aggressively, but no head really to speak of. Perfectly clear copper color. No lacing to be seen. Looks decent. (3.5/5)

Smell: One of those brews I don't have a chance of accurately describing. It just smells like beer. No specific fruit, no significant, out-of-place hoppiness, not a massively overpowering malt aroma... just smells like a balanced mix of hops, barley, yeast. All I can really add is that it offers a "red" aroma. The smell indicates that the flavor will be more maltier than hoppier. (3.5/5)

Taste/feel: Strange. I swear, I'm tasting a combination of vegetables. Potato skin, celery seed, tomato juice... the beer description mentions Conway as a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy, and this beer does truthfully have a cabbage soup sort of flavor (I can assure you this is not from the glass, by the way.) Entirely unexpected, considering the aroma gives no suggestions of that. Malt, a barrage of vegetative flavors, and then the aftertaste is a super subtle roasted "red" flavor. Thin initial mouthfeel that gets a bit thicker in the mouth (that's what she said). Medium carbonation at best. A truthfully strange beer in that it has some, again, very unexpected flavors. (3.5/5, 3.5/5)

Far from GLBC's best. It's an alright beer, but likely not one I'd pick up again. I don't hate it though, not at all. I'd definitely enjoy this with nothing else available.

3.5/5

 1,448 characters

Photo of delta490
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- came out of the growler a beautiful ruddy brown with a nice thick creamy white head. There is a moderate retention and some lacing.

S- mild, with some nice biscuit aromas

T- the flavor is rich and malty with just a hint of hops bitterness on the finish. There isn't really anything distinct, but it is good.

M- thinner, no noticeable carbonation, a little bite from the hops

O- not mind-blowing, but a solid, well-made Irish Red Ale

 440 characters

Photo of BEEER
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice orange-amber color with small white head and minimal messy lacing. Aroma and flavor are predominately amber malts, with no bitterness and a slight sweet fruitiness. Rich flavor, crisp and clean, with a light mouthfeel. 6.5% abv is completely masked and very easy to drink. Pretty good overall.

 298 characters

Photo of ZachKelly
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a traditional pint glass.

Pours a pretty amber color. Very minimal head and almost non existent retention. A slight, continual, carbonation.

Very minimal nose, disappointingly. Malt is the over-riding smell, with a slight roasted malt aroma. Almost smells like bread.

Maltiness again is the dominant factor, as it should be for the style. Toasted barley, very little bitterness. Bready with a sticky sweetness.

Sticky sweet mouthfeel. Good body, flavors linger.

 503 characters

Photo of jmw4437
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a amber-rust color with a tan head which dissipates into a ring around the glass fairly quickly.

S: Smells of caramel and malts dominate the aroma of the beer.

T: A sweet caramel, and malty flavors dominate early with a well balanced accompaniment of hops with just a bit of bitterness to balance the flavor.

M: An initial bite of carbonation is felt in the mouth but that is quick to end leaving a clean feeling on the palate.

O: Overall this is a good beer weather it is one that you want to have with a meal or sit on the couch on a Sunday and drink while watching a few games. I would definitely drink this again.

 630 characters

Photo of Chiefy770
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 fl. ounce bottle into a pint glass. Best by date of 3/25/2014.

Appearance: Clear orange-red body with a respectable head. Not the best lacing I've seen.

Smell: Bready grains. Smells a lot like a loaf of beer bread (If you've ever made it you know what I am talking about). Minor floral notes try to break through.

Taste: Sweet grains up front. Floral bitterness from the hops are there, they are just struggling to fully break through. Very malt heavy. Buttery toffee comes through in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation. Very smooth. Very drinkable but the abv suggests that this would not make the best session ale. Semi-dry finish.

Overall: This just seemed like an underwhelming Irish Red Ale. It certainly was not bad, but there are better examples of this style. The complexities were present, they just failed to balance this one out. Worth checking out if you are unfamiliar with this style.

 930 characters

Photo of Icedogs
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My favorite Irish/Red Ale of them all. So smooth and easy-drinking. Yes, I am quite biased in favor of Great Lakes Brewing Company because one of my best friends worked there for nine years and I've spent many a fine afternoon/evening at the place. But my preference for GLBC beer is primarily because the beers are almost always outstanding. Cheers!

 350 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Conway's Irish Ale....is good. The label is awesome! Great Lakes is probably the best thing to come out of Cleveland since the Browns left for Baltimore. This beer pours a nice amber with no head and no lace. The scent is mostly caramel malt with biscuits. The taste is nothing remarkable or noteworthy...just solid. It is well balanced from start to finish. The mouthfeel is medium in body with so so carbonation. Overall it is a decent sessionable beer and worth a try.

 471 characters

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.