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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

1,118 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,118
Reviews: 446
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 49
Gots: 56 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,118 | Reviews: 446 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bsp77


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. Bottle has best by date of 4/6/11.

Appearance: Rich amber with just a hint of red. Extremely thin head with almost no lacing.

Smell: Very malty, with cherry, caramel and toast. Reminds me of their Christmas Ale, without the spices.

Taste: Fantastic malt body, with cherry, toast and caramel. Hop levels are low and just provide a slight floral and spicy counterbalance. Not as much of the medicinal / metallic aftertaste that plagues so many Irish Reds.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium to full body, semi-dry finish. Fairly hefty for the style.

Drinkability: Probably the best Irish Red I have, although this is admittedly one of my least favorite styles. It really does remind of their Christmas Ale in many ways, but not quite at the same level of enjoyment for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 17:57:11 | More by bsp77
Photo of chaz410

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this beer at Common Market in Plaza in Charlotte NC.
Pours a moderate amber color, not nearly red enough in my opinion. There's a decently fluffy white head that weakens over a few minutes.
Smells very bready and full of biscuit notes. Some roasted barley and caramel notes. Not much hops, some faint floral hop notes, possible east kent golding.
Taste is similar to smell but more dry and lingering after the swallow. It has a heavy caramel back bone with some tea-like sweetness.
Very drinkable and sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 03:04:04 | More by chaz410
Photo of ejimhof


4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: perfect amber color with little head and slight lacing.

Smell: malty and grainy.

Taste: malt throughout with a smooth finish a touch of hops.

Mouthfeel: light on the tounge.

Drinkability: Easy drinker no problem having more than one at a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 22:22:38 | More by ejimhof
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 02/04/11 notes. Had on tap at RFD in DC.

a - Pours an amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, toasted malts, bready malts, fruity malts, and light hops.

t - Tastes of toasted malts, bready malts, and caramel malts. Some light creaminess to it as well.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very creamy, pretty nice.

d - A nice red ale. Some nice bready and toasted malts, and a nice creamy body. Would have again.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 20:58:02 | More by mdfb79
Photo of assmandugle


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark caramel like appearance. Has a small head that stays thin enough to drink through but there the whole way through. It has a bread like smell. It tastes like bread almost at first and then has a calm flavor afterwards with a bread like after taste. It is a good beer that goes down smooth would be good with a traditional Irish dinner. Will get this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 01:21:55 | More by assmandugle
Photo of Murrdogg


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A A deep brown and caramel appearance. Rather beautiful

S Toasted caramel was obvious, along with roasted hops. Slight woody back aroma, with maybe some hints of bread or yeast

T Roasted hops and malt smacked me first and were the most obvious, but it finished with an almost floral-y sweet hop finish

M Malty hops are strong and almost overpowering. Not bubbly at all, very smooth, and goes down well.

D Light, yet complex in taste. This would be (and was!) a great have-with-dinner beer, as it isn't tooo over powering, but still compliments many dishes and styles
Not my favourite GLBC brew, but it's up there!

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2011 04:24:31 | More by Murrdogg
Photo of Keffa


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my CMBF pint glass.

A: Pours a brilliant, clean, copper color, small off white head, settles quickly into a ring, leaves some minor lacing on the glass.

S: Toast, caramel, and wood, some bread like malt and a little yeastiness.

T: Follows the aroma, plus some lightly burnt sugar notes. Reminds of a homemade caramel sauce poured over fresh bread. Makes me want a steak. I have said that everytime I have had this beer.

M: Lightly creamy, nice carbonation, medium bodied, and finishes cleanly. Not bad.

D: Easy drinker here. Not overly heavy, no alcohol heat, and a smooth clean finish leave you wanting more and more.

Good one here. Sad it took me this long to review this one. I like this beer a lot. Will be buying more of it.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2011 21:50:52 | More by Keffa
Photo of gatornation


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from 12 0z bottle best by 040611

A-pours a mostly clear copper color with a thin 1 finger white head and not alot of lacing

S- is toasted malts,doughy bread some caramel a little citrus

T-follows the nose its a roasted malt and toffee hit with some hops a touch of citrus and bread it a tasty red a little sweet

M- is crisp with medium carbonation,its a little thin and mostly a malty red ale

D- it above average tasting ,crisp and malty red that went down pretty quick..not one i would go out of my way for but would drink again

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 21:37:27 | More by gatornation
Photo of BB1313


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I look forward to this beer every Jan/Feb. 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a transparent copper color w/ a bright white head and decent lacing. Lots malts, breads, and caramel up front.. very pleasant roasty aromas. Those characteristics come though in the flavors as well. Great sweetness coming from the caramel. This isn't a hoppy beer by any stretch, which is a nice transition. Finishes dry. Mouthfeel is light, thin, extremely smooth, well carbonated; medium-bodied. Drinkability is great, alcohol is never detected. Very easy drinking! This beer has a great Irish vibe.

This beer's a great change of pace w/ all of the IPAs and stouts out (which I love). Very enjoyable beer. This really is a "meat and potatoes" kind of beer. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 15:16:16 | More by BB1313
Photo of burring


4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: beautiful copper color. Slight head, maybe about a half, to three-quarters of an inch. Little to no lacing. A lot of activity in the way of carbonation.

Smell: malty smell. It's nice. Not bold, not underwhelming--seems to have the right balance.

Taste: malt character up front, smooth finish with a residual hop flavor that creeps up to the back of the palate. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: very well rounded and smooth. It's pleasant to hold in one's mouth. It seems to have a sort of wholeness. I find it extremely enjoyable.

Drinkability: it's at this point in the day where I love to kick back, sip a beer and think. This beer is great for that. It's not boisterous or bombastic--it has a particular laid back quality where you just want to casually sip it with a good meal.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 00:18:41 | More by burring
Photo of AwYeh


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear copper-amber color; two fingers of fine white head with decent retention; not much lacing.

S: Toasted malts, smells amazingly like bread; definitely picking up more of a bread/toast flavor than with any other beer I've had. Light caramel malt aroma; no hop presence here.

T: Toasted malts, bread once again, with a bit more of that caramel malt. A bit of floral hops on the finish, which provide balance to the beer's lightly sweet flavors.

M: Thin-medium body, moderate carbonation, very smooth.

D: Goes down extremely easily; nearly a 5.0 but I'm not sure that the flavor is appealing enough for me to want a few in a row. Still, I'm glad I picked up a 6er of this.

No flavors possessing over-the-top strength here like many more popular beers, but a great beer in its own right and definitely worth a try. I've heard this one described as "watered down Christmas Ale" and nothing could be further from the truth; if you've heard (and maybe even acted on) such statements leading you away from this beer in the past, go ahead and give it a chance.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2011 06:20:32 | More by AwYeh
Photo of DanThomas


3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear, orange-ish amber color. No head to speak of really, just some white rim on the glass.

S- Very well-rounded toasted malt smell. Faintly sweet, no hops.

T- The start brings forth the toasted malt that was on the nose, which is nice enough, but the finish turns into an unpleasant sugary sweet flavor. If the finish were a little bit more dry or bitter, I would have rated it higher.

M- Great job here. Full and bready, well-rounded, not too thick, good carbonation.

D- The sweetness detracts a little, but this beer is still very drinkable and would go well with a lot of foods--its flavor and body seem designed for warm, hearty dinners.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 05:04:52 | More by DanThomas
Photo of JDew


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a beer mug

A - pours a clear warm orange with a sudsy one finger head, good carbonation and clarity

S - Smooth creamy malt, slightly caramel and butterscotch smells come through as well

T - Starts smooth as silk, creamy and tasty follows up bitter and malty, complex taste from such a light looking ale

M/D - Nice and smooth easy-to-drink beer, I'll be buying this in a 12 pack if I see it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 17:55:59 | More by JDew
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #37 (Feb 2010):

Brassy orange color, clarity is there, and a healthy head, too. Apple and plum fruitiness with caramel malt fill the nose. Inviting smoothness makes you want to take sip after sip; lush medium body. Caramel runs into a veggie herbal hoppiness. Ripe fruit runs hard with apples, plum and pear. Hop bitterness is subtle but seems to have an unmovable layer in the middle. Lemon candy? The alcohol does show its strength with some warmth. Bittersweet finish.

While not sessionable compared to the more mainstream "Irish" beers, it's good to know that if you are looking for that craft beer around March 17th that has a bit more depth, this one will fill that void.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 19:47:02 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Standard red ale amber-y appearance, clear, not thick, good head. Aroma had a very small peat smokiness to it. Nice. Not much else.

Taste, sturdier than your average red ale. Traditional in that it doesn't have any overpowering aspect of it, falls to the side of malt heavy, tea, toast. Nothing offensive, just an easy drinking red ale, with a little bit more substance than your average one you might come across.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 17:49:56 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of sixerofelixir


4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap 1-29-10 at the only bar in town with GL on draft. Review from notes.

I've had many bottles of this as well, but Conway's is excellent as a draft. Pours a really nice clear copper color, nice small-foam tannish head. Smell is nice and airy, a bit on the bready side. Taste is malty, chewy, with an awesome sweetness that permeates. No tankard-taste. A sweet malt that blends perfectly with the mild hoppiness. Little hops to speak of, but the finish is smooth and drinkability is good. Imbibe with dinner... a "meat and potatoes" beer, indeed.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2010 16:23:23 | More by sixerofelixir
Photo of Spider889


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For some reason I spent years loving Great Lakes but ignoring Conway's. Maybe my experience with past breweries led me to believe that a good Irish Ale was more of a myth and in reality merely a gimmick. This year I finally dove in and was very pleasantly surprised.

This beer pours a nice brown color with a light small head and light carbonation. It smells very malty and robust.

Taste is of roasted chocolate malt with nutty undertones. You get some fresh baked bready notes as well.

With a medium-heavy mouthfeel I found this beer to be slightly chewy with all the malt and a pleasure to drink. Puts other American Irish Ales to shame. If you enjoy a good hearty malted beer then please give this one a shot.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2010 08:57:28 | More by Spider889
Photo of beerwolf77


3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass the beer is orange amber with a tiny wisp of off white head. No lace to be found.

The aroma is super sweet caramel malt. A touch of hops and a decent amount of black earth.

The flavor is modest caramel malt. A faint bit of hops help to balance the sweetness but get pushed aside by the malt.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall a decent representation of the style. Nothing all that memorable but drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 00:03:26 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of fattire513


3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper color with a one finger head good lacing as I take some sips of this beer from GLBC while writing this review

S: Nothing really stands out for me on this one unfortunately. The only other red ales I have had besides this one haven't really supplied a smell that stands out to me

T: More malty than hoppy for sure. there is a good balance between all the ingredients, but with my inexperienced taste buds nothing is too apparent.

M: The carbonation does not seem to overwhelm my palette, and the balance between the hops and malt doesn't leave a taste lingering for too long

D: I could drink more than one of these in one sitting, but I really don't prefer red ales over other types. I would define this as a good session beer maybe some people wouldn't.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 21:44:53 | More by fattire513
Photo of alleykatking


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a amber copper color. Two finger white head that dies down rather quickly to a ring on the beer. Soapy lacing that dies back into the glass.

S- Big caramel malt and bready malt aroma to this. Light floral hops come into play next. this beer smells sweet. Maybe some light toffee in this as well. Good example aroma wise for the style.

T- Big sweet rush at first with the bready caramel malts. This gets cut down a little bit with a earth floral hop bite. The balance is almost there when it jumps back into a toffee like sweet ending.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little off for the style I think. Sweet malts left on the palate and this lingers long into the aftertaste. The flavors are well blended but the hops are a little to underdeveloped in the flavor profile.

D- This beer is a interesting drinker for me. I have no problem finishing it but at the same time I am reluctent for another one due to the sweetness of it.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 22:49:54 | More by alleykatking
Photo of Dodo2step


3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P- Pittsburgh Bottle Cafe

A- A deep dark red color with no lacing and minimal head. Beer is quite clear though.

S- I had to smell a few times but i got some hints of bready malts and toasted caramel.

T- A strong caramel and breaded malt flavor. Some floral hops on the back end but not overpowering.

M- floral hops leave a nice aftertaste in the mouth and a nice warm feeling goes down the throat. Smooth and a lil heavy.

D- overall not a bad beer. It could have had some hop flavor but it was good. this would be good with a steak dinner.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 23:43:51 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of samie85


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed 4/18.

A-Pours a deep copper with a two finger white head.

S-Earthy, floral hops, caramel and a defined breadiness.

T-Toasty malt notes with earthy bitter hops and some caramel malt.

M-Smooth and medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D-Really easy drinking and another solid beer from Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2010 19:29:41 | More by samie85
Photo of Scrapss


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from my local bottle shop, last two singles. A bit late in the season for it, let's see how it held up. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: one finger of wispy carbonation that dissipates into a thin ring by mid-glass. Beatuiful light copper/amber color. Tasty looking.

S: Unreal. So well balanced and exactly what I would expect from an Irish Red. Hints of tea, malt, sweet smelling flowers.

T: smooth earthy flavors with toffee maltiness, nary an overpowering hop to ruin the sweet party, but there's definitely something under there.

M: So velvety and mouthfilling. Liquid silk. Carbonation is spot on. Finish is a semi-sweet fading good-by.

D: It seems quite sessionable...but don't even think about it. Dangerously mild for 6.5%.

Overall, this ranks up there with my favorite Irish Red's, if only it were available year'round.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2010 22:15:25 | More by Scrapss
Photo of chaz01


3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on draft at the local BW3's because, well that's about all they had for craft beer. 16 oz glass with my chicken wings.

A: Amber/Mahogany in color, nice head retains well.

S: I picked up very little aroma from my glass, maybe a faint grassy aroma.

T: Very malty with bitter rye notes.

M: Medium bodied with a bitter finish that reminded me of chocolate malt balls dipped in Irish Whiskey.

D: This actually went well with my hot wings. It's got a little bit of bitter/sour aftertaste that would prevent me from having more than one, but it's more than I expected for a place that doesn't normally serve craft beers.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2010 05:12:15 | More by chaz01
Photo of donteatpoop


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The menu had "Great Lakes Seasonal" listed so I asked which seasonal it was and she told me 'Burning River'. Since burning river is not at all seasonal I asked if she was certain that it was Burning River. She said she was.

So I bought it, expected a nice Burning River APA on tap. When I got it it looked about right, though not as red as I had remembered.

Then I smelled it and it wasn't at all like burning river or any apa I'd ever had. What the fuck though; my other options were Magic Hat #6, Red Stripe, Heineken, St. Pauli, some macros, and Sam Adams. Of all of those I'll take almost any Great Lakes beer over it so I went ahead and tasted it.

Conways. Very nice. (the receipt also was marked Conway's)

Poured a nice clear amber color with a cap of white foam. The foam lasted a decent amount of time, but didn't really have any longevity.

Smells of grain, earth, slight hope bite and mettalic taste.

The taste fits the style perfectly, a nince malty beer with a mild but present hop character. Glad to have it on tap despite the way it was presented.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2010 04:39:41 | More by donteatpoop
Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,118 ratings.