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

Great Lakes Conway's Irish AleGreat Lakes Conway's Irish Ale

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

1,059 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1059
Reviews: 445
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%

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 Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,059 | Reviews: 445 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of oline73


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a finger and a half of tan head that leaves a layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Some bready caramel malt sweetness. Not a ton going on here.

Taste: Again, the malt is really the star of the show. Hints of bread and caramel. The is a very mild spice note. A bit nutty as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with delicate carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall: A solid Irish red. I really like the malt flavors. Well balanced and mild.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 21:12:35 | More by oline73
Photo of argock


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

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. Best by 032511 on label. Received as gift from brother Greg.

A: Pleasing amber-brown with solid, tightly bubbled 1-2 finger off-white head with good retention and some scattered lacing.

S: Grainy, malty nose with plenty of biscuit notes, but the citrus hoppiness is restrained but a nice complement to the caramel and biscuit aromas.

T: The flavor is a classic amber with upfront biscuity, caramel maltiness and a moderate citrus hoppiness. The cereal graininess has a big but not overwhelming presence.

M: The beer is not very dry but has a lush mouthfeel. The carbonation is low and contributes to the creamy smoothness.

O: I enjoyed this brew a lot -- it is unsung in the Great Lakes lineup and provides a nice example of a superdrinkable amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 04:38:38 | More by argock
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep amber color with a one finger just slightly off white head. The head has a pretty good level of retention, slowly fading to leave spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is heaviest of toasted malt and a sweet caramel aroma. Mixed with these are a light toasted bread and fruit aroma of apple and some spice.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready and toasted malt flavor with a lightly caramel sweetened flavor as well. As the flavor advances more the caramel fades more toward the middle with a light fruit flavor taking its place. The roasted malt flavor dwindles as well as the flavor moves on with a more doughy like flavor replacing it. In the end some light spice flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a light earthy hop come to the tongue. In the end a quite pleasant light roasted malt cider and spice flavor is left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is a bit on the thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the more average to just above average side. The slightly higher carbonation is nice for keeping the drinkability, but not too high to take away from the aspects the thicker body accentuates- the roasted and spiced flavors of the brew.

Overall – As should be of no surprise this is another good brew by Great Lakes. It has a nice blend of roasted and sweet flavors while still maintaining great drinkability but still remaining quite proficient in flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 16:26:04 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of billab914


3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Surly pint glass. poured a bright copper color with a thin foam covering that barely covers the beer. It left some pretty good lacing on the sides as I drank it.

Aroma is sweet and malty with some nice apple and caramel scents. The taste starts off sweet with some malt and bread flavors but is somewhat balanced out with some bitterness in the finish. It also has a slightly fruity almost apple juice like flavor to it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a very drinkable nicely flavored brew that goes down pretty easy. One of the better Irish Ale's that I have had for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 01:42:56 | More by billab914
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Coles.

Pours a wonderfully rich red with a smooth white head that dropped to a collar and film and left some nice streaks of lace. Spicy, bready, caramel heavy aroma immediately lets you know that that malt is in the driving seat. Taste is pretty straightforward - lots of caramel malt, some grainy breadiness and floral hops providing a nice light bitterness and depth in the tail. The body is decent, but not as great as other beers that these guys produce. Its pretty much medium feel and carbonation, but lacks the rich texture you'd expect from the Cleveland crew.

While never being a great fan of the style, I've always loved Great Lakes, and would probably rank them as the prime contender for my favourite brewery. They've done another good job here, though even their efforts won't win me over. Its just a little simple and plain. A pleasant beer for sure, but my complaint with the whole style has always been that its lacks the complexity to ever be anything greater than pleasant.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2010 19:52:39 | More by bobsy
Photo of kmpitz2


3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ths brew pours a slightly ambered orange color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is not nice. There is a big grainey biscuity aroma, wih a touch of sweetness, but not something that appeals to me. The flavor is okay. There is a big grain character, with a bit of a spicey grain quality. The feel is moderate. As far as irish reds go, this is okay. I'd still take most other styles over this.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 01:02:17 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of Mitchster


4.78/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed with Harrington 2-row, Crystal 77. Hopped with Northern Brewer, Hallertau, and Fuggle.

6.5% ABV, 25 IBU's, OG=14.5P.

Slightly cloudy deep caramel with a touch of ruby accents, forms a whipped dark beige head with very good retention and solid sheets of lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is pleasant with abundant crystal and biscuit malts, a touch of roasted barley, toast, nuts (akin to Fat Tire), and a touch of butterscotch. Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a creamy, medium body. Excellent mouthfeel. Taste begins with a ton of toast and biscuit, some excellent (German Noble?) spicy flavor hops perfectly in balance with the abundant malts...the malt body is luxurious with wonderful residual sugars...a tiny wisp of alcohol, and a very nice roasted and toasty finish with mild bitterness.

First off, I am not a fan of Red Ales, but this is the best Red Ale I've ever had...bar none. This sets the standard for all others to follow in the category, and is everything I want in a red. Amazingly drinkable, I could put these back all night long. Reminds me to a certain extent of Fat Tire with the wonderful toast and biscuits. I absolutely love this stuff and it will become a regular addition. Amazingly balanced and rich, without ever fatiguing the taste buds. Another amazing brew from the alchemists at GLBC! Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2004 22:48:23 | More by Mitchster
Photo of homebrew311


3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer appears a fiery orange with good clarity. Thick, dense white head present with great retention and tons of lacing. The nose features a light earthy hop character along with a punch of malty sweetness. The taste starts malty and sweet and then gives way to a tea like hop bitterness along with grass and herbs. The taste finishes slightly bland. The body is moderate and the carbonation is mellow. Overall, this beer has a lot of character, but the flavors don't work for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 02:56:08 | More by homebrew311
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 thecheapies


3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Red-amber brew with an inch of loose head.

Semi-sweet grain nose with a subtle dose of citrus/earthy hops. Clean smelling, but dumbed-down.

In the taste is much more of a toasty malt taste with a similar hop profile from the nose. A little grapefruit, a little chalk. Grassiness is evident, and balances well with the cereal sweetness. Not a bad Irish Ale.

Mouthfeel is full for the style. Feels great. Some heft and ensuing carb.

I'm enjoying my pint just fine, but I may not order another anytime soon. Good brew, but I can pass.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2012 01:18:50 | More by thecheapies
Photo of prototypic


3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It pours a clear, reddish-amber color with a slightly off-white, two finger head. Retention was average, but a solid coat of lace remained.

Smell: Initially, it smells of toasted malts and yeast. Hops are more prevalent than expected. Light notes of chocolate and grains.

Taste: Caramel and toasted malts give it a nice mix sweetness and dry flavors. Hops add a little bitterness and balance. Quite yeasty and biscuity on the tail.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light to medium bodied. Pretty well carbonated. Quite smooth and drinkable. It's a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 02:59:31 | More by prototypic
Photo of WoodBrew


3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 00:22:19 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of Florida9


3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark reddish amber in color. Forms a small, but creamy off-white colored head that eventually reduces to a thick ring around the edges. Some minimal lacing.

S: The smell, while not bad, seems off to me. Lots of malty fruits, apple skins, apple pie, pear, white grapes and a touch of toast.

T: Flavor is likewise malty with an appreciable caramel maltiness, some toast, and then some sweet stewed apples and pears. Mild herbal happiness. Finishes like apple cider.

M: Medium in body. Medium carbonation. Mild bitterness.

O: I had this one after a Brian Boru and the two just don't compare. This one is much more malty with a lots of fruit (which I wasn't expecting) and very low on the hops and bitterness. Glad to have tried it, but couldn't see coming back to it.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 21:11:09 | More by Florida9
Photo of bditty187


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear tawny-bronze-coppery hue, the off-white head reached almost two fingers in height but my pour was a touch harder than it should’ve been, nevertheless the large head held very well. The lacing was unorganized but prevalent enough to be noteworthy. This is an attractive looking beer, albeit faithfully typical of the style. The nose is biscuity with a trace of toffee sweetness, a note of hops, rather clean. With minimal potency the invitation isn’t stated clearly. The palate is tasty, I mean don’t get me wrong it is tasty but very ordinary. The maltiness is biscuits with a hint of cracker; add in soft flowery hops, a kiss of fruitiness after that, the finish returns to the biscuity malt, nuts, and toasty caramel. It is clean yet a little muddled, I find this distracting. Medium in body, the bulk is very appropriate for the style, also the carbonation is low and natural. As a whole the mouthfeel is very good. I found this to be a very drinkable Amber Ale, as expected for the style, I am both impressed and turned off by the abv. It is cool to quaff an Amber Ale that packs a punch and it is a well-hidden sucker punch but, in my opinion, a redeeming quality of the style is session-ability. This one lacks that. But why should I care, I can’t get this locally anyway. But I can get a beer that is very similar, that pesky little beer called Fat Tire. Anyway Conway’s is a quality beverage and well worth sampling.

Thank you PhantomVodoo!

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2004 03:13:08 | More by bditty187
Photo of Redrover


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

I had of a bottle of this at my brothers. As advertised, it pours a nice dark red with an off-white head and good lacing.

Nice nose of slightly toasty malts, crackers and some underlying citrus.

Taste is a bit sweet, a bit dry and very nice. I liked malty taste that seemed to have a wee bit of caramel. Just enough hops to balance.

Nice smooth mouth with a medium feel. Easy session type beer. Well done Great Lakes!

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2006 21:57:53 | More by Redrover
Photo of ktrillionaire


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

A - Deep translucent copper-bronze hue, capped with a plentiful ecru head, leaving rings of lace upon the glass.

S - Slightly sweet, with a generally malty nose offering light notes of honey and chocolate.

T - The taste is equal parts subdued honey-toffee-cocoa maltiness, earthy hop, and effervescent minerality.

M - The feel is just short of medium-bodied, and has a good soft creamy effervescence.

O - Excellent drinkability and taste, overall, even if the brew is a bit middle-of-the-road.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 04:10:37 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a copper-orange color with a fluffy head. Toasted malt and nuts aroma...gently sweet, bready, slightly fruity. Tasty malt, biscuit, toffee, graham cracker, and tea flavors. Medium bodied and smooth. Sort of chewy and dry in the finish. An enjoyable and easily drinkable take on a style that is oftentimes pretty boring.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 22:39:53 | More by wedge
Photo of mcallister


3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber red with a small white head that leaves a thin lace around the rim of the pilsner glass at BW'3.

Very sweet toffeed malt with hints of red berries, as well as some other red fruits. Nothing clearly distiguishable and only a slight sign of a floral hop.

Toffee caramel malt with a floral, chewy, pine induced hop finish. Again berry with a faint nut addition. Not overly complex but nicely palatable. Malt flavor is slightly too sweet. More hop could have made this beer more balanced across the spectrum.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2007 17:51:24 | More by mcallister
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2008 23:53:30 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of clvand0


3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours an amber/red color with a moderate head that falls quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is really bready and toasty with some caramel thrown in. Not really my thing, but right on for the style. The flavor follows suit with a lot of bready notes and caramel malts. Plenty of crystal malt in there. The body is fairly thick and the drinkability is pretty good, it's just not my style.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 15:09:36 | More by clvand0
Photo of CrellMoset


3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 03:07:34 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of bashiba


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

Pours a nice clear light amber color with a decent off white head, little retention.

Smell has a light sweet maltiness to it.

Taste is pretty mild, some bready malts, caramel malts, mixing in with a slight fruity sweetness and a bit of nuttiness.

Mouthfeel is light with decent carbonation.

Overall a good easy drinking beer, another solid offering from Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2006 03:46:02 | More by bashiba
Photo of JamesS


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 21:24:17 | More by JamesS
Photo of Bierguy5


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper/amber color with a white foamy almost fluffy head. There was a decent amount of lacing in the glass. Smells somewhat like caramel with some toasted notes along with it. Taste is slightly sweet, caramel with a dryness to it. Some amount of bitterness in the finish, but not overwhelming. I found it to be medium bodied. I didn't feel that it was particularly drinkable, mainly because of the dryness, but I did find it to be good. This usually surfaces around St. Patricks Day, and is another quality brew from Great Lakes.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2004 19:23:59 | More by Bierguy5
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
Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,059 ratings.