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

very good
498 Reviews
Read the review
Great Lakes Conway's Irish AleGreat Lakes Conway's Irish Ale

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by chilidog on 07-28-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 498 | Ratings: 1,514
Photo of dbl_delta
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated enjoy by 03/20/16 into pint glass. Pours a clear amber color with a light tan head that dissipates quickly. No lacing. Initial impression is light biscuit malts up front, possibly some roasted caramel, and a very faint hops presence. Nothing really stands out as a "signature" for this beer, so I suppose that means the ingredients are well-balanced. Smooth and very easy to drink. Surprisingly dry finish.
Overall, it's a little on the bland side for my jaded American palate. My ratings reflect how much I like the beer, so YMMV. I think it's spot-on for the style, though.

 598 characters

Photo of MacMalt
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass. It pours a pretty orange-amber with a thin, ecru-colored head and lacing. It smells of toast, caramel, and some dark fruit (figs?). This is a nice, mild ale with tastes of bready malt, cracker, caramel, and some green apple and melon to give it sweetness. There is little malt presence. This is a medium-bodied, creamy ale with low carbonation. This, combined with its moderate ABV of 6.5%, makes it very drinkable. I find it to be much cleaner in taste than Smithwick's. Overall, it is a very good Irish Red Ale. I drank poured from a bottle but I would really like to try it on draught.

 622 characters

Photo of drtth
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a bright clear reddish amber, almost copper color with just over a 1/4" white head that soon recedes to a small ring of foam, an irregular island, and a bit of thin foam over part of the surface. Sipping creates some scattered small patches of foam, many of which slide back down to the surface.

The aromas include some biscuit from the malts and some light floral hops.

The flavors are much as predicted from the nose with a rich biscuit flavor from the malt and the floral from the hops. In addition there's a rich, pleasant sweetness that almost conceals just a tiny bit of bitterness.

The mouth feel is pretty much medium bodied with a light, faint touch of carbonation. The finish begins about midway through as the biscuit and floral character are joined by the sweetness which then more or less takes over for a while and then they all fade into that soft light bitterness with a touch of dryness at the end.

This is a nice beer that I'd be happy to have again and look forward to as a great change of pace from something like IPAs or Stouts. This would also be a good beer for having with a meal and serving to friends during an evening of conversation. That said, I'm not sure I'd be looking to have 2 or more of an evening as I think there's enough sweetness it would begin to cloy well before the 2nd was finished unless consumed slowly, sipping rather than drinking.

 1,425 characters

Photo of fscottkey
2.61/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: [4.25] Really transparent ruby red color. The beer forms 1 finger of pillowy white head. The whole thing looks great in a glass. The bottle lists the ABV at (6.5%) and the best by date of (03/21/16)

S: [2.50] Almost nothing. Really light corn flakes maybe. I am sniffing like crazy and there is nothing here.

T: [2.50] Kind of follows the nose. The flavor is really subtle. Some corn maybe. A little bit of sweetness.

M: [2.50] Light carbonation. No tingle, buzz, hops, bite, aftertaste (or taste really).

O: [2.50] I really like GLBC but this is a HUGE miss for me. This is indistinguishable from water. No malt, no hops, no nose. It is just flavorless. I guess this might be an okay transition for a BMC drinker unless they thought it was too low on flavor. Disappointing for sure.

 806 characters

Photo of hophead723
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Me and my brother grabed a quick six pack of this, Irish Red Ale has always been one of my favorite styles. The malts are Harrington 2-Row and Crystal 77. The hops are Northern Brewer, Mt. Hood, and Willamette. Poured into a classic pint glass.

Look: Stunning, crystal clear orange-amber color with a foamy off-white head. The carbonation rises slowly indicating a classic medium body.

Smell: Toasty and caramely aroma with hints of honey and mineraly Irish spring water. The aroma is subtle but rich with enticing character.

Taste/Feel: Caramel malts, lots of unfiltered wildflower honey, toasted cracker, and lemony hops at the end. Luscious and creamy at first but with an amazing crisp finish.

Overall: This particular beer is an exquisite example of the Irish Red Ale. I knew the moment I saw it on the Great Lakes website that it would be awesome. Can't wait to have it on tap, where it would be even smoother.

 921 characters

Photo of hopphead31415
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This Irish Ale by Great Lakes has 6.5% ABV and 25 IBUs. It is made with Harrington 2-Row Base Malts and Crystal 77 malts. The hops are Northern Brewer, Mt. Hood, and Willamette.

Look-It pours a beautiful orange blossom honey color that has some copper-red hues in the light. The head is thin and white with some moist delicate lacing.

Smell-It smells of caramel malts, biscuit, fruity esters, a mild rope-like aroma, and then more caramel. There are some dark fruit nuances as well like prunes and fig esters.

Taste-It has a rustic unfiltered raw honey taste, along with malted barley, caramel, toasted cracker malt lingering, and sunlight-warmed barley. I also taste the fruitiness as well which manifests itself through some soft fruits like apple and maybe melon with a lack of acidic astringency. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium-bodied and is crisp and clear. It has bright flavors that are clean and wet which leave a clear palate lightly coated in caramel malts and some mild carbonation fizz.

Overall-This is an absolutely delicious brew and has a lot to offer. It is easily sipped on at any time of day or night, I believe.

 1,149 characters

Photo of Raime
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

GLBC Conway's Irish Ale.

GLBC has always been one of my favorite breweries. I'm usually not all that big on this style but I found a single bottle of this beer for 2.19 and figured it would be worth a shot. Enough talk, let's drink it up.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle hard poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a crystal clear moderate amber coloration with a finger of off white, thick head that quickly dies down to a moderately thick cap amongst the top of the swill. Carbonation appears to be on about moderate. Lacing and stick after a finished glass is rather sparse.

Smell - The ever expected caramel level is there along with a large dosage of grassyness and a bit of medicinal cherry like fumes coming through as well. Surprisingly I can smell the alcohol in this one despite the fact it is rather low on the ABV scale. Not a huge nose but unique. The cherry aspect really isn't offensive as you may think given the way I described it.

Taste - I initially wasn't sold on this flavor profile as the whole medicine like aspect threw me for a loop, but the more I delved into the beer the cleaner it became and the less medicinal it seemed. The malts ate rather toasted and this point and the flavor is quite grassy with a touch of lemon. Caramel as expected once again. Even a bit..dare I say...Smokey?.

Feel - The body is quite full with a lower amount of carbonation. The lemon grass like aspects really stick around the mouth pleasantly and the smoke really becomes apparent amongst the swallow. Swallows easy with more bitterness than the 25 IBU level would have you believe. Slightly creamy as well.

Overall - While I'm not the biggest fan of this style, this was a solid example. The balance was nice and the smoked aspect was very welcome in my opinion. I have a few friends who really enjoy this style during the colder months and I'll have to introduce them to this beer. I'd have it again around a late November bonfire around the chiminia. As always, try it for yourself and come to your own conclusions..

 2,040 characters

Photo of Brian_L-2056
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark orange/amber clear color. Has a nice malty caramel smell. The head is plentiful and off white in color. Initial taste is surprisingly pleasant, slightly malty, sweet and a hint of caramel. The flavor stays consistent to the finish. The lacing is very good and stays with you. This is only my 3rd Irish Red Ale so I'm still learning, but overall, I like this brew. I would definitely buy more.

 410 characters

Photo of dukeandduke
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8/8 Bottle - Aroma pleasant mix of malt, caramel, Light copper pour, decent head, moderate carbonation. Beer very sweet, goes down easy. Clean palate, a bit too sweet for me but an overall good beer.

 199 characters

Photo of pat61
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Brilliant amber-gold with rich, lingering white/of-white head.
S: caramel, biscuit, no hops, toast, toffee.
T: Flavor, Toasty, sweet, light fruit, dry finish but some odd cherry, medicinal thing going on in the background. Not as smooth with more fruit esters than the style calls for. More roast bitter than hop – fairly low hop bitterness.
F: Medium low body, medium low carbonation.
O: Not as smooth as it could be, slightly off.

 440 characters

Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color (more reddish when viewed from afar) and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the sides of the glass, a collar around the edge, and delicate lacing on the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose along with some notes of biscuits and hints of floral hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, with the notes of biscuit malts being a little stronger and slight hints of sweetness from the malts being perceptible. No bitterness is noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The beer coats your mouth a little.
O: This beer seems to be a little maltier compared to other beers that I've had in the style and doesn't exhibit much in the way of tea-like qualities.

Serving type: bottle

 906 characters

Photo of mchegash
3.01/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance - 3.25/5
A nice clear, dark orange-red in color. Minimal head. An average amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer,

Smell - 3.5/5
Slightly metallic, a bit of hops, subtle fruit notes, a little sour earthiness. Roasted malts.

Taste - 2.5/5
Toasty/roasty malts, a little sour hoppiness, some light fruit notes. Overall has a slightly strange taste and I'm not a big fan. Slight spice notes.

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Medium bodied, smooth and crisp. Medium amount of slightly more than medium-intensity carbonation.

Overall - 3/5
This is a subpar beer in my opinion. Perhaps it's just the style but this one wasn't doing it for me.

 649 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is easily the best beer I have had in this style and one of the few that I would drink outside of March if it were available. Nice clean lager with a taste of caramel, toasted malt, and a bit of woodsy hops at the end. Super malty, super sessionable, great beer.

 269 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber / light ruby color with great clarity. One finger white head. Moderate toasty malt aroma, not much hop presence noticeable at all. Slight sweetness in the flavor with a dry finish. Clean and smooth. Medium bodied. Nothing groundbreaking here, but a solid ale for anyone looking for an easy drinking beer with the focus on the malt.

 343 characters

Photo of classixIII
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark orange with 1/2" slight cream colored head that disappeared rather quickly. Malty aroma some hops an a bit of yeast. Tastes is nice, malty, some sweetness, smooth with just the right amount of hops. Decent carbonation, very smooth. Another good one by GLBC, I'll drink some more of this.

 306 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copper color. The head is two fingers high, with an off-white shade. Good retention and a soft texture give it some aesthetic appeal, as does the large amount of lacing left on the glass. (4)

Smell: Big notes of toasted bread and caramel appear immediately. At times, it seems lightly hoppy (in other words, perfect for the style). As it opens up, the floral hops appear a bit more vividly. The aroma in general is wonderfully savory - Great Lakes may have nailed another style... (4)

Taste: Initially, caramel and toffee from the malts open it up nicely. I really like the subtle touches of biscuit and toast coming through, as well. A gently floral finish helps clean things up quite well. While it's not terribly deep, it's general execution and balance is exactly what I want from the style. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Not especially flabby or full bodied (to be fair, I don't think Great Lakes knows how to make a flabby brew), with its finish remaining nice and clean. Carbonation is average for the style. (3.5)

Overall: This is not my favorite style by any means - however, I know a quality brew when I taste it. And this is quality. Toasty and savory, this beer's malt profile is shown off quite well. Since this isn't a style I'm overly fond of, I doubt I'll buy it again - fans of Irish reds will love it, though. (3.75)

3.7/5: An Irish red done right

 1,414 characters

Photo of JimKal
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is another one you need to let warm up as it changes the taste quite a bit. The first one I had I tried it while it was still too cold and was under-impressed. It pours with a red gold appearance with a nice head - vigorous pour of 3 fingers - that dissipates quickly to a hold finger head but has some nice lacing on the drink down. Nice malty flavor with a light to medium mouthfeel.

 391 characters

Photo of zdk9
2.67/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours clear dark orange fading into red. A half inch of frothy head quickly disappears. Perhaps my glass isn't clean enough...

S- Light straw and dry grass maltiness. Some toasted notes, like the straw was grazed over the fire and singed. There's also a slight tin note that isn't pleasant, though isn't the worst thing in the world.

T- Just a touch of smokiness surrounds a lot of sweet malt. There's bitterness in the back of the mouth, a good balance out.

M- Sweetness is a little clingy to the mouth, but mostly a light drinker.

O- Ok. Would be better with food. Decent toasted flavors.

 597 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, best by 3/22/2015, served in a snifter 2/5/2015.

A- Darker amber body, one finger white head with nice effervescence; thick foamy head and nice lacing. Average retention.

S- Grainy sweet toffee, biscuits, toasted bread. Nice malty nose. Mild floral notes.

F- As in the nose, this is a nice malty beer. Toasted bread, caramel, biscuits, toffee supplemented by a nice floral bitterness. There seems to be that house yeasty mineral flavour as well, which makes for a very drinkable and mellow brew.

M- Medium bodied, not too thick or thin, good carbonation. Very drinkable, not unlike the other GLBC offerings.

O- Very good beer, nothing special or overwhelming but it's very tasty and drinkable. It's a well-executed beer which is the MO of GLBC. Buy with confidence.

 783 characters

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

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, clear, golden amber/copper color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice aromas of toasted malt, imparting notes of biscuits, soda bread, oatmeal. Some notes of caramel, black pepper, brown sugar, as well as some floral notes of clover and hops.

Taste: Very nice flavors of toasted malt, imparting strong flavors of biscuits and soda bread. Good sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and honey. There’s some really nicely balanced floral hops flavors at the end. Delicious beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with some nice carbonation. With an ABV of 6.5%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is another great beer from Great Lakes! Great flavors of toasted malt and brown sugar, beautifully balanced with some hoppy bitterness. Delicious!

 972 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a decent creamy head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a clear deep amber.

The beer smell is a very sweet and lightly hopped smell that mixes well and gives out a tea like smell. The malts give off a nice sweet smell and a little bit of a smoked smell as well. The hops are very light and give off a nice floral note that is very light. The smell is very close to chamomile but a little bit sweeter.

The taste is similar to the smell but a lot stronger. The overall taste is still like tea. The hops are a bit stronger and a bit more bitter than the smell but the kind of taste stays the same. The malts are both sweet with a slight smoky note.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and extremely smooth with a little bit of carbonation to it. The carbonation gives a nice bit of texture to it.

Overall, a very good beer and one that I highly recommend. The beer is very balanced and worthy of the style.

 926 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale brewed by Great Lakes Brewing Co. This Ale has an ABV of 6.50% The ale pours out a nice light brown color, with a nice white head. The smell of Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale is rich, with flavor. You pick up on grains, malts and hops. Now for the taste it bold with flavor. You pick up on malts and grains in this brew. Conway's Irish Ale has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering in this brew. The mouthfeel is nice clean and rich. There is a nice smoothness to this brew. It is hard to pick up on the 6.5% in this brew, not saying that it a bad thing. Great Lakes Brewing Co., did a nice job with this one. I would buy this brew again. Overall I'm giving Conway's Irish Ale a 4.5 out of 5.

 743 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours orange with good clarity and long lasting head of tannish foam that clings in streaks and spots. Nose is malty and sweet with caramel and a buttery toasty nutty scent. Light floral and grass with a vague fruitiness. Sweet grain. Taste follows the nose. Extremely pleasant. Smooth malt brings plenty of flavor to the palate as the hops are just blushing in the background with a light fruitiness and sweet grass. Mouthfeel is medium and this finishes not quite dry with a supple malty resonance. The hops are only in the finish for balance and this one drinks like a charm. An easy going laid back sipper from great lakes.

 637 characters

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a nonic pint at approximately 40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a quite clear brown-amber, just a shade or two lighter and redder than the bottle glass. A careful pour causes virtually no head, just a short-lived cap of slightly off white that leaves no trace behind. Bubbles stream continuously from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Warm toast wafts out of the glass, bready and malty, with some vague hints of nuts and a faint shadow of something floral.

Taste: Toast and cracker spring to the fore of the flavor profile, and are met by just enough of a grassy, floral counterpart to balance from sweetness into a state best described as having swallowed the Little Book of Calm. Swimming through the mix is a faint tone of pecan, and there's also a soft, slight metallic tang to the beer, far off in the distance.

Mouthfeel: Full and nigh creamy, this nails the feel for a medium-bodied ale.

Overall: Quite possibly my favorite Irish Red, and one of the GLBC seasonals I looks forward to in the lineup. Easy to drink, and easy to savor and dissect.

 1,079 characters

Photo of Samp01
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a crystal clear dark ruby amber hue. Aroma and taste is of sweet mildly toasted malts and grains, mild fruity notes and hops bitterness. Palate is a medium body with moderate carbonation. Finishes with toasted malt, grains and light fruity tones and mild hops bitterness, has a pleasant mild nutty after taste. Overall nothing really stand out but still a good drinking brew.

 394 characters

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,514 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.