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

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

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

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

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Reviews: 488 | Ratings: 1,472
Photo of Kelly88
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the dilly deli, served in a pint/pilsner glass hybrid.

A- dark ambrosia with a dirty white dog head. Clarity is about medium and bird of lacing cling to the glass.

S- almost a sweet and sour type smell. Sweet malts and a sort of stout cream type smell. Not bad but different.

T- alcohol fuses with the malts to create a sort of sweet tannin type taste. Hops balance This at the end to make for a nice finish

M- a little heavier than expected. Low carbonation That weighs on the palate. A bit of tingle on the way down

Overall a good red ale that isn't very sessionable for me.

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

A: pours red-brown, totally translucent but a pretty dark/ saturated shade. Light, fluffy foamy head, no retention to speak of.

S: Toast! Big toast! Very grainy.

T: Big toast once again, with a strange apple butter note and a unique (not yeasty) sort of funk that I can't put my finger on. Tough to describe.

M: Clean and quick, goes down easy. No lingering taste but for a little of the toastiness from the nose.

O: Not very familiar with the style, and I usually appreciate breadiness in beers, but this one tilts the scales flavor-wise. It's not got the biggest malt backbone to carry it, or any hoppiness. This would make a good food-beer, it's light enough to be swiggable and has those robust toastinesses that I think could ride well over salty, greasy stuff. Not for me, though.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from session notes.

Pours out a standard amber color but with a flash head and minimal lacing only. Smells like graham crackers with a hint of toasted nuttiness. Flavor is more about a generic sort of maltiness that has the toasted and nutty character in the background. I couldn't find any hop presence at all in this one. Has a clean crisp quality over its medium thick body.

Not bad, but not great either.

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Photo of midnite2sixman
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange/amber color ok size head. Not much lacing, may be the glass.

Bread, rye, touch of hops, and a dash of sweet. Perhaps the malts, maybe not.

Savory, not too sweet, levels off. Not huge hops or rye, but a subtle finish. Not a typical irish red.

Fairly balanced. Hits up front but levels off fast.

Give it a try. Easy going, good taste, smooth and delicious.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of bashiba
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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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.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear amber/orange colour with a very large size frothy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, hay, grass, caramel, nuts

Taste & Mouth - There is a low amount of carbonation and the beer feels slightly thin on the tongue. Most of the taste consists of malts mixed with some barnyard (grass/hay). I can also pick up on some caramel and a nuttiness. It finishes with a malty barnyard aftertaste.

Drink - This beer just didn't do it for me. I can see how it might appeal to some, but I wasn't a huge fan. I would not seek this beer out again.

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


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.


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Photo of Shrews629
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A very clear reddish/amber color with some burnt orange highlights. An off white head that was not extremely large nor did it have a lot of retention time. Lacing was just ok for me.

Smell - A sweet note of some ripe fruit. Similar to a cranberry. Some toasty breadiness. Kind of has the aroma of a Christmas "spiced" beer. An "earthy" hint hides in the background also. Something similar to "corn silage."

Taste - The taste had more of the toasted breadiness and malt. A touch sweet. Some mild bittereness.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Dry and smooth. A touch crisp actually. Leaves an average amount on the palate.

Drinkability - This beer was just ok for me. Not bad at all. Fairly easy to drink and could be enjoyed by most any craft beer enthusiast. "Reds" are not my favorite style, but they are ok on occasion. Don't go out of your way for this, but if you see it, maybe pick up a single and give it a try.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a red/brown color with a white one finger head which dissipates rather quickly; minimal lacing on the glass.

The smell is heavy with sweet and roasted malts, some carmel and a little orange also the smell is dank and earthy.

The taste quickly moves from malt sweetness, orange, carmel to tangy hop bitterness. The various tastes seem to hit all at once and that makes it hard to appreciate the individual flavors.

The mouthfeel is really tangy thanks to the high carbonation, there is also a cracker like feel to this brew.

Overall this is a good session beer, a little to tangy for my tastes. The sweetness in the smell does not come through in the taste and the whole thing has the carbonation level of soda. Not bad but this could be better.

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Photo of tdm168
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - light caramel amber with a thin white lacing of head

S - caramel, some faint apple

T - apple, caramel, fruity esters, faintly bitter, some sweetness

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a rather simplistic beer. The esters from the yeast provide most of the flavor offering some fruitiness. The malt is prevalent, but it really only adds caramel. This was a nice beer to try once, but this isn't something I would seek out again.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mtunnell (Matt) for this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Best by date of 5/3/11

A: Standard pour yields a billowy 2.5 finger light creamsicle colored head with very good retention. Beer is a clear light mahogany. Lacing is patchy and spotty with nice cling.

S: Nose is citrus, key lime pie, cream, and cane sugar. Slightly tart with a sweet caramel overtones. Subtle but enjoyable.

T: Opens sweet citrus, tea, and caramel which is pretty stable throughout. More tea leaves towards the middle complemented by cane sugar. Very malty overall with near no hop presence. Finish is sweet tea leaves with almost no aftertaste. Rather plain and one dimensional though not unenjoyable.

M: Light to medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Smooth and rich in the mouth and warming going down. Finish is slightly messy with no lingering aftertaste. Drinks much bigger than its ABV. Very impressive.

O: A decent beer that has a great look and an very nice feel, this one's a bit lacking in flavor. Worth a try but pretty run-of-the-mill overall.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a beautiful, bright amber color with small, 1 finger, creamy head that retains nicely with good foamy lacing. This is a beautiful beer.

S - A sweet bready smell, maybe even a bit of sweet spice in a deep smell. Not too distinctive, but not unpleasant.

T - Light roasted malt flavors with breadyness really sticking out. A little citrusy as the hops peek through near the end. To be honest, I felt the taste was just a bit bland.

M - Good thickness, actually, with a good amount of carbonation. Finish is a bit dry, but good.

D - Incredibly drinkable, a beer you can easily just enjoy throughout the evening.

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Photo of bilyboy65
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is being reviewed from the cleveland, oh airport. That's right trying new beers on the road. This is a nice tasting and smelling beer. Sweet and malty without a lot of hops. Smells brown sugar and nutmeg and tastes the same as well. What it's lacking in is presentation. Not a lot of head or carbonation. Almost trio the point where I'm wondering if it's fresh. They've served 3 glasses of it while I'm reviewing it, so it must be right? Either way the flavor, the noise and the mouthfeel make it an overall drinkable beer.

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Photo of beerme626
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Coming off of Edmund Fitzgerald recently, I was surprised by Conway's Irish Ale

A: A nice amber red, but with a small head that dissipated almost immediately.
S: The best part. A rich, fruity smell with distinct notes of berries.
T: Again, a little fruity for an Irish red, with a bit of alcohol taste and little hop bitterness
M: Very thin, almost flat (though the bubbles from carbonation are clearly visible).
O: Not what I expected from Great Lakes, but worth the single bottle I bought.

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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.

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Photo of elmore
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bought this beer as a single. Pale red-brown color with a white 1 finger head. Decent retention, but not much lace.

Smells of some carmely malts. No real detectable hops. Taste of lightly roasted malts with a little bit of hops bite. Dry finish with little sweetness.

Carbonation is moderate-low and has a somewhat watery mouthfeel.

A pretty straight forward beer. Pretty drinkable. Would make a decent session beer.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Blind beer #4 from Sitarist.
Went into my tulip pint.

A rusty orange colored beer with a small beige head... Virtually no lacing and low retention. It is very clear.

Smells of caramel and assorted sweet malts and some English or possibly German hops. The beer has a roasty sugary quality to it that is a bit sweet for my tastes, generally, but isn't bad. The finish dries out quite a bit-- almost the way a dry Irish stout does. The hops provide alight bitter note amongst some earthy and spicy notes. The bitterness is coffee or tea-like, but it blends well into the overall taste experience.

The body is medium and oily. Light carbonation, but it works well enough.

Overall... I could drink this beer, certainly. Is this one I'd be grabbing a 6 pack of anytime soon? Probably not... But if I saw this on tap, I'd be happy to give it a go.

---Reveals bottle to be---
Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale

Cool man. I used to drink GL stuff all the time, but after joining Ba and trading/reviewing, they have sadly fallen by the wayside for me.
It's nice to see they can still make a fine beer. Now that I know what style this is, the flavor profile really makes sense to me. I still think it could use a bit more carbonation, but it is solidly a B (or so) as is.


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Photo of quasimoto
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice deep amber hue. A frothy two finger head that left rather quickly, but it left some lace to it.

S - Toasty malt aromas are really well balanced by the sweet hop sin this brew. theres is some bready aromas, and the toastiness is real nice. It just isn't really powerful enough.

T - The aromas transfer over to the taste, and are really mellow and smooth.

M - Light and dry, the hops give a light bitterness to balance it out.

D - Very Drinkable. I can enjoy this as a session beer.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bronzish auburn color. Is this what they call burnt sienna? I think it is damn close. Nice lacings.

Soft, fruity, perfumy smells fill the air as soon as i begin to pour this one. Ready to dive in.

Quite a potent tasting brew. Heavily malty with a lingering sweetness.

Medium-bodied. Solid carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. Could have a couple of these but would maybe get bored after two or three. Better than what I see offered at a lot of my local pubs.

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Photo of output01x
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (Best Before 04/03/12) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a full 1-finger cream-colored head that fades in a couple minutes to a thin dusting and thin foam ring. The body is a perfectly clear bright red amber with a good amount of carbonation bubbles. Some light lacing can be seen throughout consumption but never seems to stick around very long.

Dark, sweet malts give notes of fresh bread and caramel. A little spiciness gives a little extra character to the nose.

Each sip starts with notes of caramel, toffee, bread crust, dry cereal, and good spiciness. Once the beer is swallowed, none of the flavors really spike and no new flavors appear. The spiciness lasts a little longer than the other flavors and into a wet finish. The spice lasts on the palate between sips.

Medium bodied with good carbonation. The body is just thick enough to allow the flavors to come out without ever becoming sticky or coating. The carbonation is a bit fizzy but does not interfere with the flavors and really helps to make this beer very drinkable.

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Photo of Beejay
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice reddish amber. Nice off white head on top. Crystal clear and brilliant.

S: Malty with a huge biscuit scent. Very bready.

T: Bread, with biscuit flavors. A nice crispness from a touch of hops. Decent and drinkable.

M: A bit dry actually. Nice medium body and carbonation works well.

D: Altogether a good beer. Tasty, enjoyable, and I could sit down for a night of these. But that being said, it is a little forgettable, and is not the strongest in their line-up.

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Photo of steveh
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Didn't get to try this last year, so here's a go.

6.5% -- GL always likes to amp it up. Best by 05/10/11 right on the label. Best served at 45°F -- I could tell that from the first few sips.

A -- Nice, clear, orange-copper color with a creamy & cream colored long-lasting head.

S -- Hmm. Mild vegetal character in the nose -- cooked peas, rhubarb. Seems I've gotten this character from the GL Oktoberfest and Elliott Ness before -- yeast, old hops, malt strain? Not heavy, but not great since there isn't much else in the nose.

T -- Starts off with lightly roasted malts, blends into sweetish and bready malts and finishes lightly citric, probably from hops. There is sweet toastiness then light bitterness in the aftertaste. Dry finish.

M -- Medium bodied with a slick mouthfeel.

D -- It's tasty and appetizing, though I like a little more sweetness -- the high ABV may have fermented out all the sweet malt character. And that vegetal character lingers in the aftertaste, not awful, but sort of distracting. I like Sam Adam's Irish Red a lot, might have to compare these side-by.

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Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 488 ratings.
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