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

very good
499 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 499 | Ratings: 1,519
Photo of beveritt
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass. The label shows a turn of the century policeman in front of a church or chapel and explains that this is Patrick Conway, the owners grandfather. I loe the info Great Lakes puts on their beers, ABV, recommended serving temperature, and a best buy date.

Appearance: Pours with just over one finger of almost white foam. This settles into about half a finger of head that sticks around for the rest of the glass. The beer itself is a honey orange, with a slight reddish hue. Beer is absolutely clear.

Smell: A little fruity upfront, with hints of orange and other citrus. Very slight metallic tang. The barest aroma of sweet malt and hops in the finish.

Taste: Just a hint of citrus upfront, followed by solid malt backbone. Subtle sweetness blends well with some breadiness. Finishes with mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is average. Body is very good!

Drinkibability: Another solid offering from Great Lakes. Easy drinking yet flavorful.

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

Poured from the bottle into a Great Lakes pint glass. Clear with a nice amber color. Carbonation is quite low and the head is very thin. Very faint nose with some biscuit and floral notes and a touch of fruitiness.

Flavor is primarily sweet toast and jam with some caramel notes and a nice mild hop presence. There is a faint touch of spice (nutmeg?). Mouthfeel is thin-to-firm. Overall, this is a very nice, enjoyable representation of the style that I would be happy to drink again. I do wish it had a little more going for it in the hop department though.

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

A very nice deep amber color, crystal clear with some nice bubbles. One finger white head dissipates quickly but remains around the edges of my shaker pint glass.
With some agitation I get a grainy aroma along with some bready yeastiness. The aromas here are more complex than the taste.
This is pretty steady all the way through with a toasted bread flavor which leaves a lingering aftertaste.
It's medium bodied, crisp up front with that toastiness and the lingering aftertaste that isn't completely pleasant.
A nice beer for those cool spring nights but not my favorite offering from Great Lakes. This beer looks very nice and has some aroma complexity and is very steady on taste and feel. I would like to try it again on draft to see how it differs.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.
Best before April 06 on side of label.

Pours a medium amber color, with a half inch off white head. Crystal clear, with lots of carbonation. Spotty lacing left along the sides of the glass. Not a terribly strong smelling brew. Reminds me of tea, wheat and malts. Decent taste, mostly malts and very sweet. Good mouthfeel, very smooth, and slightly dry. Very easy too drink and a good example of the style. A good offering from Great Lakes.

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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

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Photo of TheNightlyPint
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber orange with a thin barm that doesn't hang out long. Some candied lemon on the nose. Flavors of apricot jam on toast. Smooth mouthfeel and clean finish. A viable option if you want to drink something slightly outside the mainstream this St. Patrick's Day.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: Pours a very clear light amber color with a small amount of carbonation bubbles and a finger of just off white creamy head that lingers for a bit then dissipates, leaves a thin layer of lacing
S: interesting sweetness and what i can only say reminds me of creaminess, maybe whipped cream
T: very clean and crisp taste, very clean, begins with just a slight sweetness, nice nutty malt and sweetness in the middle, very toned down but still present, leaves just a slight sweetness on the palate afterwards
M: a bit intense on the carbonation in the beginning, then has a creamy texture, and leaves the mouth slightly sticky
O: a decent brew, drinks nicely and cleanly, i could drink a sixer of this with no qualms

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of CPeterson
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -- A clear copper orange brew that pours into a one finger head and settles into a thin skim.

S -- Smells of caramel malts, roast, bready.

T -- Bready malt notes, light essences of caramel and vegetation, light bitterness at the end.

M -- Smooth as as hell, light to medium in body. Lightly carbonated.

D -- Very drinkable, a little on the light end for the style but good nonetheless.

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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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Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,519 ratings.
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