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

very good
491 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: 491 | Ratings: 1,496
Photo of jjayjaye
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby amber color with a thin off white head that fades rapidly.
Smoked spice and malt aromas are most predominant to me. A slightly smoked flavor with a tang from the hop that adds to an interesting mouth feel. Nice take on the style. Thanks to DE for the opportunity.

 283 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a clear copper color and a fluffy white head that leaves great lacing

Smell: Graham cracker and light fruit aromatics

Taste: Starts out with a toasty graham cracker and light fruit flavor that continues to the finish; nothing fancy but very flavorful

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is not a style I would normally seek out but the Great Lakes version is a keeper

 439 characters

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

This beer pours a nice amberish color, not quite red. A good hard pour produces a nice off white head and there is a good amount of lacing throughout. Smells sweet, some caramel and maple syrup. Taste is very smooth and malty, again with caramel and a slight hint of hops. Very good for this style. A nice session beer.

 319 characters

Photo of cueball52
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It pours a deep copper/red with a nice frothy head that dissipates quickly. Minimal head and lace to the bottom of the glass.Not a lot of aroma, just a mild sweet smell. The taste up front is sweet, carmel, with a touch of spiciness. Nice carbination, very refreshing with a dry pleasant after taste. Great balance and probabaly one of the better Irish ales out there. This ale is remarkably drinkable!

 402 characters

Photo of BlindPig
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- About a 1/4" just off white head on a crystal clear dark orange amber body.
S- Big caramel and roasted malts. Dry hops comes through too.
T- Light caramel malts mixed with some nice roasted ones too. Well balanced with some dry hops. Has a nice dry feel to it. Lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste mixed with a light caramel flavor.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation.
D- It is a very nice and drinkable. Very well balanced and the best Irish red ale I have tried. I think they hit the nail on the head with this one.

 536 characters

Photo of bigbubba
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a nice dark amber with an off-white head. There was only a 1/8" or so of head, and it was gone quickly. It has a sweet malty aroma. It looks and smells alot like the Christmas Ale, but without the Christmas spices. The taste is very good. I'm not usually a fan of the style, but this is nice. It is sweet at first but dries out nicely. There is just a faint bitter aftertaste that makes you want the next sip. The mouthfeel is also very good. Very smooth and substantial. Drinkability is great, I might have to reserve a keg for St. Pat's Day.

 556 characters

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.

 505 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear copper amber with a 1 finger creamy off white head.

S - Toasted malt and biscuit with a bit of spice from the hops.

T - Quite malty with a good dose of biscuit and a little bit of a raw grainy taste. The spice from the hops compliment this one well.

M - Nice full and creamy mouthfeel.

D - A very tasty beer. This will become a regular spring drinker for me.

 388 characters

Photo of peabody
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out clear reddish amber with a finger of white suds that hold on for a while.
Leaves a little lacing.
Smell is yeasty malt with hints of rasberry and lemon.
Great smelling brew here.
Taste like a dead fish smells. This is not a bad thing though.
It calms down with more sipping.Must be the hops that are giving me the dark dirty taste. Might become addicting.
Mouthfeel is very carbonated and it fizzes for a while on the tounge.
I think Edmond Fitzgerald is a better Great Lakes brew but this one needs more attention from me. I am happy to grant this.

 567 characters

3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of mlh1227.

A - 1" tan head that lasts about a minute. Light lace. The beer is a glowing bronze/amber color.

S - Toasted caramel with a nice dose of hops mingling in the background.

T - Taste is a mixture of toffee, caramel and bready, biscuity malts. Sweet honey. Malty beer but with the perfect amount of hops to keep the sweetness in check.

M - A little north of being medium bodied, bordering on full. Light carbonation and a dry finish.

D - Great drinkability, would make for a nice session.

 532 characters

Photo of adams82
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12oz. bottle.

A: This beer pours a red/copper color, much like I expected from an (Red) Irish Ale. Not much staying power in the head, it looks nice and fluffy and shortly thins out.

S: Slightly floral and fruity but mostly sweet aroma coming from this one. Smells good! It begs to be sipped.

T: The evolution of taste: It starts a little spicy, some of the floral notes in the smell come out here as well but it finishes with a toasty and malty kick! Nice dry finish, very toasty, very good!

M: Good mouthfeel here. Carbonation seems right, rolls on throughout the mouth nicely, smooth.

D: Talk about quaffable! Easy to drink and a pleasure to do so! The 6.5% abv is not apparent here, one after another would not be a problem.

I have had limited experience with GLB Co., but they have all been very good. Conway's Irish Ale is a great beer to have any time of year and seems like it should go great with any meal. While not perfect, this is a great session beer to be enjoyed at any time!

 1,021 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodman's, $1.39, best by 4/4/06

appearance: pours a super clear bright amber, glowing almost, very light beige foamy head with no retention, very light lacing

smell: toasted grain, light sweet malt, apple juice, bready, herbal hops in the background, caramel covered apple

taste: sweet apple juice flavour, creamy caramel, toasted grain, sweet thick malt backbone, light herbal hop presence, light astringency, a touch of alcohol comes through in the aftertaste, slightly nutty, biscuit-esque, bready...good, but not great

mouthfeel: medium-near full body, smooth and creamy

drinkability: pretty good

 629 characters

Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +5%
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!

 427 characters

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

Poured a single bottle ($1.35) into a pint glass.

Poured a clear burnt amber color with a very respectable pale khaki head of about 1.5cm. Head was nice and tight and stuck around awhile

Smells very balanced, equal parts malt and hops. Nice toasty flavors in there with slight caramel, if only a bit on the mild side.

Taste was kinda weak, but generally followed the smell. Sweet and caramelly, with a nice crisp finish. Good maltiness without being too heavy or too sweet. I think the yeast is giving it a pleasant breadiness too.

Very satisfying in the mouth, though not quite as creamy as the Great Lakes Christmas Ale. A bit high on the astringency too.

A real classic middle of the road "ale." There are no gimmicks, no fancy tricks. Just straight up ale that you can swill or enjoy patiently. Definitely a great beer to get out at the pub or to share with friends, but not necessarily worth the novelty of a once-a-year release. An excellent representative of the style, if only a bit plain. I must say this beer reminds quite a bit of Ireland-- astringent, bland, but thoroughly enjoyable.

 1,111 characters

Photo of sopor
3.29/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A crystal clear deep golden-amber ale with a little less than an inch of off-white head, and a lasting spotty and smooth film. An almost cidery-vinous note greets me at the top of my tulip-pint, but it's not a very welcome greeting... The cidery-vinous note is present again at first contact with the tongue, but balanced in with some tangy-sweet malt that leads into a delicately nutty and biscuity malt. Hops are present, but just enough to tie off the flavor. Fortunately the cider/wine fades as I'm drinking the beer, and the nutty malt picks up just slightly. Body is light, but not watery thin. Besides some unwelcome flavors, this beer is a very easy drinking pale ale.

 676 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper with a frothy off white head.

Smell is invitingly sweet with toasted malt and fruit leading the way. Hints of caramel.

Taste is defined by the sweetness of the roasted malt, wonderful complexity is added by the fruit and earthy nut flavors that linger long on the pallet. Light hop character brings balance to the sweetness in an understated way. Very pleasant. Finish is clean but not sharp.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied.

Overall this is a good brew. I find it to be interesting with its array of flavors in harmony with each other. Balanced but complex.

 593 characters

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.

 378 characters

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.

 489 characters

Photo of Shovelbum
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a frothy off-white head over a clear deep amber body. Aromas of sweet caramel malt and ripe berries. The caramel malt provides a soft sweetness in the flavor as well. Balanced by a fruity floral hop character. A nice bisuit character too. Lean body, moderate carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with a clean finish.

A tasty brew. Mild sweetness with a balancing light hop bitterness. Easy drinking and flavorful.

 415 characters

Photo of nortmand
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange pour with a half inch white head.

Grass dominates the nose. A bit of barley sweetness there as well.

Slightly astringent up front. Mellows into a malty sweetness. Too sweet, really. Almost an unfermented wort sweetness.

Thin to medium body, a bit oily on the tongue, but relatively drinkable, although it would seem that this were designed to be consumed cold.

 376 characters

Photo of karst
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared with a friend and fellow homebrewer - Missouri State Patrolman as St. Pat's quickly approaches.

Pours a ruddy copper with a cream 1 fingered head providing sustained but minimal lace on the sides of my etched Seidel mug. The light radiates in a glow as the head quickly falls to a ring that is sustained by very fine almost invisible beads of CO2.

A light aroma from the crystal clear liquid suggests
biscuit malt and sweet toffee malt. No more hint of hops than a american lager.

Taste is amazingly clean (almost lager like) and the sweetness is quikly cut by a mild acidic sparkling carbonation that soon fades to a lightly dextrinous medium bodied toasty malt with little of the caramel flavor - expected from the appearance and aroma. If diacetyl is present it is sublimable to the roasty malt that is mingled and quickly dried by an excellent hop bitterness in the finish.

This is far superior to the Killians previously reviewed.

Fresh from a weekend run to Granite City's Corral Liquors with a best by date of April 06 '06. Missed talking to Joe beut he deserves some time off. Great Lakes does not disappoint me and I feel the need to make a run to Cleveland.

Very drinkable at 45°F and even 55°F I am sure Grandfather Patrick Conway would have loved to have a couple of pints after his day on the beat dirrecting Cleveland's traffic. Do a detect a belly suggesting love of beer in his photo on the label?

 1,446 characters

Photo of LittleWolf
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber red with a foamy head that soon dissipates.

This beer has a very yeasty smell which makes you anticiapte a good sweet malty flavor.

Wow, what a drinkable beer. Just like the smell indicates, it has a good malt flavor with some sweetness. Some decent lacing along the sides of the glass, the beer's flavor really comes out as you drink, I think my fridge was too cold. Not much of a hop flavor at all, and the mouthfeel is average or slightly above. However, I could settle for a six-pack of Conway's Irish Ale instead of reaching for 6 different session brews. It says Irish Ale, and I'm not an expert on the stlye, but it doesn't quite match other Irish Ales that I've had. All in all, another good brew from Great Lakes.

I definately plan on having a few of these on St. Patty's.

 806 characters

Photo of AltBock
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this at local bar for only $3. It came to me, not too cold and in a standard American 12 oz. pint glass.

When it came to me, it was a dark reddish color with just hint of brown in there as well. It had this really nice 2 finger head of white creamy foam. It had good retention leaving behind it plenty of white sticky lace. Really nice appearance! The aroma was that of piny hops up front and some toasted malt in the background. Not too much going on in the aroma, but it was still very good. I found the taste to be sweet with piny hops up front and plenty of toasted malts in the background. After the malts, the hops showed up again at the end. The mouthfeel was carbonated with just a slight dry aftertaste. While there was not much stuff going on in this beer, I still found this beer quite enjoyable and highly drinkable on-tap. A must try if you can find this on-tap.

 884 characters

Photo of fightingwords
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought (2) as single bottles and served into a 16oz. American pint glass.

A--deep red to brown. Transparent in nature. Had a fizzy 1 finger head that dissapated quickly to a film with minimal lacing. A consistent flow of bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

S--The smell I got from the bottle upon opening was a maltly sweetness that I expected. From the glass I couldnt draw much of anything distinguishable other than a mild hop/grain odor. Nothing special.

T--Certainly had more "flavorful" Irish Red's but this one was satisfying. Again, nothing speical here, just the usual sweetness followed with a little bit of grain in the after taste. This is how most reds taste to me.

M--Thin and clean, but had a strange fizzy feeling that was left on my tip of my toungue. Little bit more dense than water if it makes a difference to anyone.

D--Could have several of these in a row without question. Not too filling, not to alcoholic.

Overall--just another no frills beer from a top notch brewer. I wont be rushing out for another of these anytime soon, but I will recommend it to my friends who are looking for a "cross-over" beer. Good beer.

 1,163 characters

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

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a golden copper red body that is crystal clear with a gentle release of tiny bubbles. The head is a thin creamy head that is white with a faint yellow hue.

S- The smell of lightly toasted malt with some note of dry fresh grain note in there. No real hop aroma in there.

T-This beer had a nice slightly sweet toasted malt flavor with some dry fresh grain flavor that follows. There is a very slight buttery note but it is not detected when the beer is really cold. There is a nice spicy flavor that finishes and some green hop notes in there. The finish is crisp and dry with a soft carbonic note.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz in the finish.

D- This is a nice smooth beer that has some good malt flavors and a spicy hop flavor but it would be nice to see the malt have a bit more depth and the hops back off a bit. Definitely a good crossover beer for those that drink Adjunct Lagers.

 978 characters

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,496 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.