Friday, January 28, 2011

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale

I reached out on Twitter recently to see if anyone was interested in doing a guest post on either my Restaurant Review Blog or my Craftbeer Review Blog.  Within an hour Joe Rath, writer of athomeincle, responded that he was very interested in doing a beer review.  When he mentioned he would like to review Conway's Irish Ale by Great Lakes Brewing I was excited to see his thoughts.   Athomeincle is a blog that focuses on highlighting local businesses and volunteerism in Cleveland, and deep down inside Joe is a Cleveland Craftbeer lover as well! is Joe's Review!

I don’t know what’s better, that Brad invited me to write a guest beer review or the fact that I got to review Conway’s Irish Ale! Reviewing Conway’s is perfect for all the right reasons.  Let’s consider two important background items here :
  1. My soon-to-be wife is related to the Conways and the gentleman on the label, Patrick Conway, is her great grandpa.
  2. I’m more critical of this beer than any other Great Lakes produces.  Except maybe that wine barrel beer they had a couple months ago.  Didn't like that.
With a family of beers as awesome as Great Lakes produces, the bar is set very high.  Historically, this has been one of my least favorite beers at GLBC but still better than most outside of W25th and Lorain. So it’s nice to take a step back and write something objective about this particular red Irish ale. 
Got a chance to taste on the night of the tapping, so I’m drinking a draft.  Small head and nice copper/orange color makes me immediately happy that I’m not about to drink a Killian’s (which pretty much made me recognize Irish ales as a gimmick more than a good pour). So here’s the thing, I’m a bit of a hop head and that is certainly an element that is missing here.  I’m not expecting to get knocked down with an Irish ale, quite the opposite, but the malt certainly pushes the little hops aside. What is really great here is a nice balanced sweetness, a caramel flavor with the toasty malt taste underlining every sip.  This is what gives this beer a very high drinkability rating, maybe more so than any other Great Lakes beer.  This is also why you would be hard-pressed to make a bad food pairing with Conways, this thing is pretty damn smooth (6.5% ABV can really sneak up on ya!).  
I can see why this beer is such a hit, only brought down by its style and its incredible competition within its own family of great beers.  Truly “second to none” in this style and no other American Irish Ale can compete.
Serving Type: Draft 
My Rating: Overall 81.5/100
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4| feel: 3.75 | drink: 4.75


  1. Nice job on the guest post. I had it on tap described it like I tasted it...and it is yummy!

  2. Thanks John, I appreciate the comment. One of my favorite seasonal beer for sure



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