For Those Who Wish to Savor
A Review of Conway's Irish Ale by Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Posted on 3/15/2013 by Chops
                   
Delicious
At this point you can definitely say that I am a big fan of the Great Lakes Brewing Company. Their beers are consistently amazing and I fully expect to be wowed with every new experience. What I also really enjoy about the brewery is the thought they put into naming their beers. With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, I couldn't help but order Conway's Irish Ale when I saw it. I love the Irish Red Ale style and I love the Great Lakes Brewery, so it was already a match made in heaven. But I also learned that this beer was brewed in tribute to a man named Patrick Conway. I'll let Great Lakes elaborate:

We pay homage to Patrick Conway, grandfather of co-owners Patrick and Daniel, and a Cleveland policeman who directed traffic near the Brewery for nearly 25 years. And to all of the hometown heroes who make our city great, we toast with this sweet, roasty brew that pairs best with a well-deserved hot meal after a hard day's work.

In the glass, this beer has a warm amber coloration with that signature reddish tint. It comes with a frothy white head that has really good retention. On the nose, I found a toasted malty aroma with hints of sweet caramel. One thing I really love about Irish Red Ales is their simplicity. These beers are meant to be nothing more than malty easy drinkers, so don't be discouraged if you can only find a few adjectives to describe one. Great Lakes understands this concept, which is why ''red'' and ''toasted'' are really the only things I need to say about this intro. Thumbs up, let's do this.

As expected, the flavor closely matched the aroma. I was greeted with a toasted malty flavor with notes of brown bread and caramel. The hop profile is mild, savory, and beautifully balanced with the malt. The result is an endlessly enjoyable brew that is smooth and easy drinking. The beer has a solid medium body, which gives you something to chew on. It finishes very clean with an aftertaste of toasted bread and airy hop bitterness.

I should note that I greatly enjoy bigger bodies with Irish Red Ales because I believe their base character demands it. Most of them, especially the ones out of the motherland, are going to be thinner and less flavorful. This isn't a bad thing mind you, it's just a stylistic expectation. These beers can be looked at as the original session brews. Easy to drink, easy to grasp, easy to plow through pint after pint. I personally prefer meatier versions like Conway's, but it can be atypical for the style.

Overall, Conway's Irish Ale from Great Lakes is a delicious brew with a solid presence. The best way I can describe this beer is that it's an Irish Red Ale for beer geeks. This is not a beer that you down pint after pint of at a loud pub and sing Irish drinking songs while spilling half of it on the floor. It's a beer you toast with close friends and say ''Happy St. Patty's Day'' in a quiet speaking voice. It's a beer that makes an impression, not something you mindlessly dump into your stomach. This of course is the Great Lakes way, and I truly admire them because of it. Needless to say, I can recommend this brew to any and all beer fans, but especially to those who want to savor the experience. I have already picked up my six pack for St. Patty's Day weekend. And while my partying days are long behind me, I look forward to raising several quiet glasses to Patrick Conway.

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Conway's Irish Ale by Great Lakes Brewing Co.
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