Friday, March 16, 2012

Beer of the Week (Vol. CXXXVIII)

A special pre-holiday edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the happy-go-lucky folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you find the wine, whiskey, and beer that you seek at the end of the rainbow. And there’s still time to hit the store for all your Saint Patrick’s Day needs. But please don’t ask about green beer.

When people think of Saint Patrick’s Day, they often think of drinking. And when they think of Saint Patrick’s Day drinking, they often think of beer. And when they think of Saint Patrick’s Day beer, they often think of Irish offerings such as Guinness, Murphy’s, Beamish, Harp, and Smithwick’s (among others). While there’s nothing wrong with quaffing a pint or two of these traditional Irish beers to honor Saint Patrick, there are other options available that are much closer to home than the Emerald Isle.

One such appropriate alternative for Saint Patrick’s Day imbibing is brewed by Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Company. Our featured beer this week is their Conway’s Irish Ale:

Name Origin: An homage to Patrick Conway, grandfather of co-owners Patrick and Daniel and a Cleveland policeman who directed traffic near the Brewery for 25 years.

Style Origin: Second only to dry stout as Ireland’s other most distinctive brew, red ale was first made popular by the G.H. Lett Brewery of Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland.

Flavor: Notable toasty flavor derived from lightly roasted malt.

Sounds like a perfect blending of the Irish and the American.

12oz brown bottle. Standard stark black and white Great Lakes label design with a picture of Officer Conway in front of a church with a rooftop cross with a special green glow.

STYLE: Irish Red Ale


COLOR (0-2): Robustly red and clear. 2

AROMA (0-2): Sweet malt with a nice hop kick and a touch of toffee. 2

HEAD (0-2): Off-white color. Not a lot of volume but thick and lasting. 2

TASTE (0-5): Well balanced combination of toasted malts and citrusy hops. Neither is especially prominent, but together they blend nicely for a pleasant taste experience. Smooth mouthfeel and medium body. Quite drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Clean and dry finish, but the follow through is light. 1

OVERALL (0-6): Conway Irish Ale is definitely a beer that does both the namesake man and country proud. A tasty and well-made brew that goes down easy makes it a good choice to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day whether you’re raising one pint or several. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14