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The Chapter House

Not Rated.
The Chapter HouseThe Chapter House

Taps: 49 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
BA SCORE
96
world-class

27 Ratings
Ratings: 27
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 5.67%
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar ]

400 Stewart Ave
Ithaca, New York, 14850-4559
United States
phone: (607) 277-9782

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 27 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Durge:
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Had a chance to stop in here for a quick pint of Cascazilla and I am happy to report that it met the expectations painted by all the previous reviewers. It's got the old neighborhood charm and college ambiance as advertized with the wonderful big wooden bar and essentially an entire bar of dark wooden warmth. I counted 30 taps and the range was very broad, including plenty of local, regional and international beauties. I didn't see a lot of really wild stuff, but it was plenty impressive and i was sorry I couldn't stay for more. It was a nice crowd combining students and some older folks. The bartender was quick and pleasant although I didn't stay long enough to fully experience things like I would have liked to. Good music, a larger room attached to the barroom looks like a comfortable place to sit with friends or do some homework with a beer. Decorations include various breweriana knick-knacks. I look forward to going back and can only say it would be tough to stay out of this place if i was a student at Cornell!

02-19-2011 06:17:25 | More by Durge
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mumbly
Mumbly

New York

4.5/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Bar has 49 taps (no BMC). New lines are going in! One branch is already done.
Nice neighborhood bar feel.
When they first open their doors in the afternoon the clientele is older (that is not college students). Between 8 and 9 is when the clientele starts to change to more students. So pick which time works best for you.
The staff is friendly and helpful and of course will give you samples. Most of the beer selection is regional.

My only complaints are:
I wish they had more beers from outside the NY/PA region.
I wish they mixed up their beer selection a little more (you pretty much know what's going to be on tap--even with so many to choose from).

The "Chappy" is my home away from home. Check it out if you like a big selection.

02-12-2014 19:50:18 | More by Mumbly
Photo of ChrisKayler
ChrisKayler

Virginia

3.94/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 5 | $$

Great selection, cool college pub feel, FREE POPCORN!

Seemed a little cliquey during happy hour ... there were regulars and they got a bit better service, but we were always asked if we wanted another beer when we were empty.

Would definitely visit again.

06-25-2013 21:54:39 | More by ChrisKayler
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
Chickenhawk9932

Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$

This place has an authentic pub feel. There is a decent amount of college memorabilia hanging around that gives the place a heady ivy league feel, yet the place is dingy enough to have the feel of a working man's pub. It is inviting. There are 49 beers on tap, a very decent selection of craft beer - local NY & PA dominate.The bartender was informative and helpful. He pointed out that the Rogue Dead Guy I wanted was a mislabeled keg - very helpful without being pretentious. This place is classic and a must try.

03-03-2012 02:50:18 | More by Chickenhawk9932
Photo of bird18
bird18

Maine

4.61/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

Visited twice during a 4 day visit to the Ithaca area in mid July 2011. Awesome beer selection about 30 taps. Lots of NY and PA brews as well as other great ones. Had Ithaca Flower Power, Southern Tier IPA, Middle Ages IPA and tried tastes of a Victory Brewing choice and English Porter. they had a good selection of stouts, porters and wheats, mostly East Coast but a few West Coast as well. Something for everyone even PBR. No food which is a shame as we would have eaten here every meal because of the great beer selection. Sat at bar both times we were there, great service and good conversations with what appeared to be regulars. Highly recommend if in Ithaca.

07-24-2011 03:08:22 | More by bird18
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Amyliz4 and I visited this place Memorial Day 2011 after a visit to Ithaca. Some helpful BAs from the Mid-Atlantic group suggested that I go here to be able to try Middle Ages Blackheart Stout. The Chapter House had that beer as well as a few other things from Middle Ages, plus quite a few other offerings.

The atmosphere was really nice and laid back. The room was fairly dark and there were quite a few regulars sitting at the bar. Dark wood all around. It definitely had a bit of a pub vibe. The bartender was extremely friendly and helpful, chatting with us and telling stories about the bar. It was nice that he went out of his way to be friendly with people who were clearly from out of town. (If it wasn't apparent already, the Virginia IDs surely gave it away.)

I think there were about 40 taps with a really nice selection of pub standards (which only took up a few of the taps) along with tons of regional beer. Loads of things from Ithaca and quite a few beers from Middle Ages. Glassware was appropriate. Prices were definitely in check. Overall, it was a great experience and I will happily return if and when I get back to Ithaca.

06-11-2011 11:21:06 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of drummstikk
drummstikk

California

4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $

Chappy served me my first legal beer. It got me through papers and introduced me to many of the beers I love today. I love the Chapter House!

Now that my bias is duly noted: Chappy has a huge selection in a dank wooden atmosphere. You'll feel like you're drinking in the 19th century in the middle of the Northeast's golden years of beer. What more could you want? Deeply etched picnic-style tables and benches are thrown together in a room inexplicably separated from the tiny room that houses the bar. Greasy and small window panes are housed in steel grids, all in swinging wooden frames that never quite shut in the winter. Free popcorn and foosball reside in the third room. Bathrooms are down a narrow and steep staircase. Aside the obligatory English football scarves, there are old photos of Cornell students, some actually from the 19th century, as well as, if I'm remembering correctly, a rowing shell.

If you're staying in Collegetown or on campus, be forewarned: the Chapter House is at the bottom of precipitous Williams Street. Be prepared for a sober skip down and a drunken slog back up!

If you're a Cornell student, don't go to Dunbar's or Johnny O's. You'll be able to find bars like these wherever life takes you. Go to the Chapter House, because you'll never visit anywhere else quite like it.

03-26-2010 08:21:39 | More by drummstikk
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.91/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

The Chapter house is on the hill just off the Cornell campus. It's kind of isolated, there isn't really anything around except apartments until you head up the hill to the other side of Collegetown. It is usually packed with students, especially on weekends when it gets crowded and pretty damn loud. During the week it's pretty empty, with normal people and graduate students. The Chapter House is kind of known as a grad student hang-out actually.

When you walk in there is a bar on your left. If you walk toward the back of the bar you can make a left and head into the other room, which is full of tables, a pool table and a couple of dartboards.
The whole bar is kind of sticky, dirty and divey. Let's just say that you wouldn't want to eat anything that fell on the floor. I think they are deliberately going for the dive bar look and feel though, so it's possible that everything just LOOKS dirty and is actually really clean (they probably came by their grime honestly though). The bathroom is small, seldom very clean, and down a set of stairs.

On to the beer. That's one thing the chapter house has going for it. Around forty beers on tap, and they rotate regularly. Troegs, Sierra Nevada, Victory, Saranac, Ithaca, Southern Tier, Brooklyn and many other American craft breweries are included. There are always a few beers on special also. Last time I went 12oz Sierra Nevada Bigfoots were 3 bucks a piece.

Quality takes a hit from me because the first time I was here I ordered a Troegs Hopback and got a beer that came out of what was obviously a really dirty tap line. The place was slammed so I didn't bother to complain, but I should have. Every time that I have been back since, I have had no problems.

Service has always been fine for me, pretty quick when crowded actually. I've never really had any conversations or talked beer with any of the servers.

I'm not sure that I love the vibe of the chapter house, but it has a good beer selection, fair prices and is worth a stop every once in a while, especially on a week day.

03-06-2010 04:15:11 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of jameswaldo
jameswaldo

New York

4.94/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

I've been a Chapter House fan since I first came to Ithaca 40 years ago. For a little while they had their own brewing setup, but it took valuable floor space and rarely produced a beer as good as most of the 50 they keep on tap. They had a mediocre pubfood minikitchen in south room for a while, too, that I don't miss at all. Now they do what they're best at: draft beer you will like. (I've read some reviewers wonder about dirty lines, but know bartenders will pour you something else satisfaction guaranteed if you complain!) The ambiance here is so down-home funky, you need to know Japanese aesthetics to realize that the wabi sabi here is on purpose. When crowded, this place is extremely hopping. It's not set up for the best musical experience when excellent bands play here, but I'll forever remember the best shows of Mectapus, Horse Flies, Boy With a Fish that I much enjoyed here despite the awkwardness of stage and loudspeaker placement. I lived up the street on Stewart Ave for 3 years in seventies, then after Peace Corps higher uphill on College Ave in Collegetown from 77-80 and would have hung out at CH more but it was too smoky then; now that smokers have to do it on the sidewalk outdoors, CH is an even more beautiful old space. I like to bicycle around Cayuga Lake once or twice a year and always stop by CH on the way home. Bartender will let you try tastes before you commit, so take advantage of this to find a flavor you love. For sure try to get here when it's not too crowded. Happy hours sell you beer at especially good pint prices; there for sure will be something on tap to suit you. The free popcorn will help beer from sloshing too much in a hungry tummy, but no food served here these days. Ride your bicycle here if you can, or hike around Cascadilla Gorge just a block to north. Their website is really well-designed, too.

02-28-2010 15:30:00 | More by jameswaldo
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$

Stopped in here for a couple of pints as we were passing through Ithaca. Cool vibe inside with a long bar inside the door, a room off to the side with tables and some pool tables in the back. This place must be jumping when school is in session; not sorry I missed that.

The tap list is massive, with about 40 taps. Most taps were American crafts, with a good selection of NY beers. A few Ithaca taps (Flower Power, yummy!) were the highlight. Also a few Saranac and Middle Ages along with a Roosterfish hefeweizen that was just awful. Some pretty run of the mill selections from Victory, Stone and Rogue round out the American end of the craft list. Import taps are of the Guinness/Newcastle/Boddingtons/Hoegaarden "so what" variety.

Our bartender was a pleasant, outgoing guy. No food, but great free popcorn.

Worth a stop if you are in the area.

HV

06-15-2009 12:44:32 | More by sholland119
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The Chapter House in Ithaca, NY
96 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.