The Chapter House
Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ithacabaron:
4.7/5 rDev +8.5%
Where I cut my teeth as a burgeoning beer geek in college. It should be noted, although listed here as the Chapter House Brewpub, they no longer brew their own beer.
Don't worry, they've made up for it.
Almost perfect atmosphere here -- dark walnut walls, long tables, every inch of everything with something carved into it (and a few of them mine!). It's the kind of carefully worn-in place that's just about perfect when there's two-feet of snow outside, and you don't want to go face the 30 mile-an-hour winds outside just yet. I personally like to sit inside the cut-in windowsills and watch the snow fall. The only reason I can't give this place a 5 is because there are nights where a band is booked to play, resulting in two things:
1.) A cover charge
2.) It gets pretty loud inside, making conversation difficult.
On non-band nights, though, the room keeps at a decent volume, and you don't have to waste valuable pint money getting into the door. That being said, some of the bands are pretty good, so I can't complain too much.
Quality is very good, with beer served at the correct temperature, and with fair and generous pours. Service is good too, although sometimes it's hard to get the attention of a bartender.
The selection is fantastic, almost entirely on tap (a few bottles, and then, they're not everyday ones, like Unibroue 11 or St. Bernardus, etc.) 50 or so taps in all, all listed on a giant chalkboard, and grouped by price. This is very handy, because lord knows I've wandered in here a few times with just enough for a pint and a one dollar tip. Being able to see everything that is a certain price helps decision making easy. Prices range from 3 dollars (Ithaca, Boddingtons, etc.) to about 5 dollars or so (one-offs from local breweries, lambics, certain belgians, etc.). You'll pay a little more for vintage kegs, which they'll break out every once in a while, but it's worth it.
All in all, prices are very fair, and a friend once visiting from Boston was quite shocked to see them, stating "They're practically giving this beer away!" So put it this way: Decent prices for Ithaca, NY...great prices if you're from a more metropolitan area.
Food is not really a consideration, although endless baskets of fresh (and free!) popcorn is always fun.
Go here if you're anywhere within an hour or two of Ithaca.
01-13-2005 15:58:25 | More by ithacabaron
More User Reviews:
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
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
3.94/5 rDev -9%
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
4.36/5 rDev +0.7%
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
4.61/5 rDev +6.5%
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
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
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
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
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
4.56/5 rDev +5.3%
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
The Chapter House in Ithaca, NY
95 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.