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The Chapter House

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
Photo of HeyItsChili
HeyItsChili

China

4.26/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Went here with some regulars while visiting Cornell for an open house. The atmosphere was stellar. This, my friends, was a bar for savoring beer with friends. Plus, you can't beat free popcorn. The first thing I noticed was a plethora of taps filled with tasty selections at good prices. Hoegaarden line was a bit dirty not a big deal. Service was friendly and good, if I end up in Ithaca I will definitely be a regular here.

Bottom line, if you're in Ithaca and enjoy beer, why the hell aren't you here?

12-29-2008 23:43:43 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of madmanjf
madmanjf

New York

4.19/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Stopped here AFTER the 2008 Ithaca Brewfest.

Needless to say, it wasn't very busy yet, but I'm sure that's not the norm.

40 lines ... impressive selection.

A rather dark and spent atmoshphere ... this is by no means bad. Clearly a place that gets crowds and enjoyed by all.

I certainly wasn't able to enjoy this place as much as I would've liked. Clearly, I need to go back when I have more time and can get the feel for the place better.

I really can't say anything bad. It obviously has the best selection in the area. It certainly rivals the better beer bars I've been to within NYC :)

There isn't any food available at this establishment.

09-07-2008 22:35:45 | More by madmanjf
Photo of penguinjive7
penguinjive7

New York

4.41/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

In my four years of living in Ithaca I never visited this place. I always meant to, but just never got around to it. I finally made my way over there while visiting a friend and man do I wish I had gone more often while living there. On a Thursday night at around ten, it was not very crowded or loud at all. There is a choice in three main rooms, with one of them being a place for a group of friends to share a few pints, and another having pool tables if that be what you're looking for.

The list of brews on tap there is quite impressive. About 50 or so taps with mostly US micro brews. Nice selection from Stone and others out in California to Ithaca beers brewed right down the road. The only complaint was that one of the Stone IPAs I had there was a bit off. It could have been the batch, but it also could have been sitting in the keg too long, not too sure.

Overall a great place to go for some good beer and never have to have the same brew twice in a night.

Oh yeah and free popcorn.

02-26-2008 20:51:40 | More by penguinjive7
Photo of zdk9
zdk9

Texas

4.66/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

One of my favorite places to just chill out and have a beer. The interior is filled with lots of character in the wooden tables and benches. There are pool tables in one room and a stage that usually has music (for a cover) on the weekends. It can get pretty crowded with college students at select times so if you're simply looking to enjoy a quiet brew be careful with that. As for selection they about 30ish taps of ranging styles and regions. I'm not sure if they are as equiped with bottles and very few Europeans so that's not the best, but it shouldn't be hard for anyone to find multiple beers they will like there.

As a side note they have had copies of BA mag for your reading pleasure in the past couple months.

05-12-2007 21:48:09 | More by zdk9
Photo of JimFalzone
JimFalzone

Massachusetts

4.64/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $

This place has already been thoroughly reviewed by others, but I'll point out a few things.

The selection kicks ass. And what's better? The bartenders typically know what they are talking about. If you walk in and say, I want something crisp and refreshing - they'll point you to a pint of locally brewed Ithaca Flower Power IPA. If you say that you like Guinnes but you're looking for something a bit sweeter, they'll point you to a Murphy's or Fullers.

The location is in the heart of "college town" this is the affectionate label of the part of town near Cornell University but close to Ithaca College. On a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night - this place can quickly become Animal House (in a good way). But unlike other college bars that serve swill and wine coolers, the Chapter House emphasizes beer and would laugh at you if you ordered a bud light.

The bands that play here are 90% awesome. Some of the local talent is unlike anything you will here in the world. Johnny Dowd, Plastic Nebraska, Sim Redmond, etc

If you come during the day, I highly recommend that you walk down one of the gorges in Ithaca. In fact, there is one about 2 blocks from this bar that is simply spectacular. We used to walk up this trail and reward ourselves with pints after the long (1.2 mile) hike. It earned the name "The Mush & Rick Fitness Trail" in honor of two friends who regularly made the trip.

12-27-2006 20:49:29 | More by JimFalzone
Photo of slander
slander

New York

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

At the time, the hour round trip off the highway to and from Ithaca seemed like a good idea, but now I'm looking down the barrel of a 4 and change hour drive home. I'd say that it's just now that I'm thinking that a beer or two may take the edge off some, though really it was by design from the get go, I knew what I was in for...
Lots of old well worn wood here, the bar "C" shaped running the length to the rear, seating about a dozen. The mirrored barback has a beer can display running above it, just below the mounted set of rowing oars that probably belong to the boat that hangs from the ceiling. Glass lamp lighting above and wall mounted lamps behind the bar. The walls are covered with old Cornell fraternity and sorority composite photos, athlete and club pictures. 4 blackboards hanging to the rear list the tap and bottle selections and a collection of old beer coasters line the area above these boards and on the trim of the panelled glass front windows.
Dozens of ancient ceramic mugs and glasses from a past mug club of yore hang alternating from the ceiling, twisty metal lock games dangling on hooks from the bar back, and a single TV to the rear near the blackboards. The front area below the windows has a small sign reading "Wise guy's corner". I sat there because... well, yeah.
A row of taps 30 long sits on the bar, with a pair more holding 10 each below both ends of the bar. 50 taps in all, nothing on the hand pump (sooo sad), and oddly enough, a single bottle being Delirium Tremons. Good taps, locals & regionals (Ithaca, Middle Ages, Southern Tier, Wagner Valley, Brooklyn, Victory, Magic Hat) and not (Lost Coast, Bear Republic, Great Divide, Anderson Valley, Rogue, Anchor, North Coast), and so so imports (Youngs Double Chocolate Stout, Fullers ESB, Guinness, Harp, Bass, Paulaner Hefe, Stella, Hoegaarden, Jever, Boddingtons, Pilsner Urquell). Beers were fresh, no problems there, and the bartender let me try one of these and one of those, too, thank you.
Beyond the bar lies a room holding a pair of pool tables, electronic darts, a pinball machine, a foosball table, and a popcorn machine. There's a side room with some big tables, more Cornell pics and Phil's golf game, and a far room with an area for bands to set up, a giant arial Ithaca photo, some beer label displays, and about 8 tables, scratched, carved, and beaten to all comfortable hell.
I pledged my fraternity in the 80's, during the "hazing is amazing" years. My chapter house was never this good.

02-27-2006 00:12:10 | More by slander
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
GreatPondBrewer

California

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

Visited on a wintery February night the Chapter House was a welcome comfort from the blustery dark. Plenty of wood paneling and old pictures from Cornell's days of yore adorning the walls gave off quite a lived in feel. Everything was just a little worn and faded. There were not too many people when we got there and it stayed that way. The bartender was quick with the pints and there was some great beer to be had. Heavily influenced by the immediate areas Southern Tier, Ithaca, Middle Ages and Wagner Valley were all well represented. The rest of the taps were taken up with the likes of Victory, Rogue, North Coast, Stone etc. All the beers were fresh and not too cold. All in all this is a must visit if you are in the Ithaca area.

02-13-2005 02:07:33 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of ithacabaron
ithacabaron

California

4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $

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
Photo of JackStraw22
JackStraw22

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

The Chapter House is at its best on a cold snowy winter night. There's nothing better than warming up inside with a quality brew. The beer selection is great, the best in Ithaca for anything on tap. The people who work there are always helpful and they know what they're doing. The inside is all wood with years of carvings on both the walls and tables. There is a good mix of patrons, mostly older college aged/grad students plus some residents. There are a couple pool tables some darts, and of course free popcorn.

12-11-2004 20:45:39 | More by JackStraw22
Photo of shippos
shippos

New York

4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

The chappy, ithaca's best and the only bar in town for the beer advocate. cool looking bar that waas an old frat house long ago with carved up tables and walls, just about everyting wood in the place has a message or name carved into it. excellent selection of micros imports and a great selection of regional NY specialties. 50+ selections that rotate fairly regularly. they have a hand pump but has fallen into disrepair but they used to have cask ale on it. They are also into cellaring kegs and occasionally release storm king or bigfoot that has been aged a year or two. They also have yards, half and full as well as growler's to go.

Any homebrewers out there, we have our monthly homebrew meetings at the chapter house first tuesday of the month at 7:30.
check out our website: http://home.twcny.rr.com/jtonole/ipa/

08-27-2004 13:25:29 | More by shippos
The Chapter House in Ithaca, NY
96 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.