The Chapter House
Taps: 49 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
3.91/5 rDev -9.7%
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
3.94/5 rDev -9%
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
4/5 rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped in here for a couple of pints as we were passing through Ithaca. Cool vibe inside with a long bar inside the door, a room off to the side with tables and some pool tables in the back. This place must be jumping when school is in session; not sorry I missed that.
The tap list is massive, with about 40 taps. Most taps were American crafts, with a good selection of NY beers. A few Ithaca taps (Flower Power, yummy!) were the highlight. Also a few Saranac and Middle Ages along with a Roosterfish hefeweizen that was just awful. Some pretty run of the mill selections from Victory, Stone and Rogue round out the American end of the craft list. Import taps are of the Guinness/Newcastle/Boddingtons/Hoegaarden "so what" variety.
Our bartender was a pleasant, outgoing guy. No food, but great free popcorn.
Worth a stop if you are in the area.
06-15-2009 12:44:32 | More by sholland119
4/5 rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
Though the Chapter House no longer brews their own beer, it's definitely worth a stop while in Ithaca. This was a regular stop for us on our annual rugby road trip to Cornell. The staff always tolerated us so well, bless them. Quality micros and imports on tap.
07-30-2002 11:14:27 | More by John
4.19/5 rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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
4.22/5 rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4
The chapter house is the perfect college bar. They offer free popcorn, lots of dart boards, pool tables, and lots of space. There are 4 seperate areas which helps keep the place from getting too noisy. They offer long tables which allow you to meet new people or fit your entire group into a nice space. They have bands many weekends. It is a pretty rustic looking place and is not filled with lots of snooty rich college kids, it gets a good mix of people. They have at least 30 different beers on tap at any one time, usually more I believe. The selection is varied and there is a wide price range, along with nice happy hour deals on certain beers. They carry beers from all over the country with an exceptional amount of upstate ny beers. I have never gotten a skunky or stale beer here and highly recommend it.
03-05-2004 18:25:34 | More by etho1416
4.24/5 rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
The Chapter House was indeed an unexpected find. They now have 50+ taps with as many as five or six beers from each of the following breweries: Middle Ages, Victory, Brooklyn, and Ithaca. As well as several each from Allagash, Lake Placid and Wagner Valley and of course old standards such as the Hoe, Boddingtons, Guiness etc.
All of the beers I had were fresh, properly served and poured. I admit to being concerned about the number of taps as I questioned their ability to move enough product to keep it all fresh. This, however did not seem to be a problem. Business was brisk (even in summer) and all of the beers I had tasted as they should.
There is tons of space in its cabin like interior containing several seperate rooms. Foosball, Pool, Pinball, Darts and Video Golf for entertainment. The crowd here was great when compared with 'collegetown'. I am told that it is primarily a graduate student bar these days. The staff was friendly and prompt. They answered questions and let me taste anything I asked about, which was good since they had beer from at least one smaller brewery I had not heard of. They will also sell growlers of anything they have on tap.
07-21-2003 17:41:27 | More by FeloniousPhil
4.26/5 rDev -1.6%
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
The Chapter House in Ithaca, NY
95 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.