Bandwagon Brew Pub
Active Beers: 44
Beer Ratings: 106
Beer Avg: 3.39
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 16
3.98/5 rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5 | $$
Cool atmosphere, bandwagon is located in the basement of an old building that has been fully restored top to bottom. The beers they brew in house are excellent, "high step weizenbock" recently took a gold medal at the TAP NY competition. The service is good the food is really good and their prices are very reasonable.
10-26-2013 02:58:47 | More by jpowers315
3.43/5 rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I went here to pass a friday afternoon and have a couple of flights. I wasn’t disappointed. The place is located down a flight of stone steps in the cellar but it’s a tasteful bistro atmosphere. There are stone walls and white tablecloths, two rooms and a bar in each. The medal they won at the NYS TAP festival 2012 is on the wall. They have their own brewery flight and a flight that includes ithaca beer and southern tier, then they have one that includes great lakes and uinta. They have a bistro style menu that has good choices but I found that I went away without a burger and fries because it’s 1/2 pound of beef. What am I gonna do with a half pound of beef on some bread? Thy have cocktails, and plenty of booze including bourbon, vodka, gin, rum and port. Nice place, nice time and I even met some nice people while I was there. It is not too expensive but the service is a little slow.
08-17-2013 10:53:53 | More by utopiajane
3.51/5 rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.75 | selection: 3.75 | $$
Girlfriend and I went to Ithaca for our 4 year anniversary; stopped into the Bandwagon Brew Pub after hiking. It was our second choice, Ithaca Brewing Co. was closed that day. Unassuming, but seemingly purposely so, basement with an awning over the stairs, this small restaurant/bar is heavy on the hipster vibe. Divided room has a small bar and a small dining area; other side is the "lounge" which has a shorter bar and some odd seating. Tall sawhorse-like contraptions serve as seats while a half-size fold out ironing board serves as your drink/appetizer table; if that doesn't suit you there are also a few low stone couches and coffee tables, and a few "booths" which consist of stone wall benches in stalls along the outside wall with a small square of wood sticking out of the wall as a table.
Upon entering, we weren't sure whether to seat ourselves or not, but none of the staff seemed to notice our entrance so we sat down at a table in the dining area. A waitress approached and asked if we were dining, and then directed us to the lounge on the other side upon hearing our plans. The short bar on that side was full so we sat at one of the odd sawhorse + ironing board arrangements; after waiting for about 10 minutes we approached one of the waitresses behind the and ordered a flight of their own beer. The menu was full of very chic, hipstery food...words like "heirloom" and "aiole" were abound. Food also seemed a bit pricey, but we didn't try it. They offered several flights of beer; their own, NY craft, and one or two others. We had the flight of their own beer; all were very good.
Overall, the beer was good, but I could do without the hipster aspect of the place. But I guess craft beer and hipsters go hand in hand, and we were in a brewpub in a double-college town, so it comes with the territory.
06-26-2013 23:49:31 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
4.41/5 rDev +19.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $
Atmosphere: yes, it's a basement. Small-ish bar/restaurant, with about five stools at the bar, a few bar tables, and aout eight or so restaurant tales. Looked like an adjoining area next to the bar, but I didn't explore. Empty at opening, but table started to populate fast on a Sunday by 12:30.
Hours: I don't know what previous reviewers found, but it opened promptly at noon on a Sunday when the website said it would.
house beers: seven house beers on tap: six standards (look at the handles, don't just trust the printed menu) and one special: the 3rd Anniversary barleywine. I tasted, in nice water glass type tumblers, High Step Weizenbock, Pirate Eye PA (yes, an IPA), Honey Brunette (no bee poo here, the honey is as in honey malt, bartender assured me it was strictly vegan), the Lo-Cal Ale (made with almost entirely locally sourced ingredients, except for some outside sourced hops), the Ezra (red ale), a hoppy hefeweizen style I forget the name of, and the 3rd Anniversary ale, a delicious, thick, sweet, barrel aged English style barleywine.
The lighter styles (Honey Brunette, Ezra) were basic and un-inspiring, but passable. The hoppy hefe was surprisingly tasty: like you don't expect a black IPA to come out and present that way, the hopped hefeweizen was a fun departure from a standard style.
The Weizenock was at the lighter end of that style, but very well done, and very tasty. The Pirate Eye PA was a well done IPA for the east coast.
The 3rd Anniversary was a delicious English barleywine, though the barrel aging was terribly pronounced.
Selection: pthey had these seven house beers, in addition to about another eight or ten guest beers. All quality, with several upstate NY drafts, but I didn't note details. So on balance, a solid selection.
Food: didn't eat or look at, as I'd just eaten.
Value: solid. $8 for five of the house beers, with small samples freely available. Today was their third anniversary, so $3 for all house beer pints, which is hard to beat, especially in downtown Ithaca.
Service: FANTASTIC. A bartender that paid attention when I needed it, but left me alone when I was content. Friendly, competent, knowledgeable about the house beers.
I would absolutely go back.
12-09-2012 20:34:56 | More by warmstorage
3.94/5 rDev +6.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I stopped by the Bandwagon after the LeBleu release at Ithaca. It is a fairly small joint located in what seems like the basement of the building above. During my visit, the place was empty aside from a few folks seared at the pressed copper top bar. There are 4-person square card tables situated all around where they can fit to host other searing. I forsee this place getting packed in the evenings. More than a dozen draft lines (to which about half are visible as they extend backwards into a wall that becomes their keg cooler.) 5 of the lines are dedicated to the house made brew. On my visit, 4 offerings were flowing; a scotch ale, pale, weizenbock and one I cant recall.
We were here for a couple of pints and some food around 1:30. Unfortunately the place is too small to accomodate lunch so they only serve food after 5. However, the barkeep did offer up some housemade chex mix of sorts to hold us over while finishing our drinks. Bar is also stocked with spirits some of which are local if that is your thing.
Service was excellent but how cant it be when there are 5 people tops sitting 5 feet from you. Our stay was cut short since they were not serving food but the beers we had were solid offerings. If I am in the area again, I will certainly visit to give their food a try as well as test out some more brews.
04-16-2012 18:29:51 | More by stakem
S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.
4.05/5 rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Visiting on 7/30/11 while on pilgrimage to Ithaca Beer Co.
Atmosphere was laid back at 6 pm on a Saturday a few table occupied a few at the bar, the only bad part was the obnoxious table behind us. Yes I can see your dress is from 1950, as much as I enjoy some science fiction, I don't want to hear what awful shit movies you people obsess over and the utter and complete shock that no one else at the table thinks its the best thing ever made. It's a college town expect hipsters, and well hippies.
My beer was agreeable enough, oatmeal stout one of 5 house beers. Food was delicious and perfectly cooked. 5 house beers, all pretty safe styles. A bunch of craft (at least 10) taps. House samplers and samplers of all other craft available in flights which is a tickets paradise.
We each had a burger but were playing it safe with a 3 hour ride ahead, menu was very full with vegetarian and vegan options abound. $12.5 for the burger and fries which isn't really that bad but not cheap either.
Would I stop here again? Yea likely school wasn't in session as there's only so many 'cool' people I can tolerate at a time.
08-01-2011 16:41:52 | More by sliverX
3.73/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
After dinner at the Ithaca Ale House, we headed through Ithaca's downtown to Bandwagon, just a few blocks away. Head downstairs...
Atmosphere: A well-apportioned restaurant, plenty of stone along the walls. Two bars, one immediately on entrance and the other through a brief walkway. Plenty of tables, more than I'd expect. The bar is nicely laid out, with local bourbons and ryes staring at me.
Quality: The beers surprised me and the interior lay-out is very nice. Bartenders were friendly but generally didn't pay much attention to us.
Service: Prompt in directing us to the back (empty bar) and fast to deliver our beers. After that, the attention dwindled off a bit but not terribly so.
Selection: Five house beers and close to 15 guests, including Finger Lakes and New York locals (Roosterfish, Kelso, and others). We went with the Bandwagon flight, Commons Ale, Strawberry, Honey, Pale, and oatmeal stout. I liked, surprisingly, the strawberry beer best, a shortcake-like brew that hit the spot. I wasn't keen on the pale ale, far too caramelly.
Food: We had already eaten and didn't even look at a menu.
08-01-2011 13:06:39 | More by akorsak
3.88/5 rDev +4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
We arrived at the Bandwagon on a hot summer afternoon. It was locked, the store sign reading: "open from 5pm-1am." These were strange hours and a let down for our afternoon plans of a pint and a snack.
So we returned at six for some samplings without the intention of ordering food, a snack if anything.
The bar offered several different "flights" or five beer samplings for $7-8 each. The sample sizes were approximately 5oz each and we were able to mix and match between the house and local flight selections ( we swapped the house pale ale for an Ithaca hop stash).
Halfway through the flight we decided to take a look at the menu, and I'm glad we did. Although I can't remember specific names of the dishes we ordered, we shared four small plates for a effectively filling dinner.
First we ordered the vegan thai coconut curry with assorted summer vegetables and a kale and chard phyllo tart which was quite similar to a spanakopita, but with stronger, bitter greens. The dishes were tremendous and well prepared. Our second order of small plates was a cold potato, leek, and beet bisque and local pork and smoked gouda egg rolls with a marmalade dip. Both of these dishes were in line with the first two and pleased both myself and my company.
As if the delicious cuisine wasn't a huge surprise enough for a "pub," I was blown away by the bartender's hands-on experience with the house beers. I asked a simple question of whether fresh strawberries were used in making their strawberry cream ale <"yes">, but followed up with a more challenging question of whether they were added during the primary or secondary. He replied the secondary and then went above and beyond to describe the challenges of using such a variable "berry."
This was an impressive establishment with a menu selection as varied and creative as their tap selection.
07-24-2011 17:19:29 | More by ThePorterSorter
3/5 rDev -18.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$$
visited July 17, 2011. had read previous reviews and being in Ithaca to see the gorges and waterfalls and also to get some Ithaca Brewing Flower Power we wanted to try any brew pubs or craft beer bars. went to Bandwagon for dinner. they had about 6 of their own beers on draft but no IPAs my personal favorite. One of their taps was Southern Tier Double IPA. I had had ST IPA so thought the double sounded good and ordered it. the waitress brought a fizzy very pale beer to the table, I tasted it and called her back and said that I thought there had been a mistake as this couldn't be a double IPA. she went to the bar and returned to tell me it "came from the right tap" I said that I couldn't believe this was a double IPA or even any IPA to which she just shrugged. food was decent, lots of organic and local choices. I was so dissapointed with the beer that I didn't order another. (Hubby had a sample of the bandwagon brews and liked their brown) we would have stayed for another brown for him and another for me but since I was sure I paid $7 for a double IPA and got a Moosehead Ale instead we left. We would not return even though we were their another 3 days and it was just around the corner from our hotel. BTW went to Chapter House (awesome beer choices) they had Southern Tier IPA (not the double) I asked for a taste just to be sure I wasn't crazy which confirmed that what I got at Bandwagon wasn't a Southern Tier Beer nor an IPA.
07-24-2011 02:54:18 | More by bird18
3.93/5 rDev +6.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
10pm-close House beers are Three Dollars a pint. There are 15 guest taps and 5 house taps. There is also a good selection of bottled beers. All of the guests are quality crafts, with the majority coming from PA/NY, but with other breweries from across the country included. The taps rotate constantly (especially the house taps, which are all sixtels). It is also one of the only places I ever see in Ithaca that has Horseheads brewing beers on-tap. If you've ever had anything from Horseheads, you know that their beer is very good. If you haven't, and you see one of their beers, try it.
During my last visit, some of the guest taps included Nugget Nectar, Troegenator, Stone Smoked Porter, Sly Fox Route 113, and a few others. If you like other kinds of booze, there is a lot of local wine and high-end liquors.
The house beers are uneven, and at on point I thought they were getting better, but I think they are destined to be average to poor. Pretty much all of the beer reviews for Bandwagon were written by me, so take a look if you're interested. If you do get a flat beer, SEND IT BACK! Any of the bartenders would be glad to replace it. They are also happy to pour a small sample of any of the 20 beers on tap.
The vibe at Bandwagon is laid-back and very welcoming. All of the owners are friendly when they are out front, and more than happy to grab a beer and have a conversation. The same goes for the bartenders. The whole staff wants this to be a place that people are comfortable hanging out at while getting a good beer and good food at a decent price.
EDIT: The Bandwagon isn't as laid back as it used to be. With the changes at the mahogany grill, It has become the last place on the commons that you can get food and a drink. Although this is a good thing, it attracts a strange crowd. It also seems to be packed on a nightly basis with a crowd that seems to be a little too cool for me.
As for food, it is mostly local and the menu is always changing. The choices are all adventurous and interesting. I've had some things that are good and some that are so-so, but anything that isn't up to par works itself off of the menu. Prices are good, and the kitchen is open until 12:45, so its a great place to get a late night snack.
The actual space of Bandwagon is a basement bar that is somewhat dimly lit. Outside is a yellow banner with a hopleaf logo. Inside all of the walls are made of exposed stone. On the right are low tables for dinner with ome copper brew kettles on display in the back. On the left is a bar area with tall tables and a door to the next room that has an expanded bar area. The expansion has lots of tables, and booths that have their own alcoves, as well as more bar seating. It is the hangout area as opposed to the dinner area. There is also a dart board. Soon, there will be windows that look into a brand-new brewery.
I've edited a few pieces of this review, so it is up-to-date as of January 2012.
02-19-2011 16:30:26 | More by Hojaminbag
Bandwagon Brew Pub in Ithaca, NY
86 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.