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Finger Lakes Beverage Center

Not Rated.
Finger Lakes Beverage CenterFinger Lakes Beverage Center
BA SCORE
100
world-class

76 Ratings
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

605 W State St
Ithaca, New York, 14850-3343
United States
phone: (607) 277-2337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: bog)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Durge:
Photo of Durge
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Yes, the reviews don't lie. This is a little jewel for beer lovers. While it isn't exactly tiny in size, it is true that they pack a mightly load of great beer (and soda) into those 4 walls. The staff does not hound you but they were attentive enough to be sure you weren't frustrated or lost at all, and they were very accommodating when engaged. They had a nice line up of growler taps, about 9 or 10 in all as I recall, and the bottled stuff was several solid rows of stuff from all over the country and a decent import selection as well. They have a glassware section and sell some beer shirts, and they seemed to have some specials on new and older items. There were lots of beers that I had not seen in my home state of Connecticut, even though they were brands that we carry. Although one curious thing was that many of the unusual ones I found were not highly rated brews on BA so I was able to manage my escape without dipping to heavily into funds. Brands like Erie and Dundee and specialties like Abita Christmas Ale, and many others that caught my attention and readied my wallet but ultimately researched out to taking a pass for the moment. Not to say I didn't leave some goodies behind, for sure, but apparently nothing that I could have told my grandchildren about. My favorite find for the day, though it remains to be seen if it will be worth the wait, was a bomber of Boulder's Killer Penguin from 2009! Been looking for that since 2009! Great selection of Great Lakes and many, many breweries that I frankly wasn't sure i'd ever heard of. They certainly don't have everything, but I'd match them against most anybody else for domestics and their import stock was more than solid as well. Most of the stock appears to be available as singles at a fair premium and they provide six-pack holders for the luxury. This is a friendly stop on the beer trail that is sure to provide some fun surprises to most BA enthusiasts. A must stop along with the Ithaca Brewing Company tasting room and the Chapter House.

More User Reviews:
Photo of logicalparadox
5/5  rDev +9.9%

So. You like beer, eh? Imagine you lived a perfect life. You did good deeds, practiced self-sacrifice and gave charity, you once gave the shoes you were wearing to that homeless guy on the Commons. Then, you're hit by a bus (TCAT, of course... those damn wide turns). What is your reward for the sacrosanct life you've led? 42 virgins awaiting you in paradise? Assuming a just God, I'd have to think that heaven would actually resemble... Finger Lakes Beverage Center.

I defy you to find a place with a bigger selection, wider variety, and more amazing shopping experience for buying beer. Over a thousand beers to choose from. No, really. A thousand DIFFERENT beers. Pretty much all of those are sold as SINGLES! Now, if you want to see a grown-ass man prance down the isles of a store like a 5 year old in Toys 'R Us, this is the place. Pull up your Beer Advocate wish list. Pick one of those, one of that, and that, and omg TWO of THOSE.

Sure, you can build a six pack at Wegmans, but you have to buy in multiples of six and the selection is not even a 10th as good. Yes, that cool gas station on Green St. sells singles with no minimum, and yes it's craft beer, but their selection is what... like 20 choices? This is the only place I know of in Upstate NY where you can shop on a pint-by-pint basis for beer and choose from the entire universe of beer. No, you won't find Heady Topper or Pliney the Elder, but you're not going to find that anywhere else around here, either, and if you would, it would be here. Yes, Ithaca Coffee Company has a great selection and they also sell singles, but as awesome as that is it doesn't come close to FLBC.

The store has recently been expanded and now has a vast refrigerated section. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly and openly condones practices that I used to try and hide, like secretly replacing a bottle from a chilled six pack with a warm single (they are totally fine with you taking a chilled single and don't even require you to replace it with a warm one, but you should replace it anyway... it's just good beer etiquette.

They not only fill growlers with a tap selection of around 8-10 offerings that rotate regularly, but they also allow samples. Have a sample of what's on tape while you ponder what to buy. They aren't a bar, so you can't get a pint, but a little taste is just good for stimulating the taste buds.

Ithaca is extremely lucky to have a place like this and it speaks to the thriving nature of craft beer culture in the Finger Lakes and in Ithaca that this place exists and is itself thriving.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of bigred89
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Jaybirdbrew
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of tviz33
4/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of sam-d66
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Mapples
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of irishpride
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of Dmmflys
4.28/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 2.5

This place had a great selection. The owner was very helpful and nice. They had good selection of local stuff I can't get in chicago. I'd go back in a heartbeat.
I only gave it a 3 for atmosphere because they where doing construction but from the looks of it the store should be great after they are done.

Photo of butters_mcgee
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of thatisgrossman
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.02/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Great beer store, stopped in on my trip to Ithaca.

Bit of an industrial warehouse look to it. 5-6 aisles of all craft beers. Packs can be broken up into singles, no problem. Every typical craft beer you can think of is here, along with a few more choice selections scattered throughout. No service to speak of- not bad or good, just none. No help in selecting my brews, even though I didn't really need it. Cashier seemed friendly enough, though. Prices were ok, not great, not bad.

Photo of kuhndog
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of BeerBucks
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of utopiajane
2.4/5  rDev -47.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2.75 | selection: 2.25

This is not that great a place and I do not understand the high reviews. First of all the store is dark, deliberately, so you cannot see the hand written tags some of which are missing and you have to ask "how much is this?": The fact that there is no price at all on some of the major displays should be a red flag warning. They have a no refund policy on a sign up front and that tells me that they have old beer. They have very old beer. The brew dog was dated best by 1/2013. I bought from their imports section and everything was stale and awful. The stuff they have up front from the bruery is clearly labelled with a date of march 2013, and according to http://freshbeeronly.com/The_Fresh_Beer_List.html that is the best buy date and they try to hawk it anyway through intimidation at the cash register. Many of their items are almost a third more than at wegmans, specifically the brooklyn large bottles . Some of their singles are $4 and mysteriously blurred dates on uinta and sixpoint , oskar blues, nrragansett and other cans. Not a good experience. Wegman's takes all refunds no questions asked.

Photo of VaporDome
4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Lots of beers in a very small space. You might have to squeeze by someone or even wait until they're finished before you can look at the beers. Not super well organized but not bad.

Many top quality beers here. Lagunitas, Stone, AleSmith, Founders, Dogfish Head. I'm fairly certain that you can get everything as a single if you choose to. They have a small refrigerated section and a cheap section.

Employees weren't that friendly unless they know you already but they were very knowledgeable and knew where everything was.

They have a growler bar with some interesting things on tap. Dogfish Head Bitches Brew was up last time I checked. The bar guy was very willing to talk about each one and let you sample them.

Prices are pretty normal to a bit high for some beers but the prices were mostly reasonable overall.

Photo of warmstorage
4.04/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Agree with others who have spoken of the selection: it's fantastic, even if not clearly organized. You have to browse the various narrow isles to find out what they have.

The quality of the beer in house is way high: lots of top-shelf beer. But also a wall, and I think an entire room, of college get drunk fast and taste nothing beer. Fine, sell to your local demographic, but a lot of gross shit there.

The service, well, was... fine. Nobody approached me. A couple people sort of looked my way, but then ignored me.

No food that I saw.

A very interesting looking growler bar, and I wish I'd had a growler handy.

The value, well... the usual upstate beers that are solidly priced, were solidly priced: Middle Ages, Ithaca, etc. The out of towners were somewhat to quite expensive. This is not a value buy place.

My biggest complaint was the VERY limited selections that are refrigerated: if you want me to pay $18 for a bomber or $22 for a corker and caged 750ml, can you at least have some of it refrigerated?

I accept that it might very well be the best place in Ithaca. But a 100, World Class? Nope.

Photo of rlee1390
4.71/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Can't believe I've never reviewed this place. Been there multiple times while travelling through Ithaca.

The service is great, within a minute or two of browsing a worker asks me if I need help. At first I thought it was because I'm a twenty-something young looking lad. However one time my grandparents were going to Ithaca (who could pass up a free hour long ride to get beer) and I stopped in with them. Workers asked both my grandparents if they needed help. Great service.

Selection is amazing. Singles are offered, they seem to get the more sought after releases; Nugget Nectar, 120 Min (not that rare but nice to see them getting good amounts).

There is also a glassware shelf that sells all sorts of glassware.

They have a growler system, I can not speak to what they have/rotation. All I know is that one time they did a a Southern Tier Draft Only beer, so one could guess they get a decent selection.

Photo of mobius024
4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Everything the previous reviewers say regarding range, quality, etc. is true. The Belgian section is outstanding. I've been going there for years. Mostly, this review is in response to another review stating they seem not to have some particular regional micros they really ought to stock. Three Floyd's was mentioned (with good reason). I've asked forThree Floyd's, as well as Russian River. In both instances the owner was as bummed as I that they were unable stock those beers. Basically, if there is a microbrewery with a good reputation and they don't have it on hand, there is a business reason preventing it.

Photo of TDRudy
4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I thought I had been to good beer stores. I was wrong. This is close to the platonic form of a beer store. The selection is hugely extensive, well organized, and reasonably priced. Bottles are available in packs or as singles, and most beers are carried in multiple sizes if available. From Brewers I've never heard of to beer's I haven't heard of from Brewers you'd have to be on mars not to have heard of, this place has damn near everything you could want- my only complaint is that there seems to be a focus on imports at the expense of some less common domestic micros, especially those coming out of the midwest (Three Floyds, unless I missed it, is a glaring example).

Photo of keithmurray
4.44/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Stopped here on a trip to Ithaca.

Heard very good things about the FLBC so I had to stop in and see what all the fuss was about.

Walked in and it is bigger than it looks like from the outside. Aisles upon aisles of beer, glorious beer, I'd say about 6 or 7 aisles in all.

The beer here is very organized, as it is divvied up by region. Belgians, Germans, English and domestic beers all have their own section, clearly delineated.

The selection here is simply amazing. They had items I have never seen anywhere else before. Belgians such as Tsjees, Gouden Carolus, Westmalle.

Tons of domestics Great lakes, Sixpoint, Brooklyn, Troegs, Stoudts, etc. I could drop tons of money at this place, I was glad I stopped in.

Prices are displayed and they break down 6 pack prices as well as single prices. Prices are fair here

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Finger Lakes Beverage Center in Ithaca, NY
100 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.