Finger Lakes Beverage Center

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
98
world-class

65 Reviews
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
98
Reviews:
65
Ratings:
87
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
7.78%
Finger Lakes Beverage CenterFinger Lakes Beverage Center
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

605 W State St
Ithaca, New York, 14850-3343
United States

(607) 277-2337 | map
www.fingerlakesbeverage.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by bog

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 87
Reviews by Durge:
Photo of Durge
4.5/5  rDev 0%

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.

 2,023 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of nyyfanatic213
2.6/5  rDev -42.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 2.25 | selection: 2

Went here on a whim while traveling through Ithaca. I'd read some of the rave reviews and heard positive feedback about the place, so I had high expectations going in. I was let down. Big time. First off, it's not as big as some people make it seem, and highly disorganized. The only shelving units with any semblance of order are dedicated to NY brews and, wait for it, clearance beers. Everything else is supposedly clumped together by region, but that didn't really play out as described. Pricing is virtually nonexistent, and what is there is really, really hard to read. The service is sub-par as well. Not recommended.

 625 characters

Photo of Soloveitchik
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of mynie
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I stopped reviewing most bottle shops a while ago, since 1) there's often usually just one game in town, and it's not like people are going to make travel plans just to go to beer stores, and 2)things can change a lot in a short amount of time, and store visiting experience can vary wildly trip by trip.

I'm reviewing the Finger Lakes Beverage Center, though, because it is probably the best beer store I have ever been to. The only ones that come close are Waterbury's Beer Cellar and Milwaukee's Discount Liquors and Three Cellars, but each of those go for a very different vibe.

They don't sell beer at liquor stores in NY state. Meaning, a beer store is a beer store. And this is the largest, most sprawling, most obviously well cared for beer store I've ever been to. They have a cold section that puts any Binny's to shame, single bottle selections for a large variety of local, midwest, and east coast brews, large and nicely rotated selections of Belgian, Scandinavian, English, continental, and Japanese brews, and a fantastic and cheap variety of macro domestics. Also growlers.

The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and they had enough people working that there were no lines, even as people were getting their growlers filled. The vibe was pleasant and middle class--didn't have the grimy liquor store feel--and the prices were markedly cheaper than what I've gotten used to in Massachusetts.

 1,415 characters

Photo of indianabeerman
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Lots to choose from. Great local NY selection and some stuff from the West coast assuming the breweries distribute. They drive to NYC to get some more obscure selections.

 170 characters

Photo of seanchai
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of SonictheBeerhog
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
4.14/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Ken05
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

The remodel is about complete and Wow! This store rocks. It is laid out very nicely with over a 1000 different beers. Everything is new, clean and the lighting is much improved. They added tons of coolers and doubled or tripled the square footage. The World class rating can now apply for sure.

 295 characters

Photo of chefduff2
4.07/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of dandp88
5/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of dwoolley1
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of logicalparadox
5/5  rDev +11.1%

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.

 2,578 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of bigred89
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Jaybirdbrew
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of tviz33
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of sam-d66
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Mapples
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of irishpride
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Dmmflys
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 305 characters

Photo of butters_mcgee
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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Finger Lakes Beverage Center in Ithaca, NY
98 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.