Ground Break - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Ground BreakGround Break

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

539 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 539
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 23
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WesWes on 02-02-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 539 | Reviews: 231
Reviews by SteveB24:
Photo of SteveB24
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance; color is a hazy amber, some yeast particles floating at the bottom of the glass, huge, sticky head that retains very well.

smell; Smell is floral, lots of wheat character, slightly spicy, hint of citrus fruit in there too.

Taste; upfront is wheat, then comes floral notes, green peppercorns, clove and coriander, lemon peel in the finish.

mouthfeel; very carbonated but creamy as well, interesting contrast with the light body, quite dry at the end.

overall; This is a beer which is unique and complex, and not in a bad way, it is rare to say this but even though i won't buy it again for the foreseeable future i'm extremely glad i purchased it.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass a slight hazed lighter straw color with a nice fluffy two finger white head that left broken rings of lace as it settled slowly into a creamy mass.Aromas were a mix of earth and phenols,a slghit lemon rind is there as well.Flavors start out with almost a lactic-like tartness to go along with some lemon pith,phenolic spice and earthy hop rounds out the finish.A good stab at the style and refreshing,good for a hot day.

Photo of generallee
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label has a "Best Before" date but no ABV%

Appearance: This beer pours clear and golden until the last few ounces with all the yeast sediment. The yeast swirls around and slowly blends in give the body a hazy appearance. The slow carful pour produces a huge billowy meringue like head that fills half the glass. It holes on forever and keep a good cap of foam on till the last sip. On the sides of the glass it leaves big splotches of foam lacing.

Smell: There are strong hop presence along with all the typical estery and funky/medicinal Belgian yeast and malt notes. There are fruity notes from the malt and yeast as well as the hops. Hops add some citrus and spicy floral notes and the yeast/malt brings a mix of tropical fruit and mild white pepper like dry spice.

Taste/Palate: There is a lot of complexity packed into this firmly medium bodied beer. There is a flash of candy and bready sweetness with estery yeast as well as dry funk and mellow phenolic spice. The hops which are more influential here then in a traditional Belgian Ale bring solid hop bitterness from the start to the finish and add there own floral and citrusy spice notes. It finishes with dry spice and firm dry hop bitterness. The palate is lively and well carbonated.

Notes: This may note be true to the Belgian style with its assertive American esque hop profile but it works!!!

Photo of Doomcifer
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden pour with a beautiful rocky, creamy head. Tons of tiny carbonation bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Sweet citrusy aroma, definite belgian yeast trademark smell along with a spiciness lingering. Strong mix of orange and lemon rind/zest. Nice!

Tastes of more citrus of the lemon & orange peel variety. Clove spice, Belgian yeast, a dash of white pepper, nice spicy hop finish that lingers on the tongue along with the spice. A little funk is present as well.

...This big, rocky head is going nowhere fast.

Prickly carbonation on the tongue, medium body, semi dry finish but not astringently so. I could definitely enjoy a few of these in one sitting. I wasn't expecting much at all from this release but am very pleasantly surprised!

Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the bottle.

Dirty cloudy yellow color, looks better than it sounds. LOL. Crowning of lace is impressive. Candied fruit, hint of ginger, nutty yeast and bready malt make for an exciting aroma. Deep smoothness, decent sized body ... not too dry. Mild tartness, grassy and lemony with a faint raw honey note in the back. Brett throws down some medicinal herb that comes off a bit bitter, good for balance here. Yeasty earthy bittersweet finish.

Super tasty, very drinkable ... sadly just a seasonal as I could see drinking this all of the time.

Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with best before dating notched onto the side of the label. $11.99 for the six-pack at DeCicco's, Ardsley, NY. Pours quite clear, lighter amber, with a dull golden hue. Off white head, loose and frothy and with staying power. Typical low light sheeting a spotty lace. Bold nose of bubble gum on top of more bubble gum with light peppery and coriander infused spice notes. The nose well anticipates the flavors on the tongue and in the mouth, more bubble gum and the typical saison peppery follow through. Minty, and herbal hops flow through the finish and seal the deal. Highly drinkable and enjoyable NY State take on the popular and pleasing Belgian classic style. Bring on the cheeses, salads, BBQ , spicy food and all the other tasty stuff this one will go great with. More quality brew from Ithaca Beer Co. Do they make a bad beer?

Photo of Homebrew35
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge 2 finger head, off white, bubble streaming from the bottom, high carbonation for sure. Head fades to a nice spotted cap. Pale golden clear body. Smells nice, fruity pineapple, banana, bready yeast. Kind of like La Fin in the smell that belgian quality. Tastes sweet and full of bananas. Some lemon zest, peppery, some apricot maybe on the finish, clove comes out as this one warms up. A touch of hop bitterness on the finish but not too much. Very much on the sweet side and I love it. I could drink this all night. $1.80 for the single.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, yellow/orange in color, minimal head, low carbonation

Smell: pineapple and pine--hops dominate

Taste: pine and citrus hops, some earth, and pineapple

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, light bodied, slightly bitter

Drinkability: Without a doubt an American saison. This one had some nice piney and hoppy tones that made it taste more like what I would associate with a west coast IPA. I could sip on a couple of these. Interesting beer.

Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ground Break, an American-style Saison Ale, begins with a sugary, fruity nose full of pink grapefruit, cherry, orange, banana, and hints of pineapple, spiced up with brown sugar, pepper, and hints of clove. A good layer of toasted grains lies just beneath.

On the tongue, the first flavors are the fruits, with all of the grapefruit, cherry, orange, banana, and pineapple noted in the nose, joined by, yes, pepper and light hints of clove. The spice is quite potent--it has to be, to keep up with the massive fruit flavors--and nips at the tastebuds, joined by touches of hoppy pine. A layer of Grape Nuts cereal-like malts helps smooth out the spicy fruits. The sugars, unlike many beers, don't seem to die off near the end of the mouthful, so the aftertaste has many of the same flavors as the regular mouthful, though perhaps a bit spicier. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is great fare, and would be an excellent ice-cold thirst quencher at the beach, while still being sophisticated enough to pair with fine foods.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pulled from fridge. several months past its freshness date, but i couldnt see that hurting a beer like this.

the pour into an oversized wine glass results in a huge billowy head. took me a minute or two for the head to settle to finish the pour. a beautiful white cap of head was the result. tons of soapy looking sticky lace and pretty decent retention. a cloudy, murky golden orange body.

the aroma reviels a spicy blend of belgian yeast and american hops. reminds me of a belgian ipa. the spicy phenolic belgian yeast is definatly the main player. bits of lemony citrus and clove.

lots of flavors going on, decent complexity. a bit tart, spicy, with a pretty decent citrus hop bitterness. lemon zest, lots of spicy phenolic yeast. definatly a hoppy example of the style, but thats exactly how ithaca's website describes this. very tasty!

medium bodied, crisp yet fine carbonation. almost like the real thing!

a great spring beer, really quenches the thirst and is very different than your usual spring/ summer seasonal wheat. i highly recommend this!

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm loving the pour, this one went into my Hennepin glass and it forms a chunky white head that rises well above the sides of my chalice. Aroma gives off a peppery citric lemon tone to it. Almost herbal/citrus grapefruit peel in there as well I'm guessing the American Saison labeling suggested some American hops after giving this one a few sniffs. Flavor is bitingly tart with some funky tones thrown in, a very dry finish makes your lips pucker. Some rolling hop bitterness in the middle that really sticks around, the sour/acidi nature does give off grapefruit pith/rind to mind. Some tropical fruits pineapple, starfruit this is one funky summer seasonal. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied high effervescent carbonation, this one really dries the palate up with a lemon zest finish. Drinkability is really interesting one of the most intriguing Saisons I've tried by a micro in quite some time, excellent stuff.

Photo of mocktm
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown bottle with best before April etching on the side. Is that so hard, why can't more breweries do that? I'm looking at you FFF and Ballast Point...

Any who, pours a hazy orange with mounds of unrelenting snow white head and intricate lacing to match. Not a whole lot of carbonation, but still very appealing.

Doesn't smell quite as complex or pungent as Belgian Saisons, however that doesn't mean it doesn't posses its own intriguing aspects: candied sugar, grass, slight yeasty mustiness, citrus rind, some nut flavor from the malt and moderate spice. Doesn't have that punch you in the face barnyard funkiness, but sometimes that is a welcomed change.

When I bought this in a six pack, I didn't really know what to expect, as most beers in this style come in bombers or 750's, but this doesn't disappoint. As with the nose, sugar sweetness from start to finish with some fruit tartness, mainly lemon and apple. Mild earthy qualities with some minor funk from the Brett, which also produces some phenolic characteristics and a soothing bitterness.

Drinks rather smooth, providing a medium body and a semi-dry finish. Well balanced and a great summer time beer.

Overall, consider me a fan. While this didn't blow me out of the water like other Saisons have, this is still thoroughly enjoyable, especially at $10 a sixer, which is less than what I pay for one bottle of higher quality Belgian imports. No complaints here, Cheers!

Photo of Brenden
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm still working through notes from my NY trip. This was enjoyed on 7/4/11, a good beach beer.

Two fingers of off-white head settle on a hazy dark gold brew. Alternating spottiness and patchiness of lacing is dropped in moderation from a retentive head.
The aroma throws the Belgian yeast right out but offers mainly a citrus component. Actually, the aroma's got a huge citrus bouquet to it. There's also just a touch of sugary fruits and a bit of spiciness. This is nice, complex and balanced, offering lots to sniff out.
In the flavor there's lemon and a bit of grapefruit, all fresh juices with perhaps even some orange as well and some bubble gum. There's a bit more rind into the finish and it gets a little briny as it warms. There's definitely some more hops bitterness coming out as it goes.
The mouthfeel is crisp but with a billowing creaminess developing straightaway and follwing through to the finish. The body is almost medium and semi-dry. This beer is refreshing without sacrificing depth.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Best before May notched on bottle.

A: Pours a hazy straw yellow with a puffy white 2 finger head. Nice haze in the light and really small bubbles are visible floating to the top. Lacing from the head before I drink. Settles to a film with a lump in the middle. Lots of lacing on the sides.

S: Initial smell of belgian yeast followed by orange and hints of spice. Citrusy, smells of lemon not sure if this is from the hops or yeast.

T: Light flavor with mostly belgian yeast. Certainly some hops in there to bitter it out. Those add notes of grass and citrus to the mix. Can pick up some spicing from the rye malt.

M: Light bodied with good carbonation and a crisp finish. Belgian yeast provides a nice bite and the hops add some stickiness.

Overall an excellent saison that is certainly worth trying. Seems a little more like a witbier. Could use some sour aspects, more fruits and sweetness.

Photo of asabreed
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, way too cold, at The Ithaca Ale House in Ithaca, New York.

Appearance: Definitely highly orange, with a bit of yellow and copper. Not a lot of carbonation coming to the top. Bright white head sitting on top of the body.

Smell: Definite pungent citrus, Saison yeast, spicy hops, and major earthiness, though it seems more like spices and grains rather than phenolic funkiness.

Taste: This is a bright brew. A lot of spicy yeast, rind-like hops, lots of grain and earthiness (possible with the additional use of spices), and highly bitter, pungent, and lingering spicy finish. Not as nuanced as I'd hope, but this is a solid attempt from a great brewery at a style that seems tough for a lot of domestic breweries to deal with.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with good, bright crispness and full carbonation.

Drinkability: I would definitely grab a six-pack of this for the summer if I can find it around here. Not the best, mind-blowing version of the style, but one that brings the complexity and heightens the drinkability.

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Spot on the style, with fruitiness, pepper, cinammon, and significant complementary hops. Flaw is the strong carbonation, yet it is very fresh still. Orange fruit colour, creamy small head, and with lots of lace. Great fruity aromas including guave,funk, peach, citrus.
Bottle from Premiere Gourmet.

Photo of augustgarage
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of ShogoKawada (thanks!). Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Misty orange peel body with a tower of rocky ivory crowning the liquid. Lacing is dense and messy, and head retention is above average.

Highly aromatic - citrus, lavender, wildflowers, alfalfa; a superior mix of hops and yeast-derived phenols.

Tart, bright, and energetic on the palate with lemon, barley, coriander, fennel, and faint barn-floor elements. Hops are more assertive compared to most Belgian examples of the style, but don't necessarily come at the expense of other flavors (a shortcoming of many domestic saisons). Somewhat dry, almost dusty finish with a touch of olive pit.

Effervescent, almost medium-bodied, and very thirst quenching.

Rustic in just the right ways, Ithaca has broken with tradition without going off the deep end.

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden yellow with one finger of head that fades to thin lace. In the nose I pick up clove but little else. Taste is clove and mild malt. Light bodied and well carbonated.

I like this. I bought a six-pack and have every intention of enjoying them all.

Photo of Grugalug
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a golden straw yellow with a 2.5 finger of head. The head is light and fluffy and lingers for a time. A strange ribbon-like cloudiness is present. This is my first saison so I have no point of reference. It looks great but I just don't know what to make of the ribbon-like cloudiness.

S- A floral aroma dominates. A bit of sweet malt comes through along with some fruitiness, but the floral aroma is intense and unique. It is rather pleasing and very enticing.

T- The floral character continues, along with bitterness. The hop bitterness is the very first sensation, but it subsides rather quickly to give way to the floral character. A very subtle hint of malt comes through as well, but the stars of this beer are the floral and bitter hop character. Very refreshing and enjoyable.

M- Very light-bodied with just a bit of creaminess. Surprisingly little carbonation, but that just contributes to the wonderful light yet creamy sensation.

O- A wonderful spring or summer beer. Fantastically refreshing and easy-drinking. Unique and absolutely worth trying. If you are like me and have never had a saison, do yourself a favor and give one a try. Ithaca's offering seems like a pretty solid place to start.

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Clark's Ale House. Appeared a lightly hazy straw yellow with a tall white head. I thought this was a nice American take on the style. While the flavor focuses on crisp malt and herbal spices while the aroma is filled with smooth floral hops that make a great compliment to the grassy and citrus yeast character. Like hops and saisons? Give this a try.

Photo of jmhart
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this as a bonus in a trade with Shreik806

A- Pours a golden yellow color, with a hint of brown, and hazy. Thick, 2 finger head. Excellent structure. Head fades into some nice webbing and leaves a good lace on the glass.

S- Belgian yeast hits first, with it's characteristic citrus aromas. More lemon than orange(but a little of both). Spice follows: nutmeg/alspice. There's also a nuttiness to it, almond I'd say. It finishes off with the slightest hint of hops.

T- Strong spice and yeast hit first, followed by those citrus flavors and a wheat flavor. Undertones of banana and malt, combined with some very mild earthy hops. Throughout the taste is a persistent, but not overbearing, sweetness.

M- Very smooth drinking. Light bodied. It has a bite, but hard to tell if it's alcohol, co2, or the spices. It also has a crisp, almost tart aftertaste to it.

D- This one has confirmed for me that unfiltered saison's are the only way to go. So tasty, so easy drinking. I drank this after a hard days work in the yard, but it's flavor and body could easily go well with a good dinner.

Overall, not the best Saison that I've had, but it was good and better than others. I think it had it's own unique spin on a saison, so I would buy it if it came this way.

Photo of jmerloni
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy orange-yellow coloration with sexy white head that laces really nicely on the sides of the glass. It also has this awesome tornado-shaped, hanging, unfiltered sediment.

S - Fresh smelling, ginger, earthy, grass, Belgian yeast, citrus, floral tones, a lot of spice. Some light honey malts.

T - Awesome flavor. Wow. Ginger galore! Citrus rind, Belgian yeast, sage, coriander, cloves, black pepper. Tart flavor. A real explosion of earthy awesomeness. A little too much at once. Makes it a bit confused, like everything is shouting over each other.

M - Good balance, good carbonation, pretty dry. Medium-bodied and somewhat airy.

D - This beer tastes like fairy puree. One of the best beers I've ever had. Will be getting this again so many times. This beer conquers my favorite style of beer.

Photo of OddNotion
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Fantome Tulip.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden orange color. Three finger off-white fulffy head. Head is in no rush to recede.

Smell: Nice lemon, clove-y and banana-y yeast, reminiscent of a hefeweizen. Slightest bit of funkiness.

Taste: Good but nothing out of this world. Some tanginess, light bit of the lemons, some cloves. Nice sweetness at the end of the sip.

Mouthfeel: Slight bit heavier than others in the style. Makes it a little less drinkable.

Overall: I like it, but will probably not buy a sixer of it. I found this as a single. When buying Ithaca, Flower Power is my go to. I know its a completely different style. This beer is good but not among my favorites in the style.

Photo of Gmann
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden straw color with a wispy white head that left some clingy lacing. The aroma is light but nice. Nice clove and light farmhouse aromas, trace of candi sugar sweetness, and a dash of white pepper. The taste is of clove and candi sugar which is followed by a souring farmhouse flavor which offsets the initial sweetness, this is finished by a bittering grassy hop, not much hop flavor, just a grassy bitterness which works well with this style. A moderate body with very fizzy carbonation, fairly crisp, finishes with a slightly bitter twang. A very light saison but very enjoyable. At first it seemed like a BPA but then the sour funk came out to play. Again, not very strong flavors but good and I dig the 6% ABV, great spring beer.

Photo of scootny
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy gold appearance with a quick fade. Leaves a collar as it sits. Smell is just short of a higher score. Belgian yeast with a banana and cinnamon flair. Some light sweet malt and a bit of funk and earth. Wheat-like notes waft in and out. Taste is a firm herbal hops, sweet light malt core moving into citrusy hops. Wheat malt moves in a bit. A bit of honey tinged grapes and a touch of pear. Dry finish has a bit of grapefruit and whole grain biscuit. Light crisp feel with a moderate carbonation. Goes down like a pilsner on a hot day. Super drinkable.

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Ground Break from Ithaca Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 539 ratings.