1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Ground Break - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Ground BreakGround Break

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

538 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 538
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 23
Gots: 30 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Ground Break Alström Bros
Ratings: 538 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LittleDon
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pint at Meadhall, 5/3/11

Not the farmhouse I was expecting. Clear, amber, with a short lived head and no lace. Spice everywhere, aroma and flavor. Sandlewood, floral, and cloves. Light to medium body with bitter back end. Lively mouthfeel. Dry. I was expecting more tartness, maybe brett, but none here.

Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a cloudy golden-yellow body...some orange highlights are showing through...the head was only one finger and white in color but it showed nice retention...a full cap leads to decent lacing

S - Belgian spices are apparent with some yeast and banana...citrus hops lingering in the background

T - The beer starts off with a blast of citrus hops...it must be the American part of the American Style Saison (per the bottle)...there's some lemon coming in and mixing with the yeast...Belgian spices settle in for the middle of the beer...banana finishes with some more spices

M - Medium bodied...creamy, yet refreshing...spicy finish with some fruitiness

O - I'm not a fan of Saisons, but this representation seemed to work for me...the bottle said it was an American Style Saison and they let you know with the addition of the citrus hops...not much funk, but adequate spiciness...a nice summer beer

Photo of gabedivision
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12er to a Duvel tulip glass.

Ah, spring time must be here because im having my first Ground Break of the year. This pours a murky burnt orange with a 3 finger head that absolutely wants out of the glass. Fresh fruits hit the nose, apples, bananas, pears, lemons, oranges a touch of grapefruit. The fruitiness blends well the delicious yeasts and sweet malt characters. Lemon-pepper hop kick on the tongue mixed with the sweet candy malts, my mouth is drooling. Very light feel with medium carbonation, refreshing, cleansing and leaves the mouth dry for another sip. I love this beer, this is a great American version of a Belgian classic.

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

A ~ a hearty orangish pour with a one finger foamy head that floats rather nicely....dissipating slowly as it kisses the glass on the way down.

S ~ farmhouse funky oder going on with a bit of fruity fragrance seeping in

T ~ Pleasant. Very. Throw in a blender some citrus fruits, some straw, just enough grapefruit to add a nice sour twist, and a dash of floral hops... and that's what ya get.. a nice lil' mix here.

M ~ This is a Farmhouse ale from New York, that I think has it done right. A light, to medium body that is real easy drinking.

O ~ A great summer beer. I could see it being a great tap to have in the Chicago land area...unfortunately, it is not :(

Photo of StoneTSR
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to Jrod1969 for the bottle.

APPEARANCE: The Ithaca Ground Break pours a nice, hazy yellow color with a head that slowly dissipates into a pattern of big bubbly splotches. Looks exactly like a saison ought to.

SMELL: An orange aroma dominates the smell of the Ground Break and some sweet malt aroma is also present.

TASTE: Citrus dominates the flavor as would be expected from the nose, but it is not all orange. Lemon makes a strong showing as well as some grapefruit to add just a small sour twist to it at the end. This is an ideal summer beer, especially for someone who doesn't always like summer beers. Basically, it is what I want most saisons to be. Generally the style is too sweet, but again, Ithaca nailed it.

MOUTHFEEL: This is an extraordinarily refreshing beer. This is one of the few cases where I skipped the taste department to write about the feel first, because it hit me just right. Plenty of carbonation in this one and it almost wipes the palate clean at the end leaving it ready for the next sip. Very crisp beer.

OVERALL: I have to say, I traded for a sixer of this more or less so that I could check one more Ithaca beer off of my list, but once again, they provided me a pleasant surprise. This is an outstanding beer and an absolutely dynamite saison.

Photo of mdfb79
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 04/25/11 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in Washington, DC.

a - Pours a clear orange color with one finger of white fluffy head and moderate to high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of floral notes, pepper, spices, and cloves. Not bad, but lots of spices, especially pepper.

t - Tastes of pepper, spices, citrus hops, cloves, breay malts, and floral hops. A step up from the nose. It had more going on and less pepper.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, very smooth body.

o - Overall a good saison but the nose is heavy on pepper and the spices. Great mouthfeel, something I would try again.

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

What an awesome first beer from Ithaca Beer Co. From the looks of it, I didn't know what to expect. The label has this very trippy design, almost a stoner/hippie, 60s volkswagon appeal. Had with a chicken dinner, and it made the meal. What a fantastically executed saison. My first thought was A) to remind myself never to judge a beer by its cover, B) that this beer outshines many of the more expensive, hip offerings in the style, and C) that maybe 60s volkswagons are cooler than I think.

What made this beer? The subdued bretty quality was perfectly balanced alongside the earthy, lemongrass tastes in the hop. That and the mouthfeel was very filling and perfectly textured by the amount of carbonation. Both incredibly refreshing and satiating. As a frame of reference, far heavier than Dupont or Bruery Saison Rue. Closer to some of the farmhouses from Stillwater, and this gives all of the above a run for their money.

Don't hesitate, this beer is accessibly drank and purchased. Hop on Ithaca Beer Co.'s little peace train/festival express, and start drinking their punch.

Photo of SirSketch
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Bright white fizzy head on top of a completely translucent, pale yellow beer.

S - Bretty character upfront with a very clean malt aroma, lemongrass, herbs and a subtle hoppiness.

T - The soft but complex malt flavors are allowed to shine through the funky, straw-like yeast flavors. Grassy hops and stinging bitterness somehow work really well in this beer. Finishes crisp, except for a lingering sweetness that seems a bit out of place.

M - Medium bodied, but coats the entire mouth with flavor.

O - Delicious and complex American-style saison that is every bit as interesting as the Belgian versions.

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass; nice thick creamy white head, 1/2" thick; color is just right, light copper, somewhat dense.

Smell is lightly sweet biscuity malt, hint of spice, not overpowering at first but warms nicely to good scent.

Taste is crisp, good malt sweetness with peppery spice flavors. touch of yeast in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is crisp from the pepperyness, light on the tongue and cheeks with a touch of sweetness lingering.

Overall, very well done, nice malt/spice balance.

Photo of aepb1
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BA vapodge for letting me in on this one!

A- Orange-hued body with a frothy white head

S- Earthy spices and yeastiness

T- Lemony, herbs, sweet malts in the middle, earthy yeastiness finishes this off

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, clean with moderate carbonation

D- Very easy to drink and yet another Ithaca brew I wish were readily available. Great beer!

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

dark orange color with slight redness. nice sized white head holds steady. beer is mostly transparent, but isn't completely. smell is strongly of belgian spices, and sweet fruity. some bitterness and belgian hints. not a lot of funkiness associated with traditional saisons. flavor is sweet. mouthfeel is lively. Overall, a very solid saison and very appropriate for the season.

Photo of foogerd
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Light yellow with some sediment flying around some white head that dies out.

S- Upfront yeasty character, nice malty and wheat aroma, some light citrus character almost like orange peel.

T- Typical saison qualities then along comes a bitter herbal medicinal hop taste that takes this classic style and makes it American.

M- Highly carbonated.

O- Decent saison nothing great to seek out but a solid offering with a nice touch of hops.

Photo of steve8robin
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this on a work trip to OH. 12oz bottle, best before June...

A: A medium clear fizzy yellow color with a humongous 2+ inch white head that fades very slowly. Good.

S: A nice malty / wheat type scent upfront with a quick citrus rye in the middle and some yeasty scnets on the backend. Smells good.

T: An almost iced tea and wheat flavor upfront with a mild bitter hop and bready grapefruit in the middle and oranges on the backend. Decent.

M: Medium body and way too over-carbonated. A bready dry finish. Ok.

D: The carbonation overkill makes this not shine exceptionally here. Decent.

All in all, this is ok, nothing special. I am becoming increasingly convinced with every saison I try that Saison Brett is the best in the style above all the rest. Don't worry about trying this one unless you have access.

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

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. The pour was a hazy gold, very large effervescent white head. The aroma was light lemon and very spicy. The flavor was lemon zest, spice, and a mild funk, clean finish. The body is light, very well carbonated. A good saison, very easy drinking.

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

12oz into tulip.

Gold and cloudy, one-finger head leaves a bit of lacing. Not as fizzy as a lot of saisons.

Smells of spices, hay, bit of lemon.

Tastes like hay, coriander, lemon, a bit of yeast, dry candied sweetness. There's a musty farmhouse component here too. Finishes dry and a bit bitter. Maybe it's because this is a few months old, but I don't really get the American hop presence it's billed as having. But that's okay, because it doesn't need it.

Mouthfeel is not as watery or fizzy as a lot of saisons.

I like this beer. Certainly not the best saison I've had, but considering it comes in 6-packs for less than $12, I can see myself buying it a lot more than some others.

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

@ The Parrish, Boston MA. The waitress said it's like Jack D'or but not as much That could be said of a lot of beers.

Darker and clearer than most saisons , it's dark gold with not a cloud in the sky. Frothy head disappoints slides to a thin collar. Left one little patch.

Usual saison yeasty spice with candied ginger. Nice. Taste is dry and appropriately spicy but offset by a lumpy body. Like some one tossed saison yeast into an English pale. Not a fan.

Photo of greenmonstah
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into Ommegang tulip

A - Straw color with 2 fingers of white head. Tons of carbonation. Great retention and good lacing.

S - Belgian yeast, clove. A bit simple/muted. Something funky. A bit of lemon.

T - Bubblegum! tons of bubblegum with a bit of clove spice and pepper.

M - Light refreshing body with a lot of carbonation and a slightly drying finish.

D - A fine take on the style. Accentuates the best parts of the saison, but a bit simple. Nice american spin on the style.

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

A: Almost clear, but with ever the slightest haze with bubbles o' plenty. The brew itself was a golden color with about a finger or so creamy white head that stuck around in froth form throughout the session.

S: Awesome smell of coriander, farmhouse funk, and a bit of candy (pixie stick dust-like) sweetness.

T: The yeasty, earthy, bold and spicy character of this brew was very well balance, yet very over-the-top. I would describe the finish and lingering as "farmhouse candy."

M: Prickly carbonation, and the sweetness was cut down to size by the coriander.... which was VERY present.

O: This is one of those rare brews that defines the style. One of the best farmhouse saisons for sure!

Photo of DrDemento456
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a bright orange yellow color with a good half inch of fluffy head that turns to a nice glass sticking lace.

S - Lemon with orange zest, funk, and a nice bit of wheat and Belgium yeast.

T - Very smooth. Low yeast profile with solid bit of lemon and hay. I like the hops balancing the yeast and ABV.

M - Light to medium, found it tasty.

Overall this may be my new favorite Saison. Light crisp taste, low yeast with a hefty amount of hops makes for easy drinking. If it's still around maybe I will pick up a few more in my mixed sixer.

Photo of mrand01
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Crate & Barrel tulip. Best before April of 2011.

A: Hazy golden, almost amber color. Pours with a decent head, but quickly levels out, leaving light lacing.

S: Citrus, grass, belgian yeast.

T: Slightly hoppier than the smell lets off, lemon, maybe a bit of banana on the back-end.

M: Well carbonated, almost a minty feel after swallowing. Finishes pretty dry.

O: Pretty good brew here. Easy to drink, pretty refreshing. I definitely prefer a JP or a Fantome, but for the price, this is pretty good.

Photo of Jesse13713
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best before May and poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

Appearance - A very pleasant golden pour that settles into a hazy straw yellow that almost looks sour. Mostly opaque and slightly amber. Three full fingers of soapy head are immediately noticeable.

Smell - Smells like a sour lambic with earthy properties. Hints of apple and grains. Grassy and full of other floral earth notes. Pleasent on the nose.

Taste - A refreshing arctic chill shadows over the entire taste of this beer. It is very crisp and refreshing. Heavy floral notes and other earth tones that accompany the cool chill well. Slightly tart and not very yeasty at all.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Very light bodied and natural tasting. Crisp and refreshing. A good spring beer that sort of leaves a cool mint taste in my mouth. A very suiting name for the beer; as it tastes of light flowers breaking through a slightly cold earthy layer. All in all, it is pretty average and bland tasting. But it is unique in this weird 'arctic chill' taste I'm getting. I think I enjoyed it so much because of this unique mouthfeel.

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

A huge thanks to Paul (pmlondrigan) for this great beer. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my Ladyface Tulip with a hazy dark golden color. About a finger of slight white head is achieved with a moderate pour that dissipates at a moderate pace leaving nice, thin lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Nice spicy hops, floral/grassy aromas, a hint of citrus and fruitiness, malty backbone and noticeable Belgian style yeast. Just a hint of barnyard funk.

Taste - Not as sweet as the nose would suggest (positive thing). Just a slight tartness up front almost immediately masked by a definite wet hay/barnyard funk. Nice peppery and floral hops, just a hint of banana esters, bread, and yeast.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied yet thin? I know that is odd to say but there is a definite coating of the tongue but it tastes lighter bodied. Prickly carbonation, finishes dry.

Overall - A very easy to quaff and refreshing saison. Not too sweet, though not as tart as I'd like. Honestly, this is not bad at all. I am used to JP type saison's which are obviously a bit out of the norm. I find other saison's generally to be too sweet so this one is right up my alley. Glad to try it!

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass at ChurchKey, Pours a hazy medium gold with a two finger off-white head, fair retention down to a thick film, some clinging lacing throughout. Spicy yeasty nose up front with a good amount of citrus zest and citrus herbal green hops quickly following. Light pear and biscuit malt backing with some floral notes. Flavor continues to be pretty yeasty with the hops, sweet, and citrusy. Minimal sweetness, well attenuated to a dry herbal finish, and picked up some bitterness along the way. Low carbonation with light to medium body. Quite tasty and another nice offering from Ithaca.

Photo of quine
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a hazy golden. Short white head with decent retention. Slight lacing.

S: Smells fantastic. Sweet and malty, with some sort of spicy note in there.

T: Tastes similar to the smell. The malts come through with a sweetness, and the spiciness comes through more. In the middle, though, comes an unexpected and not entirely pleasant hoppy bitterness that doesn't quite seem to fit.

M: Crisp, with medium carbonation. Light bodied. Dry.

D: The hop bitterness is a little out of place, which kills the enjoyment a little. Otherwise a fairly good saison. Drinkable, and with the fairly low ABV, it doesn't hit you so hard.

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

burnt gold with a white head that leaves good lace. nose is white pepper, clove, grain, fruit and a touch of hop. very round. the spice is prominent and almost hefe reminiscent. hops are there more in the taste, everything is well integrated and all the components play off of each other very well. hops, grain, yeasty spiciness, wheat(?)... it's all there with minimal farm, but very clean and pleasing. mouthfeel starts soft and silky, yet finishes dry with a healthy bitterness that creeps up in the finish. american hops are really there in the backbone and finish, and they come out a great deal more as it warms. just traditional enough to say saison, but enough personality to really stand out. a very solid, accessible brew from ithaca.

Ground Break from Ithaca Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 538 ratings.