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Ground Break - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Ground BreakGround Break

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

508 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 508
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 23
Gots: 27 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WesWes on 02-02-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 508 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TMoney2591


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Thanks to stevglad and the N00b BIF for this bottle!

And the Leaving Falls Church uber-bender continues a-crunchin' on. This offering to the gods pours a clear amber orange topped by a tall, thick, white frothy head. The nose comprises earth, coriander, wheat, clove, lemon zest, and banana. The taste follows closely, though with a greater amount of earth and clove. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a nice saison, a bit much with the earthiness, but still pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2010 04:23:15 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Chickenhawk9932


4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Look was amber with white foam, quite pleasing to the eye.

Smelled of grapefruit, licorice, and a floral bouqet, very sweet.

Tatse was a bit more bitter up front soften by the sweetness of fruit and licorice, which left a lingering bitterness that leads one back to sip again.The sweet yeast was not overpowering as Saisons can be, well balanced with bitter notes from the grapefruit and licorice; still, they don't overpower either giving a feel of white tea. An excellent beer to drink, but with all the spice and bouqet, I wouldn't have more than two at a time.

It is a spring seasonal, but the flavors reminded me more of Autumn.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2010 20:37:43 | More by Chickenhawk9932
Photo of Jason


4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 02:34:03 | More by Jason
Photo of Augustiner719

New York

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a beautiful hazy orange mango color with a nice shaving cream Ike foamy head. The pour had to be careful to make it contained in the glass. Has a nice herbal citrus component that is very attractive. Also has a spritzy component that invites summer drinking. Taste is on point with the style but feels just a tad rich for my preference. Has a very oily component that coats the palate and masks the complexities in this brew. Really becomes one dimensional and uninteresting as i drink this. Mouthfeel is a bit overcarbonated and has a sweet finish that I am not enjoying. Drinkability is not Super high but given the relatively low abv and the fact it comes in six packs is a plus also. This would be great in a larger format.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 04:13:30 | More by Augustiner719
Photo of blackie


3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: poured into a Brooklyn snifter, glass filling off-white head, very deep golden in colour, something of an amber gold, long retention

s: pilsner malt body with a sweet white bread touch, full aromas of grassy/spicy noble hops, herbal, soft yeasts, light lemon, good

m: lively, scrubbing carbonation, light-medium body

t: mostly clean pils with a touch of sweet bread, steadily moves towards a finish of lemongrass/herbal hops the seem just a little harshly acidic, lemon rind, bready yeast

d: easy, a good saison that's not as refined as a top-tier example, but well on the way

single bottle picked up from Westmere in Albany and consumed at a campground in Fundy National Park, reviewed from notes

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 01:11:22 | More by blackie
Photo of jampics2


4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Stone Tulip. Looks really nice, at least 4 fingers of head fill the neck of thee glass. The rest has a beautiful orange beer with golden edges and very active carbonation. Head recedes slowly leaving excellent lace. This is a great looking beer.

Smell is full of bright notes including lemon, banana, and orange. The requisite spices are there, and there's a nice hoppy touch that makes this certainly an "Americanized" saison.

Taste is fresh, fruity, and clean. There's a ton of spices including corriander. A really nice orange citrus taste. Some honey and lemon, and a nice hoppy bitterness that lingers a bit. The malt is sweet and slightly bready, but it serves mainly as a platform all the great flavors are piled on. Unique and well-done, but the beer feels like it may be suffering a bit of a "Belgian Identity Crisis". However, look past the labels and I bet you'll agree it's a nice mix of BPA and saison.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, carbonation is active but not distracting, and the finish ends in a bitterness that's strong for the style but appropriate for a BPA.

Overall, I enjoyed this for the intense flavors the hops impart when coupled with the spicy yeast. I'd drink this again in a heartbeat.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 18:28:17 | More by jampics2
Photo of GarrettMD

New York

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a blind tasting from the Blind Beers BIF. These are my notes from before I knew what beer I was drinking.

A - Light hazy golden color with lots of carbonation. The head was, well lets just say it was a lot of head, guessing it would have been a 2+ finger creamy white head with great retention if it werent shipped (and probably shaken). Great lacing.

S - Piney and citrus hops. Definitely guessing IPA on this one. Slight malt character coming through, but not much. Some subtle scents I can't quite place... Thinking theres some yeasty/bready smells, but not sure. Once the head died down, the hop aroma faded, became more yeasty/malty. Changing my mind on the IPA.

T - Not as hoppy as the smell suggests. Definitely still there with the pine notes coming through more than the citrus. Bready flavors are more prominent, but not as much as a belgian.

M - Light bodied. Good carbonation. The finish is dry, no real hop presence in the finish either. Mostly light malt flavors with those subtle flavors I can't quite place.

D - I would guess this to be around 5-6% ABV. Good drinkability. I should have probably had it a little colder. After the full review, I changed my mind on the IPA. Definitely not an IPA, just a very hoppy nose.

Now I can see why I had trouble finding some of the aromas and tastes. I have never tried a saison/farmhouse ale. So this was a blind taste of a completely new style to me.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 22:41:40 | More by GarrettMD
Photo of irish


4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Translucent, nearly opaque. Sturdy head, with large bubbles. 4

Nose A bit tart, citric 3.5

Taste Great fruity bitter sour mix. Overtones of fresh bread. A surprisingly attractive mix. 5

Mouth feel Rich and robust, but all the while not overwhelming. 4.5

Drinkability Very drinkable. Like hot foods, it paradoxically makes you want to keep having more. Perhaps an acquired taste, but one worth acquiring. The "newness" and sour/hoppiness of the Saison taste gives in quite an appeal. 4.5

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 23:07:22 | More by irish
Photo of philbe311


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A mammoth billowy light fizzy rocky head comprised of medium and large bubble piled a top one another... Excellent retention... A medium golden honey color... Not much carbonation, just some stray medium to rapid paced streaks throughout... An extreme cloudy haziness lingers throughout... Some foam clings to the glass

S - Described on the label as an "american-style saison ale," the reason why becomes evident on the nose... There is a terrific mix of hops and yeast... Orange zest... Lemon zest... Pepper... Touches of clove... A rather interesting and pleasant aroma...

T - The tastes couldn't follow closer to the nose if it tried... Hops, yeast, and pepper dominate the palette... Also present are hints of clove, a certain earthiness, and the slightest note of candied sugars... Teetering on "4" territory, but falls just so short...

M - Medium bodied... Slightly lush... Fizzy... Super crisp... An exceedingly dry finish...

D - Certainly an Americanized version of a Saison... The addition of hops add a lot of depth and complexity to this offering... An interesting twist on the style from Ithaca... As a lover of Saisons, this one pushes the envelope a little too much reeling in the overall drinkability score...

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 02:09:23 | More by philbe311
Photo of younger35


4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received this a while back from my main "man" BeerTruth. I could use a good summer beer right now and this one might just fit the bill. Drank from my Willimantic pint glass while grilling and listening to Rage Against the Machine.

Appearance- Pours a somewhat chill hazed light yellow with a huge fluffy white head. A great cap and collar stays the entire beer along with loads of thick lacing.
Smell- Has a nice fruity fresh nose on it. Lots of orange peel and lemon rind along with a sharp white pepper like spice. A bit of yeast gives that bite along a very light banana/clove thing. Light sweetness comes through with a doughy wheat breadiness.
Taste- Starts with a big dose of something that tastes like fresh flowers. A lilac and lavender thing is going on that permeates my mouth and sinuses. Some candied orange peel and a touch of grapefruit as well. That white pepper spice comes through a bit as the finish is dry and tingly. More of that flowery goodness lingers well into the finish along with a crisp crackery wheat base.
Mouthfeel- Crisp and vibrant feel sits on that medium body adding to the bright spice.
Drinkability- I don't think I'd ever guess this was a Saison from the taste alone. It somewhat has a hoppy Saison smell but I was pleasantly surprised. Really easy drinking and great summer beer. Thanks much Adam!

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 19:07:25 | More by younger35
Photo of animalchin

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a solid hazy dark orange with a lot of sustained action in the head.

S - Very citrusy (mostly grapefruit on the nose). This is followed along with some black pepper and other more mild spices. The aromas push and pull together, creating different amounts of potencies each time.

T - Experiencing a a lot earthy tones that is assisted by some sweet and tart grapefruit. There is some sharper bitterness in the after taste, but it doesn't seem hoppy at all. This is different; a little less sustained and floral than a hop bitterness. Also picking up on the spices again. Very complex, especially the potent spiciness mixed with the fruit/tartness.

M - Smooth body yet sharp when moving around; a fine complement to the stand-out characteristic of the taste.

D - An excellent summer beer, and even a good autumn as well. This may be one of my favorites that Ithaca has to offer. I'll have to give some other Saisons a shot, but this seems to be a decent introduction.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 02:01:41 | More by animalchin
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2010 18:55:59 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of FickleBeast

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Reviewed on my Droid.

Pour has a billowing foamy head that dissipates slowly and coats the glass. Color is a bright, slightly cloudy yellow color. Looks great. Aroma is full of spicy yeast.

First sip is spicy, peppery,and dry. The yeasty flavor is dominant but not overpowering. The dry finish is quite refreshing and appropriate for the style. There is substantial carbonation which adds to the light refreshing mouthfeel.

I'm not a big fan of saisons in general, but this one is really hitting the spot. All around solid summer brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2010 23:37:48 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of HotHands


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, poured into a generous pint glass at Pixel Lounge, Ithaca.

A: a slightly dark yellow with a white head. Looks like a pilsner.

S: citrus, pepper, clove, spice. Very nice.

T: taste follows the nose well. Citrus and pepper are the main flavors, with lots of little spices, flavors, and notes in the background. Clove, banana, a mild bitterness from hops, and a nice earthiness are all present.

M: highly carbonated, but not too much. Smooth feel, slightly dry finish.

D: highly drinkable. Light enough to not weigh me down, but with a lot of flavor packed in. I could drink this all night happily.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2010 22:15:57 | More by HotHands
Photo of movingtrain


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle sampled from a Duvel glass.

With a less than aggressive pour, this one pours with a huge, soapy-white head. The beer is a cloudy straw color with massive carbonation. A very active beer.

Hints of spring flowers, sage, pepper, orange peel, lemon, wet earth, dry leaves, slight citrus, and rosemary in the aroma.

Flavor is spicy, very earthy. Peppercorn, sage, citrus, wet earth, orange peel...I like the theme of this beer, the early ground break of Spring...and it represents the flavor well...those first smells and flavors of early Spring, and it drinks nicely in late June. There is a fruity/banana yeast flavor here, as well. This adds a good flavor to the overall beer.

In terms of mouthfeel, this one is is so effervescent...it plays on the palate, and allows for the good flavors of the beer to really shine.

The beer is drinkable, but the massive head and carbonation necessitates some extra time before getting to the actual beer.

Overall, a good take on the style...earthy, fruity, and dry.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2010 23:14:39 | More by movingtrain
Photo of jmhart


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 22:14:10 | More by jmhart
Photo of Sam21


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into tulip glass.

Appearance - Vibrant orange/yellow body with a moderate dense white head. Good retention. Leaves nice sheets of lace. Lively carbonation.

Smell - Citrus notes of lemon and orange. Subtle peppery notes among some spicy clove and banana sweetness. Nice earthy/grassy hop presence. Really leaps out of the glass for me.

Taste - Combination of citrus fruits and clovey/peppery spiciness create an almost grapefruit like bitterness that characterized the brew. Not in an overpowering manner though. Earthiness comes through in a pleasantly dry finish. Complex and balanced.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with a very smooth feel. Quite carbonated, but not necessarily effervescent.

Drinkability - Everything I want in a saison and a great American version at that. Deeply complex and delicious with an earthy bitterness that mingles nicely with the fruity esters and peppery spices. Mmm mmm good.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2010 03:52:38 | More by Sam21
Photo of Reagan1984


4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer has a slight haze and yet is bright gold in color. There are threads of rising carbonation & tons of lacing. Good looking beer.

Aroma is spicy, candied sugar with light fruit. I like it.

Flavor is pretty complex and quite interesting. A mix of black pepper, lots of fruit and candied sugar. Nice bitterness and finishes dry. Lots of yeast flavors and clove.

Mouth feel is considerably dry body is lively and light.

Very enjoyable beer. I found this had some American character infused into the Saison style.

Good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2010 10:54:07 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of jameswaldo

New York

4.7/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a growler of this a few days ago at the brewery, after tasting all our favorites there. We liked this better than Cascazilla, which we really love, and just as much as Flower Power, which is always one of our favorite IPAs.
Looks wonderfully murky, the haze of hops and yeast making a turbid orange/amber soulful thick color promising mouthjoy. Excellent persistent slightly yellowish off-white head when poured gently from growler into pint glasses. Smells like Belgian yeast and hop blossom. What more could you want? We love IPA style always, and this takes a good amount of the hops from that and balances them with a solid hard-bodied yeast. Mouthfeel is excellent balance of fizz and unctuous foam. Aftertaste of hops persists through the funky yeast. The malt hides modestly behind hop and yeast tastes. Besides these delicious robust flavors, drinkability for this brew is helped by its excellent value: $5 per growler for an ale this good is just so wonderful, I'm proud to be an Ithacan!

Serving type: growler

06-15-2010 19:27:50 | More by jameswaldo
Photo of DmanGTR


4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes on 4/17/10

Well this is a little pleaser! A nice golden yellow with a frothy white head. Large craters and bubbles, bits of yeast here and there. A lovely lemony and peppery aroma, blended with a perfect amount of earth, perhaps even a bit of funk there. The lemon and pepper is in perfect balance. The flavor is quite similar, with a nice funky twang in the finish. However, it could be a touch more assertive. A thinnish body with ample carbonation. Would prefer a little bit more here too. Otherwise, an awesome spring/summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 14:30:46 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of tdawgydog

New York

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great Saison. One of my favorite styles. Picked up a six of this while visiting the Finger Lakes region of NY.

A - Pours a nice dark golden color, not as much natural additives as you might expect from your typical saison but don't let this dissuade you.

S - The scent is super floral and sweet. It's inviting to the scent and makes you keep wanting more.

T - The taste is a little sweet, my wife swears that it is hibiscus. Whatever it is, it makes the beer super pleasant and and one of the better saisons that I have had.

D - This stuff goes down smooth. I'm sitting here only hoping that my local beer store carries this stuff. I could enjoy this all summer.

M - Perfectly bodied. Not sure what gives it the distinction of an "American" saison but it is simply one of the better beers that I've had in a long time.

Might be time to setup a road trip to the Ithaca brewery.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 00:43:39 | More by tdawgydog
Photo of Murchmac


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is just a great all around saison. Looks like a classic saison,

smells delicious, like a good saison

fantastic blend of sweetness and spice, full bodied with hops thrown in.

A great beer indeed. Ithaca brewery does some excellent work. Thanks to the late great Lum for sending this my way.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 20:53:29 | More by Murchmac
Photo of Gobzilla


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of shrek806 thanx bro.

A: poured a light orange with yellow highlights and a half finger head that had very little lacing.

S: apple sauce like aromas with spices and booze and citrus zest that had a creamy base.

T: apples, spices and bready flavors up front like the nose with hints of wheat and brett.

M: medium body with good carbonation and a zesty dry finish.

D: good offering from ithica as a saison and will try to get some more of this beer.

GO Lakers!!!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 11:28:05 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of capaneus

New York

4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(A) i poured it into a DELIRIUM TREMENS tulip. There was an enourmous fluffy, meringue-like head which hung around in an impressive blob throughout leaving thick lacing. the color was a rich brownish shade of amber and quite opaque due to suspended yeasts. a real looker.

(S) smell is of american hops and a distinctly spice belgian yeast.

(T) it seems that "AMERICAN" style variants have come to indicate a beer with more pronounced hop presence and often a darker malt than it's EUROPEAN counterparts. if that's the case, then this beer is true to form. unlike most BELGIAN saisons, this beer is noticeable hoppy (moreso than SAISON DUPONT which is on the hoppy end of BELGIAN) which mingle with the spiciness of their yeast to great effect. there is a subtle ale like fruity malt taste leading to a very dry and slightly tart finish. the flavors are wonderfully balanced.

(M) creamy mouthfeel with delicate carbonation - not at all prickly. a little sticky with a slight alcohol burn.

(D) an eminently affordable and drinkable saison. i'd love to see this as a year-round brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 14:33:49 | More by capaneus
Photo of fastpass17

New York

3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, golden, white fluffy cloudy head, nice retention.

S: Spicy, wheat, banana, coriander. Nice for the style.

T: Tart, fresh baked bread, nice round sweetness, crisp finish.

M: Chewy, slightly tart hoppiness, nice.

D: Session potential, enjoyed while sitting in the sun.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 00:07:22 | More by fastpass17
Ground Break from Ithaca Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.