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Ground Break - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Ground BreakGround Break

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

538 Ratings

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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
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Ratings: 538 | Reviews: 231
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy glowing orange, a compact finger of white foam on the surface. Surface texture is creamy, and it sticks nicely around the edges. Retention is pretty good, some delicate arcs of lace form in the glass also.

Estery yeast notes of clove and banana resemble a spicy hefeweizen. More earthy notes of coriander, cumin, and/or white peppercorns.

Dry, lightly bitter and spicy. Big notes of pepper and grassy hops. Orange peel, savory spices. Smooth feel, with the spices dominating the flavor, leaving telltale signs of pepper with a numbing tingle on the palate. Dry finish, little to no residual sweetness. Quenching and pleasant overall, something to anticipate springtime with.

Thanks to Mike for this unexpected beer!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel art tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden in color with a deep reddish-orange hue and a large, foamy white head that dissipates slowly and leaves behind a wall of lace in a ring.

Smell: Citrus, apple, grape, and maybe apricot stand out the most with a bready note and musty yeast.

Taste: Begins bitter and a bit spicy, turning bready and finishing with a lot of flowery, citric, and fruity notes. There is also the obligatory farmhouse flavor throughout this brew.

Mouthfeel: Lighter in body with balanced carbonation and a very refreshing finish.

Drinkability: This is an excellent saison, and one that can definitely hold its own against its Belgian siblings. Another great Ithaca brew, and a saison that I would love to drink frequently. It also tastes just perfect for spring.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ubufan2112 for sending this bottle my way. Served in a tulip.

Pours a nice golden color with a two-finger white head off a hard pour. Good retention and some nice sticky lacing as it falls down into a nice cap. Nose is really fantastic and well-integrated with some white pepper, hay, grass, and light fruitiness. Some light grain in the background. All of this carries over to the taste. Everything is somewhat subtle, but it all blends incredibly well. This is one of the more-impressive tasting American saisons that I have ever come across. Body is dry with nice carbonation. Very drinkable. I am a huge fan and will seek this out again.

Photo of MLasoski
2.41/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Looked like an interesting buy and I love Ithaca products; however, this one doesn't sit with me right in terms of the style. Maybe it's because I'm used to more crisp and clear saisons?

A: A cloudy copper body with a 1/8" thick head which dissipated within a couple minutes after a couple sips. Can't really see the carbonation either. I was expecting a crispy, clear, and straw-colored body with excited carbonation and a thick head.

S: Blah... nothing special. Smells of mild hops and malts. Can't really pinpoint anything so I'm not going to make anything up either.

T: Tastes a bit like table salt with hops added into the container.

M: Salty up front with the hop character coming through in the end. Pretty light on the tongue with some crisp carbonation in the end as well.

D: I wish I only picked up one of these as part of a mix-a-six instead of the entire 6 pack. I'm having a rough time finishing one. Not what I expected as a saison.

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

A: deep honey gold with a slightly amber hue, not a lot of head.

S: citrus peel, nutmeg?

T: hops are direct but not overly bitter, very earthy and musky overall, with some of the same citrus and spice notes from the nose

M: wonderfully balanced, smooth but crisp, and the modest carbonation levels let the spices do most the talking without leaving you flat

D: highly drinkable, this would make a great first day of spring BBQ beer

an instant favorite!

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

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Cloudy and golden with a nice airy head that dissipates quickly but leaves some nice lacing.

Wonderful aroma. Spicy and fruity, with a tatse to match. Peppery lemon, and a bit sweet up front, with a nice dry finish. No wonder Saison is the perfect beer to hasve with food.

Carbonation a bit strong for the hoppiness of the beer, but this is still a saison after all.

Ithaca continues to make some really good beers.

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle. Best before date etched on label.
Poured into an Allagash goblet.
The color is a cloudy honey amber color with a thinnish white head and some trailing lacing.
A big whiff of clovey Brett yeast is realized before the pour is complete. Smells of sweet malt and lemon zest are in perfect harmony. A faint smell of orange liquor is noticed.
A flavors are spot on for the style (although the Saison/Farmhouse styles tend to vary). I like this one...a lot!
Spicy hops, citrusy fruits, lemon zest meld nicely in a loving caramel malt body. Honey sweetness and a light alcoholic warmth are so inviting.
Goes down so liquid and smooth with just a bit of an edgy raspiness.

Photo of bigoten13
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, and it pours a fabulous mix of gold-tangerine-yellow, with intense cloudiness and a formidable head. Mildly lacy, but over time the beer maintains a thin layer of bubble on top.

The aroma is perhaps my favorite part of this beer. At first, you get a great big waft of sweet honey, perhaps an agave-derivative, followed by some spicness (i detect a hint of ginger), and it finished off with a yeasty, nutty odor that you never want to leave your nostrils.

The taste exhibits the same sweetness as the aroma, however there is a bit of bite/tartness. This is a welcome contrast to the honey flavor, and the hop/yeast character is right on point with any well known belgian saison.

Mouthfeel is crisp, and bubbly.

Drinakbility is only a 4.0 because I wouldn't like to do a session with such assertive flavors in a lighter beer. However, the relatively low ABV for its style makes it a very drinkable saison.

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

Ithaca Groundbreak pours a bright gold, bone white head and some lacing. Aroma is very floral, alittle grassy and some sweet yeast. The flavor captures the Belgian style, heavy yeast giving a spicy kick. Muted fruit tang. Also a good amount of hop character, giving off grassy, earthy and light citrus notes. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a carbonation sting. Drinkability rates fairly high. Authentic saison in style with a nice bitterness. Solid.

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

Modest near-white head. Leaves a blanket of slippery lace. While hazy, this is far more clear than most saisons. Neutral gold color.

Interesting blend of sourness and barnyard earthiness. Once the head settles, the traditional sour yeast aroma of a saison comes through clearly.

Starts off tart, but mellows quickly. There's a sizable yeast bite toward the end of the tasting. The swallow is lightly tart. The aftertaste is grainy, but short lived . Good body for the style and the carbonation is understated.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, earthy, small tart and small hops. In the taste, earthy and small tart fruit hints, a bit watery. A spice like bite and thin and light bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry small spiciness in the aftertaste. Nice flavor of earth and small tartness, although a bit thin and watery.

Photo of Fluke828
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, opaque pale amber into an SA Perfect Pint glass. Good amount of lacing and a 1/2 finger head. Smells of sweet fruits and wheaty, bready aromas. Taste very similar to the smell, only sweeter, and really could close my eyes and think this might be some kind of radical weizen. Very chewy mouth-feel, slightly thick and drinks very refreshing. Overall, a tasty Saison that I would enjoy again.

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

Always had a soft spot for Ithaca Brewing for some reason. Was really happy to see this pop up.

a-really nice cloudy gold colour with a very nice long lived creamy head.

s-fruity, crisp smelling, some spicey smells I couldn't place(probably on acct of stuffed nose)

t-Tastes kinda like a wheat. The spicey smells are there but it's more fruity IMO...the crispness remains...some of the banana esthers are there. Really nice.

m-Thicker...like one would expect of a 6%.

d-I really liked this beer alot. I can't wait to buy more.

Photo of woosterbill
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Prime 16 into a La Chouffe tulip.

A: Clear gold body with a half-inch of fine white foam. Ok retention and nice lace. Not bad.

S: Spicy, intense aroma that does a good job balancing fruity esters (apple stands out; not much banana at all) and phenols (minerals and white pepper, thankfully no band-aid). A little chalky, but quite good.

T: Spicy phenols start things off, and never really cede dominance. Some fruity esters, bready malts, and dry minerality are also present. Very clean on the finish. Tasty.

M: Light to medium bodied with ample, lively carbonation. Very fresh feeling. Excellent.

D: Intense, comple, and phenolic without being medicinal or alcoholic in the least. Fantastic.

Notes: Yet another solid beer from Ithaca. I'm very glad to see this hitting shelves in CT, as there aren't enough reasonably-priced, good-quality saisons. As much as I love Hennepin (and Hennepin is considerably better), I'd rather get a $10 six-pack of Ground Break than an $8 bomber of Ommegang's fine Saison. It's awesome to have the choice, and impressive that New York produces two such authentically Belgian-tasting brews in this fickle yet phenomenal style.


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 metter98
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear light copper in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that slowly faded away and consistently left lacy patterns of bubbles floating in the center of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of grapefruit, orange, lemon, black pepper and clove in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell except that the spicy flavors are a little more pronounced and the hops lend a slight amount of bitterness and grassy flavors.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some notes of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is quite easy to drink and the citrus flavors would make this particularly refreshing to drink on a hot summer day.

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a MJ tasting glass (tulip).

Pours a hazy yellow with orange highlights. Big fluffy white head, that stands up and drops very slowly. Leaves big chunky pieces of lacing.

Aromas of lemon zest, orange, and pepper. Chaulky. Amarillo hop aroma.

First sip is citrus, lemon, orange, pepper, Amarillo hop flavor stands out. High level of bitterness for the style. Good level of carbonation, almost creamy. Long bitter, peppery finish.

Mouthfeel is light/medium, powdery, very dry. Almost astringent hop quality.

Very drinkable beer. Good example of an American version (read "hoppy") of a saison.

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.

Photo of rlee1390
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Cloudy orange that poured a 1 finger foam head, and that was from me using caution not to over flow the glass after realizing the potential size while first pouring

S-Lemon and wheat

T-Mainly lemon, a solid lemon flavor that is not artificial. Not much bitterness to me, I had to look for it.

M-Light with some carbonation

D-Drinkable but the carbonation gets to me.

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

Pours a hazy golden with a full white creamy looking head. Very nice lacing left behind clinging to the sides of the glass. The aroma is different, but good! Initially, there are the tell-tale aromas of a saison, the fresh farm aromas of hay and grass, some barnyard as well. There is also the usual citrus aroma as well. But there seems to be a bit of pine in this beer, which is reminiscent of hops. There are also some nice belgian spices coming through as the beer warms a little. The flavor is rightly mild, but the usual barnyard and earthy flavors are there. Some tart and yet sweet citrus come out and the spices are fairly strong in the finish. The hops are noticeable as well, but not overly so. I'm glad this one isn't hopped as much as most "American" varieties are as it allows this to keep the saison style at the core. Very nice beer.

Photo of jlindros
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It slowly starts erupting, and forms a huge 4 finger head as I pour, forcing me to stop pouring. The bubbly frothy head fades semi slowly with lacing over crystal clear golden orange color.

Nose has some nice Belgian malts, a light Belgian yeast, saison like. Touch of wheat, some lemon peel, citrus, slight grassy like hop aroma, touch of Belgian yeast fruit aromas.

Taste is similar, light malts, Belgian saison malts, light citrus, little orange and some lemon zest, even hint of banana, with the slightest touch of a tart funk. Slightly sweet but finishes fairly dry, with lingering lemon zest and saison malts.

Mouth is fairly light with lots of carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good, with a pretty light overall beer, no real alcohol hit, and nice dry finish.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with a Best Before Date of Oct. Whoops. Pours a real murky light orange with a small frothy head. Nice lacing. Aroma is slightly sour with aromas of hops and yeast. Some lemon zest. Flavor is basically a continuation of the aromas. Yeast, hops, lemon and a bit of a sour aftertaste. This is not a style of beer I seek out very much but I took a shot since I enjoy Ithaca so much. Overall I liked this beer but would probably grab it as one of the beers in a mix 12 pack as opposed to a 6 pack by itself.

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 mjaskula
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. Looks like a saison - cloudy and yellow-golden with a thick white head. Not thinking I poured this one quickly and it went over the sides of the glass. The rocky head subsides slowly and leaves a ton of lacing.

Aroma is typical of a saison, it's earthy with lemon zest and belgian yeast. Flavor is also typical saison, as expected it continues the nose. The yeast is the strongest, but the lemon and earthiness are there too. Not much spice going on, but there is a nice grassy hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit light and carbonation is high. This is a great saison.

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!

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