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Ground Break - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Ground BreakGround Break

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

517 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 517
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 24
Gots: 28 | 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: 517 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PicoPapa


3.6/5  rDev -7%

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.

11-09-2010 23:28:20 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of dogfishandi

New York

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

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!

11-04-2010 23:02:52 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of mjaskula

New York

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%

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.

10-30-2010 01:49:40 | More by mjaskula
Photo of Doomcifer

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +6.7%

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!

10-29-2010 20:07:42 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of cpanossian

New York

4/5  rDev +3.4%

Very hazy light honey colored unfiltered with floaties. Strong wild hoppy aroma, similar to a good Belgium like fresh Chimay or Rochefort. Take a few deep breaths - a real pleasure. Generous effervescent foaming at first pour - almost three fingers high - it slowly mellows down to a thin foma cover with isolated lacey spit along the side of glass. Bitter hoppy taste that would go great with a few mild cheeses. Real nice one this is.

10-05-2010 23:52:54 | More by cpanossian
Photo of korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -0.5%

12oz bottle into my new Lost Abbey Tulip. Special thanks to chelodina1 for both.

This is my first step into the saison/farmhouse styles and I thank Scott for the gentle nudge forward. I've read up on the style, like what I hear. But there is only one way to truly tell... So here we go.

A- Very hazy peach colored pour, massive 2+ finger soapy white head, this was not agitated and I had to stop and pour 3 times. Accidently poured the bottom which left little brown flakes in the bottom of my glass. Lacing is good.

S- Sweet yeasty smell, cloves and ginger, very plesant citrus smells (orange, lemon) peach and apricot hidden well in the back. Slight swirl brings out a little strawberry smell to this. Overall a very floral, fruity plesant experience on the nose.

T- The hops are present and they bring a smile to my face, the sweet yeasty taste is there but not as prevelant as it was in the nose. Citrus fruits are greeting me as well, but more lemon rind than the other citrus families. It's got a little funk to it that I can only assume is the brett, with my lack of experience with these styles and brett in general it's really hard to pinpoint some tastes and flavors. The beer overall tastes juicy but is moisture suckingly dry all the way down.

M- Juicy and dry all at once. The funk is kicking my tastebuds into overdrive.

D- I think at this very minute that one will be enough but it definitely has really opened my eyes to a much broader spectrum of brews. Will probably explore other versions of this to give a chance.

09-30-2010 00:36:47 | More by korguy123
Photo of generallee

New York

4.53/5  rDev +17.1%

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!!!

09-19-2010 01:35:53 | More by generallee
Photo of jrallen34


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%

I had this on tap at Deep Wood...Pours a light gold, pretty clear, lots of nice retention and lacing...The aroma is really clean and crisp, light musk, lots of nice floralness...Super easy to drink, floral, crisp drinker. This is much better than advertised.

09-14-2010 20:54:55 | More by jrallen34
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.38/5  rDev -12.7%

bottle says "american saison". i like the sound of that

well the head is luxurious: i think i could lounge on it! crystal clear light amber liquid lies beneath

strong amarillo scents. bright, yeasty spice

interesting flavor profile. for me, yeast makes a saison. or at least the beer requires a minimum standard of spiciness. and this beer is the closest i've seen to that spice floor, if you will. spice abounds, for sure, (and is buoyed by the hops) but otherwise it's fairly clean as saison goes. dry; herbal; lacks esters

i will say, the hopping was tasteful

09-12-2010 01:45:17 | More by bruachan
Photo of TMoney2591


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%

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.

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


4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

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.

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


4.33/5  rDev +11.9%

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.

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

New York

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

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.

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


3.8/5  rDev -1.8%

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

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


4.13/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

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

New York

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%

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.

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


4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

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

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


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

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...

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


4.28/5  rDev +10.6%

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!

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

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

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.

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

West Virginia

4/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

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

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

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.

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


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

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.

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


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

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


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%

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.

06-18-2010 22:14:10 | More by jmhart
Ground Break from Ithaca Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 517 ratings.