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Ground Break - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
Ground BreakGround Break

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

526 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 526
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 24
Gots: 29 | 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: 526 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ATPete
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Pours a slightly chill hazed gold yellow color with a small white head that leaves healthy notches of lace on the glass. A fat dosing of bitter and aromatic hops is almost upstaged by a strong, dominant yeast character. Honey, grainy pale malt and yeast are balanced by a largely bitter hop character. Tiny bubbles of sparkling carbonation add a soda water dimension to this beer making difficult to quaff. A nice saison.

ATPete, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of batty
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bought and drank in march 2010, cambridge, ma

soapy white head dies pretty quickly but leaves ok lace. ring around the outside of the glass stays reasonably well. almost-clear burnt-orange gold color.

good farmhouse smell, a little citrus and apple.

tastes very crisp, strong farmy presence and minimal else. farm melds right into the clean bittering hop ending, finishing with a bit of lingering hop, also pretty clean. fairly 'wet' finish. carbonation seems relatively low. tastes pretty good and i enjoy it, but quite straightforward and not super interesting. a little more flavor in the middle and a crisper ending would improve it in my book.

relatively thin mouthfeel, a little slippery lowish carbonation.

drinkability is pretty high, goes down smooth and would be nice on a spring/summer day, good flavor, unassuming and tasty.

batty, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of asabreed
3.98/5  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.

asabreed, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of andrewinski1
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from naproxen! Thanks!

Poured into my Portsmouth Brewery tulip. A three finger head lasts quite a while (love this glass) and eventually fades into a lacing across the top of a beautiful golden base. Absolutely gorgeous! Smells spicy and the hops are very detectable. The taste strikes a wonderful balance between the spicy saison yeast and just a touch of golden sweetness to balance it out. Just about perfect. This beer is strongly carbonated and highly refreshing. Very very good saison.

andrewinski1, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Best before June notched on the label. Poured a semi-translucent orange-gold with a three inch, bright white, rocky head. Head slowly collapses into half its volume, leaving delicate strands of lacing as it recedes. Nose reveals candi sugar, citrus and a slightly herbal/hoppy quality. Taste is somewhat consistent with nose; however, hoppiness is very assertive upfront, with other qualities somewhat muted and watered down. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of the spectrum, but not quite light-bodied per se, with a fairly assertive carbonation that falls a little short of prickly. Decent brew, but not really a saison in my book - closer to a Belgian Strong Pale/Belgian IPA hybrid in my opinion; a respectable brew nonetheless.

Jwale73, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of david18
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was one of a number of farmhouse ales i tried in a short period and this was possibly the most interesting one I've had. Ithaca has done a good job of brewing very drinkable beers. What stood out for this was the fact that it was not too "farmy" but more of an interesting, yeasty pale ale.

Dark golden color with good carbonation. Very good smell,taste, mouthfeel and drinkability. Again, think pale ales meets belgian/french style.

david18, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of extremelybland
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper, deeper than your average saison and a little cloudy.
A powerful nose here, with fruit, spice, with some bubblegum and Belgian yeast jumping from the glass alongside a notable hop presence.
Taste is rich with pine and orange peel with a juicy Belgian yeast right up front and finishing with flinty and lingering hops, basically coming off like rich Belgian IPA.
Mouthfeel is a touch on the thick side which highlights everything that is going on here, and it seems like a fantastic transitional Spring beer - exactly as they constructed it. I could have a bunch of these
Very successful beer, hope they keep this one going!

extremelybland, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Waterfront, Brooklyn, New York.

Poured a hazy dark straw hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a grassy and musty hop with a nice lemon zing.

The taste consisted of a tangy lemon, light grain and vibrant yeast ester. Assertive hops for the style.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very tasty and hop forward saison.

plaid75, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off tap at the brewery this beer was a clear, light gold color with two fingers of huge white head. The retention was excellent and the lacing spotty. The aroma was nice, Belgian yeast, floral hops, citrus hops and especially spicy/peppery hops. Zesty? Yes. The flavor was bright and refreshing. Lots of herbal - almost minty - hops with an equal amount of tangy yeast. Lots of spices and some lemon zest. Very Spring-like. The mouthfeel was smooth, the body light and the carbonation good.

thekevlarkid, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - hazy deep yellow color with a fluffy white head that left a good coat of lacing.
S - Belgian yeast and spices fill the aroma.
T - Traditional Saison taste upfront before the American hops come into play finishing tart and dry.
F - medium bodied with a creamy feel.
D - highly drinkable and very tasty.

JoeyBeerBelly, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

tigg924, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle picked up at Abe's as part of my mixed sixer. Poured into my shaker glass. The ale appears a slightly hazed pale golden yellow with barely a finger of quickly fading off white head. Nose and flavors are of peppery spicy yeast, citrusy lemon, bread, clove, grass, corianderish spice, banana peel. Medium bodied with decent carbonation and a dry bitter and mildly sour finish.

ClockworkOrange, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a shaker pint.

A: Crisp and clear with absolutely no haze. Throws me off a bit, because I am used to the murky and translucent appearance being a staple of this style. There is a creamy head that holds on tight to its beer-top perch, and proceeds to lace in thick rings at the beginning down to an erratic spider-web-like pattern at the end.

S: This is a very different saison aroma that I am used to, and it definitely highlights Ithaca's Americanization of the style. There are big components of aroma hops, especially amarillo. I also am surprised to find the spicy character of rye as well. The funk comes through at the end, but it is somewhat subdued. Lots going on in the nose. Definitely a farmhouse ale, but decidedly American.

T: Interestingly, the flavor profile is somewhat backwards from many other saisons that I have enjoyed. The barnyard funk comes through strongest in the beginning and then fades into oblivion. The flavor begins to move towards the American aroma hop profile. I can taste the glacier hops contributing apricot notes as well. The finish is dry and malty with a spicy bit from the rye to close it out.

M/D: Nicely textured and intriguing. At first, I wasn't sure about this beer, but as it approached room/cellar temp, it started to really grow on me. The variety of flavors and the mouthfeel sensations (funky to bitter to dry) really won me over. I would definitely seek this out again. I enjoyed the twist on one of my favorite styles.

NittanyBeerFan, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of m1ked
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single 12 oz from WF Bowery beer room. Doing my part to help spring come faster.

A- Pours a slightly hazy, but clear bright yellow orange with a large pure white loose bubbly head. After a short while, leaves some lacing in the exact outline of popped bubbles.

S- Mmm, some musty banana, tropical & citrusy fruit blend, some clove, grape, touch of mint.

T- Starts off with the musty & banana & clove up front, then there is some bitter citrus hops, then some of the tropical fruit flavor with that touch of mint again. Overall with a subtle yet present spiciness throughout. Lingering lemon pithy bitterness.

M- Medium/mild bodied, constant low prickly carbonation throughout. Finishes semi-dry.

D- Cool combo/creation here. Covers some range of flavors. I wouldn't call this a sessionable beer for me, but a tasty brew. It does seem like spring beer to me....come on spring.

m1ked, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
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?

Billolick, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single bottle poured into a plain ol' pint glass, pretty fresh here.

A- Ground Break, a Saison with a pale gold with some built in bright yellow here and there. The head broke the surface and created a rich frothy semi dense foam with small bubbles within, broke down easy, leaving squiggly lace.

S- A big Saison nose with the 'American' coming out in the hops with some citrus. I'm used to hops being quite minimal. Small grapefruit with a yeast backing and some pepper, in fact I get alot of pepper. A nice scent on this, nothing out of the norm for the style, yet nice.

T- A bit of sweet malt in the front followed by Belgian yeast which impart a bready vibe. In the middle some spicyness with pepper in abundance. The spicy is mixed with some citrus with grapefruit and squeezed lemon. Afterwards the spicy comes back with the typical saison flavors.

M- Spritzy, crisp and alive str8 out of the bottle. It took a good half hour for the mouth to calm down a bit. The carb is quite high, but I usually I find that from American Saisons out of the bottle. Ground Break is a step down from a medium build and quite refreshing. Finishes on the dry side.

D- A nice six percenter that does not stray from the style. While sessionable, I would not go for more than one of these a night as the spice would get to me, it was a bit overwhelming. With that said grabbing a sixer to lay down for 6-9 months might be neat to see what happens. Would like to see what this would be like with the hops faded a bit.

Ground Break is yet another American Saison that passes on the taste and other factors because it does not stray from the style, yet does not bring anything new to the table. I've had a lot of similar tasting saisons from this country, it's like a dime a dozen.

BARFLYB, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of DIM
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a hazy golden straw color. It was served to me with a small frothy head.

s: Lots of fresh lemon and yeasty, earthiness in near perfect balance. Not a lot of depth, but it isn't necessary here.

t: Mirrors the smell for the most part. The yeasy might have been a little stronger here, but the fresh, lemony hops still shined through. Dry finish that might have been a bit too bitter.

m: Slick body and spritzy carbonation.

d: I'm really liking the trend towards eavily hopped saisons. I still generally prefer the more traditional versions, but these definitely have their place.

DIM, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's yesterday.

The beer pours a solid gold color with decent head retention and lacing. On the nose I get some clove and cinnamon, but with some grapefruit hoppiness as well. The flavor profile replicates the nose, except I also get orange citrus and honey. The beer finishes with an interesting amount of bitterness, and has a pretty dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly long, dry, bitter finish. Alcohol is not very noticeable and drinkability is pretty good.

While I didn't find this beer to be anything exceptional, it was still a nice enough beer, and one I'm glad to have the opporunity to sample at Capones.

John_M, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of potownbill
2.73/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I am not sure what this beer is trying to be: Saison, Wit, Pale Ale, whatever. The appearance of the beer gave me hope that this was going to be a good experience. Clear, pale yellow, with a frothy white head. Bringing it to the nose is where I got my first indication that there was something not right. There was the spiciness of the Witbier, but slightly off, reminding me of something I might have smelled in my basement, namely a funk that didn't belong in a beer. The taste started off with a decent spiciness, some raw barnyard flavor (not bad), but ended with a thin IPA bitterness. The mouthfeel was somewhat thin, but not too bad. I was able to finish the glass, but there were a few moments where I questioned whether the calories were worth it.

potownbill, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of josefnewsong
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I happened to run into a rep from Ithaca at the Tap this afternoon, and it proved to be fortuitous.

A - a nice golden color with some white head and some but not much lace
S - belgian yeast and some definite funkiness going on (some leathery scents for sure), hops are right in there as well and a lot of tangerine with a touch of lemon
T - tangerine, citrus hops, funky/musty/yeasty flavors, lemon in the finish
M - medium-bodied, not dry or extra smooth, a decent level of carbonation...seems like it would be nice in the summertime, somewhat thirst quenching
O - a well-crafted ale.

josefnewsong, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of callmemickey
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy amber-orange-gold color. Moderate frothy eggshell white head. Solid retention and spotty lacing.

S: Comes across as an American saison for sure. Bright citric hop bitterness is upfront followed by a more mellow herbal tone. Slight element of spice.

T: More herbal/citric hop bitterness gives an almost tea-like flavor at times. The lemon/yeast/spice profile leaves a bit of a witbier impression too.

M: Medium-light bodied. Lacking the funk, earthyness and dryness that makes the saison a truly amazing style. Finish is somewhat prolonged.

D: Overall, a very nice effort. When reviewing saisons I always try to keep in mind the take on the saison the brewer is going for... is it going to be American, Belgian, or Brett-ed in tone. This is clearly an American saison and a decent one at that. The price and availability should make this a decently popular effort from Ithaca.

callmemickey, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of almychristopher
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours a golden color with a nearly white head that recedes a bit but doesn't want to drop down to lacing. the belgian yeast strain that they're using on this provides a killer yeast aroma with the back up from the citrus hops makes for a great aroma. the taste is everything you could want in belgian ale, with a nice hop bite at the end. the aggressive carbonation and medium body make this a plenty drinkable beer.

almychristopher, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of matty
2.45/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pale yellow colored beer with a rich thick slowly fading head.Aroma is spices.Taste is lemon-grapefruit,hops and spices.This beer tastes too much like a witbier which I do not like.I will never buy this again and will warn all of my drinking buddies to stay away from this one.

matty, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of number1bum
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an orange tinted golden color with a creamy two fingers of off-white head. Keeps a mostly full lace and leaves some nice sticky webs on the sides. Has a slight chill haze to it.

Smell is quite hoppy with big doses of herbal and earthy hops, as well as some more subtle citrus hops. The citrus is zesty lemon primarily, and there is some grass in there too. Also some musty spice and honey sweetness. As it warms it actually loses some of the initial robustness, which is too bad.

The hoppiness translates to the tongue, as well, with herbal and earthy hop flavors. Also some grass and zesty lemon like the nose. Light sweetnness as well, plus some musty yeast and spice. There is a decent amount of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but it's neither creamy, dry nor crisp. This is the one aspect of the beer that I find lacking. Lacks the dryness of many saisons, but given the hoppiness and subtle sweetness a creamier body could have worked too. IT's neither, and it's not very crisp either. Just sort of bleh on the tongue.

Despite the feel this is a pretty good beer. It's quite drinkable. I would call this a very approachable saison that would be particularly appealing to hopheads who are new to the style. It doesn't have the funk or farmhouse character that many saisons do, but it still has enough interesting qualities to make it interesting, and I like the hoppiness. I think it actually drinks a bit more like a Belgian IPA than a saison, but whatever. It's a tasty beer and worth picking up.

number1bum, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ground Break has a lusterless golden body and a stark white head that is thick and creamy. The head sticks around for awhile and eventually deposits some lacing on my glass.

The aroma has a good dose of hops, which is what I would expect from an "American Style" saison. The yeast pulls its weight too though, featuring earthy, spicy aromas.

The flavor comes together in a very similar way to the aroma, but the yeast is a little bit stronger than the hops. Earthy, spicy, notes come from the yeast, but there is also a musty-farmhouse-like flavor that is very nice. Just a tiny hint of light fruit in the background. The finish has a good burst of hop flavor that adds a zing of bitterness and citrus. Ground Break tastes great, it is very well put together and the hops do not dominate the yeast, which I like for a Saison.

The mouthfeel is a touch weak because it has a body that is a bit heavier than I would prefer, and carbonation that is a bit lower. I like a Saison that explodes on your tongue, and Ground Break doesn't quite do that.

I ordered one ground Break at the bar, and made it a second when I finished. My buddy tried it and his next beer was a Ground Break. It might not be a bad idea to make your next beer a Ground Break too.

Hojaminbag, Feb 13, 2010
Ground Break from Ithaca Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.