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 TheTrevor
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a light copper with a big fluffy head. The smell is mostly grassy hops. The taste starts off with some malt sweetness that is quickly cut by the same hops present in the nose that linger for a while. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with fine carbonation. Not a bad tasting beer, but the hops kind of overpower it and linger on the palate.

Photo of vazy
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap and Tap and Mallet.

The appearance is a soft tangerine color with a slight golden hue. Its clear as well. The smell is of moist mulch after a rainy day, a hint of sweetness. Its taste is slightly sweet, medium hopped and a pleasure to drink.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied as it bites the back of your tongue. Overall, its a good amount of hoppiness. Its kind of light and would be good to enjoy with a meal.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy honey color with a beige rocky head. This head lasts and leaves good lacing. Rising bubbles visible in the glass.

Some yeasty notes and some light malt.

Predominantly yeastiness, with some coriander and white pepper spice. Some sweet grain and bitter grain husk bouncing back and forth. I really don't find any true fruit in this beer, although it seems to have this mouth filling juiciness in the flavors. Overall, flavors are a little raw and unfinished. Not what I would describe as a smooth beer. And that's ok.

Well carbonated but with enough body to swish around in your mouth. Every sip seems to contain some foamy head.

Overall, a good brew. Easy to drink (easier than some of the style) with enough intensity to know you've got something, but muted enough so big sips won't make your eyes bug out. Glad I tried it.

Photo of mstyne
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very enjoyable beer, in one of my favorite styles. I could easily enjoy a whole six pack and probably not even notice. A cloudy, orange/brown pour. No mention of the ABV on the bottle or pack that I noticed, but seems fairly light on the alcohol content -- perhaps deceptively so. Sold for fair price as well at my local beer emporium.

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

A: Hazy straw colored gold, like what every review has said. A nice bright white head on top, not bad lacing.

S: Light spices and pepper, mixed with fruit.

T: Nice and fruity, notes of peach and banana, goes along well with the bit of spice to it.

M: Really light, but has a nice crispness to it.

D: Very solid and easy to drink, will remind you of the spring time.

Photo of oberon
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass a slight hazed lighter straw color with a nice fluffy two finger white head that left broken rings of lace as it settled slowly into a creamy mass.Aromas were a mix of earth and phenols,a slghit lemon rind is there as well.Flavors start out with almost a lactic-like tartness to go along with some lemon pith,phenolic spice and earthy hop rounds out the finish.A good stab at the style and refreshing,good for a hot day.

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

On-tap at Clark's Ale House. Appeared a lightly hazy straw yellow with a tall white head. I thought this was a nice American take on the style. While the flavor focuses on crisp malt and herbal spices while the aroma is filled with smooth floral hops that make a great compliment to the grassy and citrus yeast character. Like hops and saisons? Give this a try.

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

Tasted on tap at The Blue Dog Pub in Lansdale, PA during an Ithaca tasting event.

A- hazy honey colored brew with no head to speak of. no visible carbonation. Very pleasing appearance. 4.0

S- fruity and hoppy aroma with Belgian yeast tones. 3.5

T- very fresh and fruity. Huge fruit flavors- apricot, peaches, a little bit of white grapes. Very little hoppy bitterness, but a bit at the finish. 4.5

M- smooth. mild carbonation. very refreshing. 3.5

D- very drinkable on a warm spring night (or any other time for that matter). relatively low ABV makes it easy to have a few. 4.0

Interestingly, I seem to have had a bit of a different impression that other reviewers in the level of fruityness. possibly due to the freshness? I'd like to think so. Very tasty.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Just a slightly hazy golden color. A little less than half a finger of head with a touch of lacing.

S: A little bit earthy. I actually got a little whiff of young flowers. Little bit of white pepper. Kind of a tight nose for a saison but what I did get was enjoyable.

T: Little bit earthy. Not quite funky and not sour at all. Lots of wheat comes through.

M: Well carbonated. Finishes very dry.

D: Super easy and flavorful. I really liked this beer quite a bit as a semi session beer on a nice evening. Too bad this is my last one of the six pack I grabbed.

Photo of BeerTwigs
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer into a pint glass and it settled very nicely. It pours a nice light golden color with medium white head. The aroma is almost spot on for a saison and has really good character. I get banana and the traditional belgian armoa out of the nose of this beer. It has a good body and provides a nice smooth finish. Ithaca has done a really nice job here in changing up the traditional spring seasonals. I would definitely drink this beer again.

Photo of Gmann
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden straw color with a wispy white head that left some clingy lacing. The aroma is light but nice. Nice clove and light farmhouse aromas, trace of candi sugar sweetness, and a dash of white pepper. The taste is of clove and candi sugar which is followed by a souring farmhouse flavor which offsets the initial sweetness, this is finished by a bittering grassy hop, not much hop flavor, just a grassy bitterness which works well with this style. A moderate body with very fizzy carbonation, fairly crisp, finishes with a slightly bitter twang. A very light saison but very enjoyable. At first it seemed like a BPA but then the sour funk came out to play. Again, not very strong flavors but good and I dig the 6% ABV, great spring beer.

Photo of parris
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Before pouring I noticed the little bit of yeast that had settled to the bottom of the bottle. It got me expecting a cloudy beer, but to my suprise it poured to a pretty vibrant light orange/yellow color. Medium carbonation produced a perfect sized head, maybe 1/2 inch.

There is a good orange citrus smell to it. I've got a cold now, but I've had this before, and remember noticing pleasant burnt and floral aroma.

Great taste. Not bitter at all, but tons of hop flavor. I have no idea what their recipe is, but I bet they dry hopped the hell out of it. I suppose I also don't know what an American-style saison is supposed to taste like, hopefully this is it.

Thin mouthfeel, maybe a hair astringent, here is where I notice just a bit of bitter on the sides of my tongue.

Very drinkable. I prolly wouldn't bring this out on a bender, but it's definitely something to look forward to with dinner (Italian maybe?)

Photo of ATPete
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of batty
4.07/5  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.

Photo of asabreed
3.97/5  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.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.13/5  rDev +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.

Photo of Jwale73
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of david18
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of extremelybland
4.37/5  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!

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.97/5  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.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.92/5  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.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.12/5  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.

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