Finger Lakes Beverage Center

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

66 Reviews
Finger Lakes Beverage CenterFinger Lakes Beverage Center
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

605 W State St
Ithaca, New York, 14850-3343
United States

(607) 277-2337 | map
fingerlakesbeverage.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by bog

PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Reviews:
66
Ratings:
89
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
7.56%
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 89
Reviews by mgbickel:
Photo of mgbickel
4.5/5  rDev 0%

One of the few bottle shops we decided to stop at during our trip to Lake Placid, NY.

Man...they have lots of beer...isles and isles...six packs and big bottles, mix and match singles and even a growler fill area. I imagine pretty much everything that is available in NY is here...

I was greeted at the door, but pretty much left alone after that...which is fine with me.

Another note...they have the largest "craft" soda selection I have ever seen.

This store ranks right up there with the big boys of bottle shops. I am really happy I got to stop by and will make sure I stop by again if I am in the area.

 612 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of epyon396
4.32/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Ok. So keep this in mind while you read my review. I live in Philly, where we are super-spoiled. Cantillion, Russian River, Drie Fonteinen, and other awesome things are readily available in my area.

And this bottle shop blew my mind. I was giddy. I'm jealous of people in Ithaca.

"Huge selection" does not even begin to cover it. Expansive and cavernous building, especially in the back coolers. The place seems unorganized at first, but then you realize that it is broken up by region. I have no idea what the review below me is talking about with "NY brews and clearance beers" and "nonexistent pricing". This is simply wrong. The only beer that I noticed that didn't have a price was Firestone Walker Bretta Rose, which I didn't care how much it was. I bought several. Eclipse variants, Almanac, a buttload of Mikkeller, Westbrook Gose, Single Cut, Drie Fonteinen were just the things that I bought. Practically every region and country are covered to some degree in this store. Prices are more than fair, as well.

The staff had no problem helping me discern the difference between the Eclipse variants (nothing on this earth can make me second guess myself like that wax) and gave me samples of the beers on tap while I was zipping around the store like a hummingbird filling my cart. Not out of their way friendly, but friendly enough.

If you're in the area, stop here and Northstar House. Seriously.

 1,425 characters

Photo of mfowler314
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of nyyfanatic213
2.6/5  rDev -42.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 2.25 | selection: 2

Went here on a whim while traveling through Ithaca. I'd read some of the rave reviews and heard positive feedback about the place, so I had high expectations going in. I was let down. Big time. First off, it's not as big as some people make it seem, and highly disorganized. The only shelving units with any semblance of order are dedicated to NY brews and, wait for it, clearance beers. Everything else is supposedly clumped together by region, but that didn't really play out as described. Pricing is virtually nonexistent, and what is there is really, really hard to read. The service is sub-par as well. Not recommended.

 625 characters

Photo of Soloveitchik
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of mynie
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I stopped reviewing most bottle shops a while ago, since 1) there's often usually just one game in town, and it's not like people are going to make travel plans just to go to beer stores, and 2)things can change a lot in a short amount of time, and store visiting experience can vary wildly trip by trip.

I'm reviewing the Finger Lakes Beverage Center, though, because it is probably the best beer store I have ever been to. The only ones that come close are Waterbury's Beer Cellar and Milwaukee's Discount Liquors and Three Cellars, but each of those go for a very different vibe.

They don't sell beer at liquor stores in NY state. Meaning, a beer store is a beer store. And this is the largest, most sprawling, most obviously well cared for beer store I've ever been to. They have a cold section that puts any Binny's to shame, single bottle selections for a large variety of local, midwest, and east coast brews, large and nicely rotated selections of Belgian, Scandinavian, English, continental, and Japanese brews, and a fantastic and cheap variety of macro domestics. Also growlers.

The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and they had enough people working that there were no lines, even as people were getting their growlers filled. The vibe was pleasant and middle class--didn't have the grimy liquor store feel--and the prices were markedly cheaper than what I've gotten used to in Massachusetts.

 1,415 characters

Photo of indianabeerman
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Lots to choose from. Great local NY selection and some stuff from the West coast assuming the breweries distribute. They drive to NYC to get some more obscure selections.

 170 characters

Photo of seanchai
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of SonictheBeerhog
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
4.14/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Ken05
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

The remodel is about complete and Wow! This store rocks. It is laid out very nicely with over a 1000 different beers. Everything is new, clean and the lighting is much improved. They added tons of coolers and doubled or tripled the square footage. The World class rating can now apply for sure.

 295 characters

Photo of chefduff2
4.07/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of dandp88
5/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of dwoolley1
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of logicalparadox
5/5  rDev +11.1%

So. You like beer, eh? Imagine you lived a perfect life. You did good deeds, practiced self-sacrifice and gave charity, you once gave the shoes you were wearing to that homeless guy on the Commons. Then, you're hit by a bus (TCAT, of course... those damn wide turns). What is your reward for the sacrosanct life you've led? 42 virgins awaiting you in paradise? Assuming a just God, I'd have to think that heaven would actually resemble... Finger Lakes Beverage Center.

I defy you to find a place with a bigger selection, wider variety, and more amazing shopping experience for buying beer. Over a thousand beers to choose from. No, really. A thousand DIFFERENT beers. Pretty much all of those are sold as SINGLES! Now, if you want to see a grown-ass man prance down the isles of a store like a 5 year old in Toys 'R Us, this is the place. Pull up your Beer Advocate wish list. Pick one of those, one of that, and that, and omg TWO of THOSE.

Sure, you can build a six pack at Wegmans, but you have to buy in multiples of six and the selection is not even a 10th as good. Yes, that cool gas station on Green St. sells singles with no minimum, and yes it's craft beer, but their selection is what... like 20 choices? This is the only place I know of in Upstate NY where you can shop on a pint-by-pint basis for beer and choose from the entire universe of beer. No, you won't find Heady Topper or Pliney the Elder, but you're not going to find that anywhere else around here, either, and if you would, it would be here. Yes, Ithaca Coffee Company has a great selection and they also sell singles, but as awesome as that is it doesn't come close to FLBC.

The store has recently been expanded and now has a vast refrigerated section. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly and openly condones practices that I used to try and hide, like secretly replacing a bottle from a chilled six pack with a warm single (they are totally fine with you taking a chilled single and don't even require you to replace it with a warm one, but you should replace it anyway... it's just good beer etiquette.

They not only fill growlers with a tap selection of around 8-10 offerings that rotate regularly, but they also allow samples. Have a sample of what's on tape while you ponder what to buy. They aren't a bar, so you can't get a pint, but a little taste is just good for stimulating the taste buds.

Ithaca is extremely lucky to have a place like this and it speaks to the thriving nature of craft beer culture in the Finger Lakes and in Ithaca that this place exists and is itself thriving.

 2,578 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of bigred89
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Jaybirdbrew
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of tviz33
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of sam-d66
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Mapples
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of irishpride
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4/5  rDev -11.1%

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Finger Lakes Beverage Center in Ithaca, NY
4.5 out of 5 based on 89 ratings.
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