Finger Lakes Beverage Center

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90 Ratings

Type: Store

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

(607) 277-2337 | map

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Ratings: 90 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of kevman527
4.4/5  rDev -2.9%

My friend introduced me to this place, and I was blown away by the selection. In the Binghamton Area, we do not have anything that can compete with the FLBC.

I love being able to mix and match my own 6-packs with each bottle being individually priced. They also have an excellent selection of non-alcoholic beverages, a bunch of micro-sodas and what not. With them being only about an hour drive away, I come here about once every two months to stock up my supply.

Excellent selection, reasonable prices, I recommend this store to anyone who is within an hour drive.

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Photo of Seanibus
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

Breathtaking. It would be hard to imagine a better beer store. Tucked in an inconspicuous corner on State Street, this place turns out to have a vast and varied selection of beer from all over the world. But it really shines on American craft brew, featuring an astonishing selection of beers from all over the country. Most are offered as both sixpacks and singletons, with lots of 22oz bottles and rarities. It has an excellent collection of New York brews and a good mix of small regional producers from the Northeast. Toward the back is a good selection of cold sixpacks. And there is even a good lineup of artisnal sodas from all over.

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Photo of thirstyguy
5/5  rDev +10.4%

OK... I am biased. This is my hometown beer store so I think it is what a beer store should be. But I travel a lot and have to say this is one of the best I have found any where.
What makes Fingerlakes Beverage special?
First - the Moe family who own it are fantastic. They know and love beer and go out of their way to please customers.
Second - The selection is incredible. Rows and rows of cases, six packs and 22s. The Belgian selection alone is worth going for. Great selection of NY and regional brews.
Third - 8 rotating taps to fill growlers. The draft selection is always diverse and high quality. They usually have a nice selction of kegs and will special order a keg of anything they can get their hands on.

Stop in if you are in central NY. You will not be dissapointed.

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Photo of asabreed
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%

My wife and I decided to spend a Saturday in Ithaca, which was a few days ago, to tour some wineries, hit some decent places for food, Ithaca Beer Company, some wineries by the Cayuga, and of course, the Finger Lakes Beverage Center.

I'm glad I did, to say the least.

This may be the best beer store I've been to, and though that's not saying a lot compared to some I imagine, it makes me very happy to be only an hour from it since we're in Vestal.

One thing I love about this store is the wealth of singles that around. You don't have to, for most beers, grab a 4 or 6-pack if you don't want to. That makes it so much easier to grab, well, many 6-packs, especially if you want to try a bunch of different things, which I like to do when it comes to awesome stores.

I picked up the Ithaca stuff I wanted. Brooklyn Black Ops ($20, which I'm not sure about, but I've been wanting a bottle for way too long), Squall IPA, and a lot of single bottles. I didn't want to spend more than $100, and I didn't.

Now you won't find something like Lost Abbey in this place. I don't think so at least. But Stone, Victory, Great Lakes, practically every single local or semi-local or within-a-few-states craft brewery. And a lot of Belgians and Scandinavian stuff too. We were limited in time, but they have a ton of stuff. A lot you can get by the case.

Prices are good. Of course singles, 12 oz. singles, will cost you more than 4 or 6-packs, but the mark-up's not that bad.

And the places is super clean and very nicely organized.

I wasn't greeted anytime I was in the store, which always annoys me at least very slightly.

I used to work at Once Upon a Vine in Richmond, and the one thing I always did was at least say "Hello" to the customers. Is it really that hard, honestly, especially since there were at least three people working there?

And the person who checked me out was tight-lipped and didn't say anything except "$107.62" or whatever it was. Again, you don't need to be up in my grill when I'm walking around, but pleasantries shouldn't be dead, especially when you're spending a good chunk of cash.

But this place is not to be missed. When we're in Ithaca again I'll be stopping there, and I can see myself spending around the same amount if not a lot more cash... if I have it.

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Photo of cornsnake23
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

So I took a trip up to Ithaca from Boston, MA to visit some friends and decided to beerfly the local stores. This was the highest rated so I figured it'd be worth taking a look. I was AMAZED!

This liquor store was 4 times bigger than my local store back home, and my local store is NOT small. They had so much to choose from it took me almost an hour just to take everything in and make the vital decisions.

I loved the setup of this store. They have the normal 6 and 12 packs on the lower shelves, but ALL of the bottles on the top shelves are singles of the packed bottles below. VERY easy mixed sixer shopping.

The prices (to me) were great (compared to Boston, MA). I got two mixed sixers and 3 bombers for just over $60.00 and I bought some serious beers, mostly stouts, barleywines, and DIPAS.

The staff was very friendly once I went to make my purchase, although they left me alone while I was browsing, which I appreciated because there was far too much selection to take in that I wouldn't have been able to ask for anything specific at any moment. But once I went to pay we had a nice conversation about the beers I was purchasing and some of their experiences with them. They were very friendly and very helpful.

I would recommend this shop to ANYBODY who wants to find some serious beer selection in the Ithaca area.

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Photo of akorsak
4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Stopped after grabbing some Brute at Ithaca's release. It was almost rush hour so traffic was a bear.

Quality: Wow! This selection is awesome. I was greeted on entrance. And did I mention the selection! The entire floor is dedicated to beer, lots of it, and lots of good stuff.

Service: I was greeted on entrance but generally left to my own devices.

Selection: There was so much that it was overwhelming. I didn't know where to start: the Nordic and Russian offerings, Belgians, Domestics, local domestics. There was just too much to process. I grabbed a Black Ops and Squall IPA but saw more labels that I care to remember. This rivals Half Time in size. Well worth a visit on a busy Friday afternoon. If you can't find something new here, you can anywhere (although they didn't have the newly released Brute, tsk tsk).

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.35/5  rDev -4%

This place is full of craft beer, I would say between 900-1000 choices. An aisle each for Belgian, German, English, and other countries. Several isles for American craft beers, all of which are nicely organized with prices for bottles, six packs and cases displayed.
The Belgian section is excellent, with trappist brews, quite a few sours (rodenbach, cantillon, others), fantome stuff, de struise and many others.
There are also a ton of regional brews represented with their entire lineups (Middle ages, horseheads, Ithaca, Weyerbacher, Southern Tier, Erie, many more).
Besides regional beers there are tons of brews from all over the country to choose from (Avery, Troegs, Pretty Things, SN, occasional Alesmith, Bear Republic, tons of Stone, etc.). I have yet to see or find something that I thought was out of date or too old. Also, every week or two Finger Lakes gets new beers to improve their selection, which is great.
There are also 8 rotating taps for growler fills, which is something that I haven't seen at many places.

I have had a few conversations about beer with people working there, and they know their stuff, even when I have asked questions about things like Sam Adams Tiple Bock and Captain Lawrence Nor'easter, someone working at Finger Lakes had tried them and was able to tell me what I needed to know. Generally you are greeted at the door and that is it, they leave you to browse

Prices are pretty good. They compete with Wegman's, having the same prices for the few beers they have in common(although some things are a bit cheaper at Weggys).

Overall, Finger Lakes is worth a stop for anyone passing through the area.

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Photo of sholland119
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%

A great beer store, not to be missed if you are in the area.

The selection is wide ranging and diverse, with great Belgians, Germans, British and American beers. The selection really shines in the domestics, with a great representation of NY, mid-Atlantic and NE breweries. I have never seen Really Old Brown Dog in a beer store. There were more bottles of Flying Mouflan and River Horse Oatmeal Milk Stout than I ever saw near home (which is one hour from each brewery). We could have spent a ton of money if we had room in the car.

The growler fill station is a nice touch as well.

Service was disinterested but not unpleasant.


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Photo of HomeBrewNoob
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

I may not travel as far as some BA's for my beer experiences but I have to say that for me the Finger Lakes Beverage Center is Beer Mecca. Located on historic State Street in Ithaca, NY FLBC can be found right next to Maxi's Supper Club. The first time I stepped foot into FLBC I was blown away. Compared to what is available locally to me this was like being a kid in a candy store. Several fully stocked aisles of beers from all corners of the world are available along with the standard American brewery lines. They also have an extensive soda selection in the back corner of the store. A tap system with 4 or 5 local and regional beers are available for their growlers. Overall a great experience and well worth the drive. I suggest anyone that live within an hour or two to hop into the car check it out.

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Photo of TheTrevor
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%

This place is a godsend for anyone in the Cornell/Ithaca area that's looking for some decent beers. I've been a fan ever since I set foot in the store. Tons of beers arranged by geographic region with a solid amount of new beers added all the time. Only thing to look for is freshness on some of the beers that don't sell very well, I've only had one off beer in the over 170, I've purchased from them though. The staff are great, they're always friendly and willing to help if you have a question. Their prices are reasonable for most things, and they occasionally have some specials where certain six-packs can be up to half off. A great place to buy beer, I know I'll miss it if I ever move out of the area.

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Photo of evilquaker
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

A great store with great selection, knowledgeable staff, and decent prices -- what else could you ask for? This is primarily a craft and import beer store; I didn't see any wine or liquor.

Their selection is the best I've seen. The store is arranged by country or geographic region, with separate aisles for German, English/Scottish, Asia, etc. and every beer seems to be available in singles or six-packs. My wife and I picked up a bottle of Sam Adams Triple Bock (from 11 years ago), along with some Belhaven, Lindemans, Rogue, Ithaca, Troegs, and a few others.

If you're in the Ithaca area, it's definitely worth a trip.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

What a nice little place! Coming up here to visit, I consulted with the Beerfly and it served me very well in this case!

The store has a nice, clean, and incredibly neat layout. With a few rows all stocked up and well-faced... most of the shelves contains cases on the bottom row, six-packs or four-packs on the middle, and singles taking the top.

The selection of Belgians and Germans were pretty much on par with what I can find in Virginia, which is alright - and then they had the added bonus of a few Cantillon that I can't find in the local stores.

The best represented here is New York and surrounding states... Michigan, Maine, Pennsylvania, and so forth. Some that I was seeking out were not to be found here (Captain Lawrence for example) but Ithaca Beer, Southern Tier, Coooperstown, Middle Ages, and a few others were available with a notable selection of each.

There were a couple places where I was a little confused in the store in the sense of layout... I wasn't quite able to make out how things were sorted. It seemed like it MIGHT have been in alphabetical order of brewery when it came to the American brews at least, but I'm not completely sure. It seemed that some New York offerings were in every corner of each row, so I found myself pacing over them all to try to ensure I walked out with the best selection I could.

Service was good... they seemed to recognize that I was already scanning everything in site, and filling up my baskets, so they did not approach and ask if I needed assistance. They DID make eye contact, however, and acknowledged my presence. I noticed that they were being helpful to other customers in the store who were in need of assistance. They were more than happy to take my first basket at the counter and put it aside while I went back for more.

On ringout, they were friendly, and added a couple random pint glasses, which I am guessing is an appreciative gesture for buying a rather sizeable amount of beer. It was a kind gesture that made the visit a little more pleasant.

If coming to the area, it's certainly the place to be. This is what I hope to find when I pass through a town, and they delivered. Recommended.

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Photo of Gmann
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%

Made the 50 mile trek to Ithaca to check this place out based on recommendations from the locals. I was definitely not disappointed. The store has a nice organized layout; Belgians have their section, UK and Germany have theirs, Mexico & Eastern European have theirs, and the typical widely distributed American craft brews have their 3 isles worth. FLBC has almost every NY made brew (didn't see Southampton) and a majority of the PA brews. You can get a little disoriented looking at all of the singles they have presented. They had a nice selection of imports that I haven't seen in other stores. I told myself that I wouldn't pick up any Belgians and just stick with American brews that I can't get on Long Island but alas my stash was probably 75% Belgian, oh well. Their growler station is impressive, almost a dozen different offerings. They also have some nice glassware and beer related t-shirts. Also a nice assortment of gourmet sodas. FLBC does a great job for the size of the place.

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Photo of Tbn2
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%

Great place. I was taking a grad class in Ithaca and was looking for a place to pick up some of my favorite NY beers. Well I found everything I was looking for an more. They had a great selection of NY beers for me to pick up. They also had a large selection of singles from around the country and Canada that could be made into sixes.

The prices weren't that bad. I picked up a twelve pack of Southern Tier and a mix six for 25 dollars.

This is a good place to go for beer. Their selection was the best I found and their prices were great too.

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Photo of Ig0r
4.35/5  rDev -4%

Having been exposed to Beers Of The World in Rochester, NY, my expectations of distributers are pretty high. When I stopped-in here on a trip to Ithaca, I wasn't disappointed.

The selection is quite wide, with mostly domestic microbrews. There is a good selection of imported beer, but it seemed to be limited in scope and not organized in any particular way.

The most notable feature of this distributer is the ability to buy single bottles, which is great when getting ones or twos to taste different styles.

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Photo of Mumbly
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

Moving to Ithaca from Phoenix was a big change. A co-worker told me about FLBC. I decided to check it out on the way to a dinner party (I like to bring a nice beer or two instead of wine). I wasn't expecting what I got. A nice friendly store with many, many beers to choose from.

The isles are set up nicely, with the beers displayed neatly and in categories. I was able to quickly find what I was looking for (Piraate and Uerige).

I do wish they had more West Coast beers.

But whether you're going to a dinner party or just need some beer for a quiet night at home I would recommend FLBC.

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Photo of Deuane
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

What a gem! Row upon row of nicely organized imports and micros. Each section arranged with geographic order...Belgians here, British Isles there, German bier over here. Three rows of American micros, a beautiful display stand of Unibroue products and a dozen or so taps available for growler include Dark Horse Sapient Triple....WTF!!

Nice to see they tuck the crap out of the way for those of us not interested!

Service was great with all questions answered promptly and you have a case discount, can I set this down over here, do you have xyz?

I picked up a bunch of Bear Republic bombers and an entire mix and match case of American micro IPA's from places that I cannot get beer from in PA or do not want to buy an entire case of!

I will make sure to hit FLBC next time we are in the area to visit our friend attending Cornell or hitting the multitude of nearby wineries....which we do on a twice a year basis. A great store in a great town...what more could you ask for?

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Photo of beertwisted
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%

Hey Nic and the gang!

It has been awhile since I have had time to stop by but I have a good excuse. I moved to Philly and recently found myself living in Vancouver, BC. In no other place have I encountered such a great selection of beers from a local, regional and the international arena then at The Finger Lakes Beverage Center.

Furthermore, where else can one find aged beers of a year or more on tap? One of my favorites was two year old Sierra Nevada Bigfoot barleywine style Ale... I wish I could remember all of the other great beers on tap, but I enjoyed them rather then making a lasting mental note or writing a beer review.

The staff always made my visits something to look forward to aside from the beer. Their ever changing array of beers on tap never disappointed. If I could only find another beer distributor with half the selection and service I might be able to settle down for awhile.

Thanks for the fading beer memories,

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Photo of zdk9
5/5  rDev +10.4%

I can't imagine what else you would want out of a beer store, except maybe putting the entire thing in a cooler. Selection is limited to every American brew you can get in upstate New York and a whole row and a half of Europeans. Staff is knowledgable, pretty easy for a store that only sells beer and soda. And you can fill growlers with about 8 different brews. Oh and did I mention practically everything you can get in singles (probably my favorite feature). If you are anywhere near Ithaca and looking for quality beer you need to stop here.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

Heard about this place and decided to take a trip down on a Saturday. This place was fantastic. It had exceptional selection of beers all across the country as well as a good selection from outisde the US. They offer singles (12 oz and 22 oz), six packs, and cases for most of the beers they offer. They also have about 10 taps that you can get growler fills that rotate regularly. I knew I was going to spend some money here, but I didn't think I would spend $150. I ended up getting myself a case of Hop Wallop, two mixed six packs, and two Old Guardians, two 10th Anniversary's, and a few more 22 oz-ers. Service here is top notch. The owner helped me carry out all my beer and even gave me a couple pint glasses which I was extremely appreciative of. I had a good ten minute conversation with him about beer, beer, and more beer. Very friendly and open for any questions. This is the kind of beer store every city should have, fortunately it's not too far from Syracuse. If you're within an hour of Ithaca, it's totally worth making a trip here, while you're at it, stop by the Ithaca Beer Co. just 5 minutes from the store.

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Photo of penguinjive7
5/5  rDev +10.4%

I will quote my reaction as soon as I entered: "...." Yes, absolutely speechless. I was absolutely overwhelmed walking through the store. Row after row of racks of specialty brews form all over. The largest selection I have ever seen by far. I've only been there twice so far and I am incapable of spending any less than a half an hour there. There is just so very much to take in and discover. All of the people who work there are very helpful and extremely knowledgeable. If I had the time and the money, I would make this place a daily stop.

The only sad element of this for me is that this is my last year living in I better take advantage of this place while I'm still here!

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Photo of MrDark
4/5  rDev -11.7%

I was excited when my brother told me about a beer store in Ithaca with a good selection of beers, but was slightly skeptical that it had any better selection than stores I had been in previously. My skepticism was fueled further by the appearance of the outside of the place; it looks like any old collegetown six-pack store, full of neon barlights in the windows. It was only upon closer inspection of their window decorations that I realized they were advertising good beers!

The miniscule storefront belies the enormity of the shop inside. The place is quite large and has rows of well-stocked shelves lined up with a great selection of craft brews (including specialty sodas). I was pretty overwhelmed and couldn't decide what to get. Fortunately, their pick-n-mix six pack deals makes it easier to sample a wider range of beers without sucking your wallet dry.

A must for anyone in, or passing through, Ithaca.

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Photo of slander
4.35/5  rDev -4%

I've got a 4 and change hour drive back from Syracuse ahead of me and I'm thinking that this will probably be the only opportunity I'll ever have to hit Ithaca, as I'm so very seldom in the middle of New York state. It's not exactly along the way to or from anywhere and a good hour round trip off the highway, but I can probably get a good "one-two" in. Mind you, the weather's got to hold, but slow and steady always wins the race so I'll just point the car south west and...
Took me and up and down the block to find Finger Lakes tucked away, but it was well worth the hunt. You know what you've got when you enter the place as you can get a pretty decent view of the place, though it's more than all that. The first thing you do is lateral to the far wall and see what's going on in that imports aisle, Belgians along the wall and other imports behind you. Cantillon, De Dolle, Fantome, Hansens, Caracole, all the usual suspects and a couple of unusual items. Likewise, a good collection of English & German opposite. The next 2 aisles hold mostly American micros, local and regional (Ithaca, Middle Ages, Southern Tier, Cooperstown, Saranac, Keegans, Blue Point, Brooklyn, Victory, Weyerbacher, Stoudts, Long Trail, Otter Creek, Magic Hat, Harpoon, Cisco, Buzzards Bay, Sam Adams, Smutty, Allagash, Atlantic, Shipyard, DogFishHead) and not so (Boulder, Great Divide, Flying Dog, Celis, Lost Coast, Sierra, Anchor, Rogue, Stone, Anderson Valley, Mendocino, North Coast). A couple of bottles of Heavyweight Black Saison made Ithaca feel close to home.
Wasn't 'til I was around the far side that I noticed the growler pour area. Currently 11 taps (Flying Bison Skye Pilot Scotch Ale, Ridgeway Lump of Coal, Celis Grand Cru, Arrogant Bastard, Goose Island Christmas Ale, Rogue Brutal Bitter, Sierra Celebration, Avery Old Jubilation, Piraat, Lake Placid Ubu Ale, AB Winter Bourbon Cask Ale).
The rear corner of the store is packed with a most extensive collection of juice and sodas. All sorts of small and local brands with cutesy packagings. Also, they've extended us the courtesy of tucking all the crappy macros out of the way so they aren't a nuisance to anyone.
Good snacks and a nice glassware selection in the corner. Bought me a bottle of Pater Lieven and a couple of Cantillon tumblers and hit the road. Worth the visit if you're in these parts.

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Photo of ccs
3.7/5  rDev -18.3%

Since we were about to leave New York, we stopped in at Finger Lakes Beverage Center to stock up on samples to take home with us. The selection was pretty good for local beers and they even had several West Coast beers that I can't find in stores in Washington. The store layout was quite confusing, while the macros, Belgians, English and other imports were grouped together, there were Ommegang brewery beers in with both the Belgians and the American section.
A majority of the store is devoted to American micros but the layout for the Americans seemed to lack structure. In the middle of a row of New York beer, there'd be a Colorado brewery...I didn't get it. Oh well. We will probably return to Finger Lakes Beverage Center again next time we're out just to get a growler or a variety of hard-to-find New York brews.

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Photo of semihobo
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%

My main beer store and THE king of craft beer in Ithaca (and from what I can tell, the best thing between Rochester and Poughkeepsie). The store is conveniently located right off the highway but also right in town, easy for anyone to get to.

Beer is arranged by country of origin in aisles. Discounts / bargains are at the front of the store right when you walk in; they usually have a sale on some odd macro (rarely cases, I mean 22 oz Buds or a case of 7 oz Coors Light cans etc.) and a few micros that are going out of season or need to get some turnover. Recently this has been anything from Woodchuck cider to Mackeson XXX stout to mixed summer seasonals (Magic Hat, Sam Adams, etc.). These prices are good, expect $19 for a case.

Great selection although they are missing some hard to gets (3Floyds, etc) but no one is perfect. Macros are found way in the back, in coolers, along with some cold micros that may not be in the main part of the store (some Stone bombers for instance) so make sure you walk the whole thing.

Service is good, they are nice folks who try most of the time. They'll admit when they aren't sure about something. They sell me sorted, boxed bombers for my homebrew needs for $.10 apiece, saves me time and effort. They have also been nice about returning keg taps late, just give them a call to let them know.

Around 10 growler lines, ranging from $7-13 to fill. They sell cheap growlers (the jugs themselves) also and have a growler club, 10 fills gets you the 11th free and $1 off on Mondays. Bottom of the growler line is stuff like Post Road Pumpkin, top is Victory Golden Monkey, these rotate frequently though and usually have some seasonals.

Great keg list, they have mostly macros cold and ready to go but if you order in advance they can pick you up an astounding selection, although it might cost you (Allagash is $180, not sure what most primo kegs cost other places). Also a nice selection of glassware and they sell bags of ice and packs of cups for kegs.

I do get patronized sometimes though as a younger consumer, and when I went in to order Crazy Ed's Cave Creek Chili, an employee I'd never seen before said they didn't carry it, when I've gotten it there before. He had no idea what beer I was talking about, in fact, even though the store had sold it for years.

The biggest and best beer place in the area; Ithaca Coffee's beer section is just like a miniature version of this, but is the only place comparable in town.

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Finger Lakes Beverage Center in Ithaca, NY
Place rating: 4.53 out of 5 with 90 ratings