Finger Lakes Beverage Center

Your Rating: None
BA SCORE
4.53/5
World-Class
90 Ratings
PLACE INFO

Type: Store

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

(607) 277-2337 | map
fingerlakesbeverage.com

Notes:
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Added by bog

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
90
pDev:
8.17%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 90 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of dandp88
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of sam-d66
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of shippos
5/5  rDev +10.4%

A welcomed and much needed store for the Ithaca area. A suberb and diverse selection of mostly upstate New York micros which rotate fairly often. A very nice a diverse seleciton of growler lines that change sometines weekly with special surprises popping up now and then. A decent selection of belgians, english ales, german beers and a mixture of mexican and asian beers, they are also starting a "vintage section" showcasing thomas hardys, special english imports and belgians along with DFH specialty brews and limited editions. Wide variety of sodas and some ciders and low alcohol (cheap) wines, oh and beers glasse too.
Surprisingly the macros that they carry don't count for the majority of the sales, I think Pat said that macros are average about 30% of total sales. They used to have a huge keg selection that rivaled beers of the world in rochester but since the NYS keg came into affect their selection has diminished to about 20 and are mostly macros. They often get new beers in about every couple of weeks and Pat (the owner) goes out of his way to get new beers in or special requests that you might have. Very friendly knowledable staff that will help you out making those tough decisions...with over 450 different beers currently it's sometimes tough. To sum-up FLBC in a sentence..."It's like a minature beers of the world in Ithaca, except the staff is much more friendly and knowledgable and the stock is always fresh, if it's not they won't even put it on the shelves."

 1,492 characters

Photo of irishpride
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Vierenner
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

What a pleasant surprise! Visiting Ithaca on a college trip ... looked up local craft brew stores and visited Finger Lakes Beverage Center because of the large amount of positive reviews. Biggest supply of craft beer I've ever seen!! The owner provided one-on-one customer service as we paraded through the well-stocked store. Sampled several beers on tap ... engaged in good conversation. Was led to a supply of one of my "want" beers!
If ever in the Ithaca area, this is a must visit destination!

 499 characters

Photo of Durchfall
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I found out about this place last year. I was going to the local Wegman's to purchase my beer because they were the only place in the area that seemed to have a decent selection. I went to a restaurant on the same street as the Finger Lakes Beverage Center and decided to go in one day.

Looks like your typical store aisles with shelves of beer. In the back is where they have all of the non craft stuff and Soda (their Soda selection is huge as well).

One of the best selections I have seen hands down. They have had everything I have ever wanted and then some.

The nice thing about this place too is that they have a huge selection of singles as well, so you can mix and match to your heart's content.

They also have a really extensive International section which I have yet to scratch the surface of.

Prices are reasonable and the staff is great too. If you need help they will give it. If you don't ask for it they won't bug you like a lot of places do. I just like to browse in peace.

Lastly they always have a few beers on tap which is nice while you are browsing.

If you are in the Ithaca area I would definitely recommend visiting them.

 1,155 characters

Photo of HappyHourHero
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Although I live in Syracuse, I travel to Ithaca every about every other week and this is where I get all my beer. The staff is very friendly Father and Wife/Son and Wife run the whole thing from what I can tell. Their selection beats any place in Syracuse, especially in the German and English selection, as well as an interesting choice of bombers. They have a couple shelves full of vintage/hard to find beers. There's a half aisle each of Belgian/Belgian Styles, British, and German beers along with a row and a half of American Micro's. Huge selection of craft sodas if you're interested. If they carry an American Micro they carry the full lineup including Dogfish, Brooklyn, Rogue, Victory, Wagner Valley, Cooperstown, etc. Decent glass selection, probably about 30 or so. 5-6 taps for growler fills, last time I was there it was Middle Ages Triple Crown, Stone Smoked Porter, Flying Bison Oatmeal Stout, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Ithaca Apricot Wheat, and one other I can't remember. They usually try and keep some seasonals on, I think the hefe's are coming up. The store is neatly organized with four rows of warm beer up front where singles and sixers are along the top, and cases are stored underneath. Along the right are the taps, and then the cooler for bombers and craft soda. In the back are the coolers for cold sixers/mixed cases. By far the best beer store in a 150 mile radius. If you live near Ithaca you know how lucky you are, it's probably a trip for most, good thing I'm moving to Ithaca in two months:-) Look out!!!

 1,542 characters

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.

 784 characters

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.

 546 characters

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of atr2605
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Best place to purchase craft beer. This is my regular stop whenever I am looking to pick up some new craft beers. Even though some of our local grocery stores have started to carry larger craft beer brewers, the beverage center has plenty more to choose from. The staff is always helpful and pleasant, and their prices are right on par with everyone else. Oh, and they also have quite a few beers to choose from on tap which they rotate on a regular basis. They also have coolers of macro brews, so if you are having people over you can still pick up a mix of generic and craft brews. If you love beer and are in the Ithaca area, you have to stop by the beverage center.

 670 characters

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 Ithaca...so I better take advantage of this place while I'm still here!

 694 characters

Photo of TDRudy
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I thought I had been to good beer stores. I was wrong. This is close to the platonic form of a beer store. The selection is hugely extensive, well organized, and reasonably priced. Bottles are available in packs or as singles, and most beers are carried in multiple sizes if available. From Brewers I've never heard of to beer's I haven't heard of from Brewers you'd have to be on mars not to have heard of, this place has damn near everything you could want- my only complaint is that there seems to be a focus on imports at the expense of some less common domestic micros, especially those coming out of the midwest (Three Floyds, unless I missed it, is a glaring example).

 675 characters

Photo of mobius024
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Everything the previous reviewers say regarding range, quality, etc. is true. The Belgian section is outstanding. I've been going there for years. Mostly, this review is in response to another review stating they seem not to have some particular regional micros they really ought to stock. Three Floyd's was mentioned (with good reason). I've asked forThree Floyd's, as well as Russian River. In both instances the owner was as bummed as I that they were unable stock those beers. Basically, if there is a microbrewery with a good reputation and they don't have it on hand, there is a business reason preventing it.

 615 characters

Photo of cbl2
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

Located just off RTE 13 S in Ithaca at 605 West State Street, Finger Lakes Beverage Center is perhaps the cleanest, most well organized beverage center I’ve ever been to. All 12 oz. beers was available as either a 6 pack or a single.

Just inside the store on the left was a sparkling clean selection of various glasses from a wide variety of brewers. Further on down that aisle was located a smattering of Belgian Ales on the left, and Western European brews (England, Scotland) on the right. Looking down the next aisle from the front of the store one could find German and Irish beers on the left, and a wide selection of American craft beers on the right (arranged by state and brewer). A nice selection of Rogue in both 12oz bottles, and 22oz bombers was present, as was every Weyerbacher beer, most Victory productions, all of the offerings of North Coast and Anchor. The next aisle featured New England brews (Wolaver, Smuttynose), and a very extensive selection of New York State brews: Middle Ages, Ithaca Brewing Company, Southern Tier, & Wagner on the left. A small setup of every Dog Fish Head beer was located on the right of this aisle.

Located in the rear was an impressive selection of gourmet sodas (if that’s your thing), as well as a cooler that contained the majority of the Stone lineup (including Epic 04-04-04).

The staff was kind and courteous, pointing out various beers, and assisted in carrying my haul.

Top Finds: Allagash 4, Vertical Epic 04-04-04, DFH Festina Lente

Drawbacks: Some singles were expensive, but selection makes up for that.

 1,584 characters

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.

 1,128 characters

Photo of JackStraw22
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

This store is a recent addition to the Ithaca area, and it is a welcome one. I have only shopped for individual bottles, so I can't review how the store is at handling larger orders etc. The selection of beers is good, especially for upstate NY beers as would be expected. I think one thing it could use would be short descriptions of the beers. This would be helpful especially going in not knowing what to get.

Besides beer, there are also lots of different sodas you can buy; I haven't tried any of them yet.

 514 characters

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.

 592 characters

Photo of DagFishHead
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

Finger Lakes Beverage Center is certainly attempting to fill the need for a large selection of quality brews in the Central Southern Tier of New York. They now boast over 500 beers (European, Mexican, Southeast Asian, Russian imports... Domestic Micros from Rogue to Shipyard and everywhere in between) with at least a few new offerings appearing almost weekly. The store is bright, clean, and neatly organized. Shelf allocation clearly emphasizes imports and particularly domestic micros, and even an assortment of amazingly popular "retro" beers (Ballantine, Black Label).

Stock turnover is brisk, making freshness a given. Beers are generally (and typically aggressively) priced as singles, 4/6 packs, and cases. In addition, a high percentage of the micros are also available cold! An extensive keg list contains a number of premium and micro brews in addition to all of the popular macros. If a keg is not in stock, it can be ordered and received in a matter of days. Availability of "single" bottles to make up mixed six-packs is a big hit in the area, and an absolute boon for semi-professional beer reviewers :)

A six tap growler line (with bargain jugs, or bring your own) turns over a dizzying variety of interesting brews usually changing every several days. Limited edition, seasonal, and keg-only micros are often featured.

The staff are the owners of the place. They are friendly, enthusiastic, and eager to please. They are very open to not only sharing their knowledge, but also to learning from their customers. Requests are recorded and filled whenever possible. It's clear that they are focused on providing an ever increasing variety of fresh, quality micros in family-friendly environment.

The selection is fairly wide and growing. Their distribution capability and expanding network of contacts and sources will continue to increase their variety. FLBC also has an extensive (120+) selection of gourmet sodas, a number of them produced by the same microbreweries whose beers are also on the shelves.

Most common reaction from new visitors: "Wowwww!"

 2,088 characters

Photo of bultrey
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

Tucked into a little plaza just up the street from one of the yummiest restaraunts in Ithaca (Maxie's Supper Club), this gem is allllmost as good as HalfTime in Poughkeepsie (just a slightly smaller selection), and is a must stop if you are within a 60-miles radius of Ithaca. Something like 8 growler lines, with impeccable service, careful filling and sealing (a nice plastic seal around the cap and neck of the growler last time I was there), and what appear to be larger-than-average growlers (though I can't confirm that; it may just be the shape). Growlers I've had filled there: Ithaca Double IPA, Rogue Brutal Bitter, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and Anchor Christmas Ale.
Excellent selection of local brews, styles from around the world, glassware, special gift packs, and gourmet sodas. Cave-aged Ommegang, Allagash Curieux, and a number of Cantillons and English ales are among some of the rarities I've picked up. Service is soooo friendly, I mean, they really are excited about your purchase. The staff is quite knowledgeable as well.
I thought prices were more than reasonable. I wish this place had been there when I went to school in Ithaca; I would have spent my days even drunker and poorer.

 1,214 characters

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 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.

 1,333 characters

Photo of bog
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

The Finger Lakes Beverage Center is Ithaca's new and only true beer store. They carry at least 350 beers, 6 taps for growlers, and have an extensive soda and root beer selection. Upon entering, you'll see a wide variety of microbrews and imports before you see any of the macros in the back. Almost every beer is available as a single, six pack, or case. Often times, they also run promotions for free glassware (oh yeah, they've got a decent selection of that, too) with certain purchases. There's a great selection of Belgians, as well as German and English brews. Also, their local microbrew selection is excellent. Prices are right inline with what you'd expect for these beers.

If there's something you want that you don't see, they'll gladly write down your requests. The staff is very friendly. Since they're new, they're very open to suggestions. Freshness of the beer has not been a problem.

This place may not have the draw of some of the top rated beer stores on BA, but it's certainly close. If you're passing by the Ithaca area, you'll definitely want to drop by to see if they have anything unique.

 1,118 characters

Photo of BlastTyrant
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

This place isn't as big as Beers Of The World or Half Time, but the space they have they put to good use. They cram the macro swill all the way in the back, and they waste no space in the Craft Brew section - it's all good stuff. Seriously, you could go down any aisle with a blindfold on and randomly grab a bottle, and you won't be disappointed with what you selected. Very clean and well maintained shelves, and I haven't found an expired beer there yet. They also have 11 beers on tap for growler fills, and they are always good selections.

Service is always good both when filling growlers and asking questions about the selection. I get to this store occasionally when I am in Ithaca for work, on several occasions when I make a large purchase, they have hooked me up with a free glass, which is always appreciated.

 822 characters

Photo of nomad
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

What more to say than... awesome store! This is truly a top notch establishment, easily one of the best beer stores I've ever visited. Felt like a little brother of the King of All Beers Stores, Half Time in Poughkeepsie.

Where to start? I'll just describe it in random circles - very strong in the American selection, with both sixers and bottles out, but in small quantities for quick turnover and little heat exposure. Pretty much all of the great breweries available to the state of New York is available, though not completely all. The cold bombers and sixers are way in the back.

Belgian selection is small but well picked. Just one side of an aisle, but smart choices of De Ranke, Fantome, Gouden Carolus, and others of the best of Belgium. German and British beers are on the other side - again, well chosen though not breathtaking.

Twelve growler taps are now up for consumption, with most refills around $6 - 9, with only the 12% alcohol North Coast Old Stock available for $12. All are pressure filled with care and sealed with electrician's tape (these people know what they're doing!). Nice variety of NY choices like Southern Tier and imports like Anderson Valley and Sierra Nevada.

Impressive soda selection of 150 kinds in every flavor imaginable. Couldn't even find the Coke and Pepsi, which like the Bud and Coors, is stuffed in a dark corner. Got to love a store that de-emphasizes such brands.

A small store but very well-lit, clean, and well-organized. Fabulous customer service and they really know and enjoy good beer. No idiot high schoolers working the cash register (actually had a great conversation with the wife and husband owners) and not a whiff of anything less than hand-crafted, artisanal brew at great prices. Click on the link to their website and you can get a big hint of the quality that infuses every inch of the store.

 1,875 characters

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