Finger Lakes Beverage Center

Your Rating: None
90 Ratings

Type: Store

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

(607) 277-2337 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by bog

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 90 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of Stignacious
2.6/5  rDev -42.6%
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 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.

 824 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -15%

A very good selection, a notch down quantity but not quality-wise from Beers of the World. Helpful friendly staff and nice store, but they are only average in their knowledge of beer and what they had, but they try. The stock turns pretty good, and there were a few beers not carried elsewhere. I did not have to go out of my way to get here rather than buy everything Beers of the World, but I would recommend it to anyone passing through. Prices are fair. Nicely laid out, and they let you use the bathroom.

 509 characters

Photo of tviz33
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -11.7%

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.

 923 characters

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.02/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Great beer store, stopped in on my trip to Ithaca.

Bit of an industrial warehouse look to it. 5-6 aisles of all craft beers. Packs can be broken up into singles, no problem. Every typical craft beer you can think of is here, along with a few more choice selections scattered throughout. No service to speak of- not bad or good, just none. No help in selecting my brews, even though I didn't really need it. Cashier seemed friendly enough, though. Prices were ok, not great, not bad.

 483 characters

Photo of warmstorage
4.04/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Agree with others who have spoken of the selection: it's fantastic, even if not clearly organized. You have to browse the various narrow isles to find out what they have.

The quality of the beer in house is way high: lots of top-shelf beer. But also a wall, and I think an entire room, of college get drunk fast and taste nothing beer. Fine, sell to your local demographic, but a lot of gross shit there.

The service, well, was... fine. Nobody approached me. A couple people sort of looked my way, but then ignored me.

No food that I saw.

A very interesting looking growler bar, and I wish I'd had a growler handy.

The value, well... the usual upstate beers that are solidly priced, were solidly priced: Middle Ages, Ithaca, etc. The out of towners were somewhat to quite expensive. This is not a value buy place.

My biggest complaint was the VERY limited selections that are refrigerated: if you want me to pay $18 for a bomber or $22 for a corker and caged 750ml, can you at least have some of it refrigerated?

I accept that it might very well be the best place in Ithaca. But a 100, World Class? Nope.

 1,118 characters

Photo of chefduff2
4.07/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

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).

 824 characters

Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
4.14/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of sliverX
4.16/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Atmosphere- looks like your average beverage store lost some points (in my book) for having Jimmy Buffet on the speakers and singing along.
Quality looked fine other than when trying to find best by dates and they seemed to have been wiped clear, the guy dusting with a wet cloth could be a culprit.
Service was fine cash guy was friendly no one asked if we needed help which is fine by me.
I think there were 3 or 4 breweries stocked here that we don't get in Buffalo which is why I wanted to stop along with more local things we only see on occasion like horseheads bc.
Some things seemed cheaper than normal and some seemed pricey I'd lean its slightly pricey here but college town best selection I expect a bit of a increase.
also if you're into craft soft drinks this place is jammed full of them it was hard to pick which birch beers I wanted for the ride home. If in Ithaca again I'll stop for sure.

 907 characters

Photo of The_Beer_Guru
4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Great place with an awesome selection! If you're a craft beer lover you better have a lot in your wallet because you will become a kid in a candy store as soon as you enter their store. They have a lot of warm and cold beer as well as different sodas in glass bottles. Their only flaw is they have a lot of bad beer because they have such a big inventory there is a lot of out of date beer. Beer before there "best by" date or well after their bottled date. Every time I go now I check the date on the bottles I buy because when i first visited I bought a good amount of IPAs and a lot were old. The hops lost their flavor because it was on the shelf too long. Overall great store, just remember to check the date on the bottles.

 729 characters

Photo of Ken05
4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
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 Mapples
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Dmmflys
4.28/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 2.5

This place had a great selection. The owner was very helpful and nice. They had good selection of local stuff I can't get in chicago. I'd go back in a heartbeat.
I only gave it a 3 for atmosphere because they where doing construction but from the looks of it the store should be great after they are done.

 305 characters

Photo of dwoolley1
4.29/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of VaporDome
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Lots of beers in a very small space. You might have to squeeze by someone or even wait until they're finished before you can look at the beers. Not super well organized but not bad.

Many top quality beers here. Lagunitas, Stone, AleSmith, Founders, Dogfish Head. I'm fairly certain that you can get everything as a single if you choose to. They have a small refrigerated section and a cheap section.

Employees weren't that friendly unless they know you already but they were very knowledgeable and knew where everything was.

They have a growler bar with some interesting things on tap. Dogfish Head Bitches Brew was up last time I checked. The bar guy was very willing to talk about each one and let you sample them.

Prices are pretty normal to a bit high for some beers but the prices were mostly reasonable overall.

 821 characters

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.

 710 characters

Photo of mbusster88
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%

Called them up the day before looking for some Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel, and crazy enough they had it. I have been looking for at least 6 months at every place I go to. This small beverage seller had the hardest beer for me to find! They held a couple for me overnight so I could drive down the next day (nearly an hour drive for me). When I got there I was asked about help a couple times, and wandered for a while. Prices seemed as good or better and the larger places I have gone. Really like the selection, as well as quality. Generally things seemed good date wise, but some did have old dates. Fortunately Peche Mortel is not a date issue. Really recommend this stop whether driving through or if your somewhat local like myself.

 736 characters

Photo of mfowler314
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of katdaddy210
4.3/5  rDev -5.1%

Being from Pennsylvania,I am not used to being able to walk into a place and buy 1 beer, a 6pack, a case or a growler all in one place. My wife thought I was a kid in a candy shop(a big kid in a beer store) when I walked in. I was so confused as there was so much to look at. Nicely laid out per location(import or domestic micro) I had a great time just browsing and took back home some hard to get brews. Great place, a bit pricey although. Cases were a little overpriced. A great place to get samples though. Pennsylvania sucks for beer selections!

 551 characters

Photo of epyon396
4.32/5  rDev -4.6%
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 stakem
4.35/5  rDev -4%

This past weekend we took a trip to the finger lakes area. Searching beerfly confirmed that this was going to be my go-to place for beer during our extended weekend getaway. During our 3 day stay, I returned to this shop 3 times (25 minute drive one way from where we were staying.)

I was only asked once on my first visit out of 3 if I needed assistance which is completely fine with me. I usually prefer to be left alone to browse and be surprised at what I find on my own. However, some others might call that lack of service? Whatever no big deal, maybe the workers recognized me and knew I wanted to (for the most part) be left alone.

Huge selection with prices clearly identified and the prices were fair and in some instances cheaper than what I am use to seeing back in PA. Right upfront in the store are the gift pack type of varieties where you buy a couple bottles and get a glass, etc.

More than 5 rows of singles offerings with 4-packs, 6-packs and 12 packs convieniently located on the bottom 2 rows of the shelving. The bottles seemed to be arranged in a sort of area by area layout. Far left of the building had mostly Belgian offerings and some glassware to pick from. Middle couple of rows were the domestic offerings lined up by brewery.

The right side of the store had a list of 11 or 12 drafts available for growler fills. A chalk board displayed the offerings and prices which matched up with what is advertised on their web site. This draft area was placed between the register and a back section of the store that had the cold beer and soda. (I didn't enter that part of the store so I have no comments.)

The ends of the rows were displaying the seasonal offerings. Which at this time was a disturbingly large amount of offerings of pumpkin ale. "I hate pumpkin ale." I whispered to my wife. "I know, you tell me all the time. But look here is a stout/pumpkin ale." Dammit if I didn't pick one up anyway while I was waiting in line to pay.

I didn't spend much effort looking around at other beer shops in the area. Who knows, maybe I passed a better one during my travels. The point is, this place had everything I wanted and then some. I would return again.

 2,190 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Finger Lakes Beverage Center in Ithaca, NY
Place rating: 4.53 out of 5 with 90 ratings