Ground Break
Ithaca Beer Company

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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
3.89 | pDev: 12.08%
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Ground BreakGround Break
Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 542 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dar482
dar482 from New York

3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The beer offers grainy malts, honey sweetness, hints of pepper spiciness, floral and light hop bitterness on the finish. A soft carbonation with a lighter mouthfeel.

Dec 30, 2015
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SteveB24 from New York

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance; color is a hazy amber, some yeast particles floating at the bottom of the glass, huge, sticky head that retains very well.

smell; Smell is floral, lots of wheat character, slightly spicy, hint of citrus fruit in there too.

Taste; upfront is wheat, then comes floral notes, green peppercorns, clove and coriander, lemon peel in the finish.

mouthfeel; very carbonated but creamy as well, interesting contrast with the light body, quite dry at the end.

overall; This is a beer which is unique and complex, and not in a bad way, it is rare to say this but even though i won't buy it again for the foreseeable future i'm extremely glad i purchased it.

Jul 11, 2014
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SaltofOH from Ohio

3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

From a mix & match six pack - marked best by "April" and it's early June.

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark gold, 1/4" bright white head fades quickly. Lazy but consistent effervescence. A little lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma: From the pop of the cap I smell the hops. Resinous, and slightly skunky. Touch of green bananas, yeasty. More yeast and berry fruits as it warms.

Taste: Light, clean arrival. Belgian yeast flavor comes through across mid-palate. Hints of banana, apricot and skunk. Bitter, rye/hop finish, with a touch of alcohol. Improves dramatically as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Mid-to-light weight with a slickness that is not at all offensive, due to the strong hopping.

Overall: There is something about most rye beers that I have tried that I do not like, and this has it in spades. I have only ever had one saison (DuPont) and it was nothing like this. To be fair, this is 40+ days past its best-by date, so I will have to give this a second chance, but it seems inharmonious. Got much better around 60 degrees in terms of aroma and taste.

Jun 19, 2014
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PA-hunter from Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into glass. 6.2% abv.

Appearance- Golden honey yellow with a cloudy but inviting haze to it. Two finger foamy head slow to dissipate.

Smell- A floral aroma dominates but also has hints of lemon and dry yeast is also quite present in the nose.

Taste- Lemon like sweetness arrives to the palate first. Sweet esters are pronounced with this beer. Bread-like malt flavors develop into the finish, which is not the basic hop finish, but more of a spicy finish, much like black pepper. The sweetness still lasts staight through to the end as well.

Mouthfeel- Surprisingly light and thin to medium in body. Carbonation is complimentary to the fine flavors. Very smooth.

Overall- A highly satisfying and complex beer. It is absolutely refreshing. The sweet flavors and spiciness of this beer make it quite interesting. Ithaca should make this a constant offering and not just a seasonal. A must try.

Jun 13, 2014
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Grugalug from New York

3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a golden straw yellow with a 2.5 finger of head. The head is light and fluffy and lingers for a time. A strange ribbon-like cloudiness is present. This is my first saison so I have no point of reference. It looks great but I just don't know what to make of the ribbon-like cloudiness.

S- A floral aroma dominates. A bit of sweet malt comes through along with some fruitiness, but the floral aroma is intense and unique. It is rather pleasing and very enticing.

T- The floral character continues, along with bitterness. The hop bitterness is the very first sensation, but it subsides rather quickly to give way to the floral character. A very subtle hint of malt comes through as well, but the stars of this beer are the floral and bitter hop character. Very refreshing and enjoyable.

M- Very light-bodied with just a bit of creaminess. Surprisingly little carbonation, but that just contributes to the wonderful light yet creamy sensation.

O- A wonderful spring or summer beer. Fantastically refreshing and easy-drinking. Unique and absolutely worth trying. If you are like me and have never had a saison, do yourself a favor and give one a try. Ithaca's offering seems like a pretty solid place to start.

Apr 17, 2014
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mattbk from New York

3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Fairly cloudy, poured a bit too much yeast in this one, a nice light golden hue, nice long lasting head.
S: Very strong hop aroma, super floral, mildly spicy, peppery, just a hint of alcohol. Very nice, but would like more Belgian character and bit less hops.
T: It is mostly all hops up front, but the beer ends with a mild fruitiness and spiciness which makes it a saison. For a beer this hoppy, I like the hops they chose to meld with this saison, they are very floral and grassy, perhaps a touch lemony. The nice fruity touch at the end is very enjoyable as well. Firm bitterness, certainly not overpowering. No malt character to speak of. It does have a very distinct finsh/aftertaste and tends to linger a bit in a strange way. However, I like this beer, tasty, very drinkable.
M: Very dry, crisp, medium high carbonation, just about perfect for a saison.
O: A good beer, perhaps atypical, lacking in some Belgian character that would make it better, a bit out of balance with the hops, but well made and enjoyable.

Apr 05, 2014
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NiceTaps from New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap in a standard pint glass.

A- Pale yellow color with a satin finish. Visible carbonation. This pour resulted in a thin white head that left lots of lacing.

S- Lemon, light funky yeast, floral and herbal hops.

T- Lemon citrus flavor, some malt and yeast. Peppery. Funky.

M- Starts tart and lively, finishes flat. Maybe it was under carbonated. Finishes with a long blend of spicy and mineral flavor.

O- Mouth feel held this one back for me.

Mar 23, 2014
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JG-90 from New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ground Break has a slightly hazy dull yellow color with a large white head that has good retention and leaves moderate lacing. Aroma consists of nutty grain, spicy and fruity yeast, and a bit of grassy/herbal hops.

Taste starts with fruity yeast, followed by spice and herbal hops, has a slippery/buttery finish that is a bit unwanted. Average mouthfeel with high carbonation, a bit slick.

Mar 20, 2014
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Best before April.

A dull dark lemon and orange body, a bit opaque and slightly dull. THere's some very slow rising carbonation on the rise and quite fine. Head is barely two fingers, quite thin and very creamy leaving a nice puck and lots of ring lacing.

Pretty subtle nose. Some mild lemon, some tartness and dry yeast. A bit of pepper somewhat also, but for the most part kind of quiet without too much going on.

A simple slightly wet palate comes on first sip with some dry quenching yeast (if that makes sense), and a hint of hop juice sensing orange. Quick aftertaste of faint pepper. Some light lemon character matching from the bouquet, but kind of fleeting. Some grass like herbs also.

Pretty basic but nothing really drawing me to it more unfortunately.

Mar 13, 2014
Photo of msquared36
msquared36 from Ohio

3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light yellow and cloudy. Very little head.

Unique smell, lemony and clean.

Tastes of citrus with a hoppy finish. Pretty good malt balance.

Could use a little more carbonation to go with the crisp taste.

Refreshing. A little on the bitter side for a saison but it works pretty well.

Mar 09, 2014
Photo of dank203
dank203 from New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

orange to golden yellow. so many bubbles and 2 to 3 fingers head. aroma; wow getting a nutty peanut butter crunch filled with raisins. butterscotch.light lemon citrus there but overall not all the bright fruity notes I was expecting. flavor; lime, pepper. fish oil, funk.

Mar 03, 2014
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67 from New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours hazy golden with tall, long lasting, fluffy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of Belgian yeast, bready malt, spices some apples and citrus fruit. Body is medium, creamy and tangy. Herbal hops, spicy yeast, pale malt and ripe fruit fill the mouth. Finish is very dry. Great brew for spicy food.

Feb 18, 2014
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Givemebeer from Vermont

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: very hazy orange with a 1 inch head and good retention and lacing.

S: orange and Belgian yeast

T: spicy and slightly funky. The orange comes through here as well. An interesting beer.

M: medium bodied. Not as dry as many other saisons and not quite as spicy

O: very good spring seasonal here. Refreshing and fairly easy to drink

Feb 17, 2014
Photo of Flounder57
Flounder57 from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A one finger head reduced to a thin layer. It is a hazy golden straw yellow with some clarity of bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Spicy, yeasty esters, vanilla, bready notes, pepper, and a little citrus.

Taste: Pepper, yeasty esters, mild bitterness, citrus hops, bitterness ready malts, spices, and somewhat balanced and not overbearingly spicy.

Mouthfeel: Dry, light, medium to high carbonation, spicy, and a little chewy.

Overall: Pretty solid Saison. Light, refreshing, not spicy, and very enjoyable.

Feb 13, 2014
Photo of utopiajane
utopiajane from New York

3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This pours a beautiful lemon yellow with a slight orange blush when held to the light in the room. When held to the natural light you will notice a dirty or muddy quality. Swirls of it actually. I think it's the yeast. The head is just white , fat and creamy. it lasts to a thick film on top an da small ring. refreshes lightly with each tip of the glass.

Nose is candied fruit peel. Lemon and a sweet little bit of breaddy malt. There's some earthy yeast on the nose that adds a dimension and the whole thing smells like morning dew. Bit of ginger to excite the nose and the taste is wonderful. Follows the nose all the way. This beer is smooth but bubbly. Dry but with a bit of sweetness. There's a touch of tartness to the middle that keeps it refreshing. Extraordinarily light. Lemony, grassy and vibrant. The yeast is earthy and it finishes dry but with a touch of sweetness. There is a "grain of salt" or a slight metallic taste in this beer. It lies just underneath the body of the beer and I think it does detract.

Jan 17, 2014
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Brushkanna from New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Looks hazy cloudy with tight bubble head
S - sweet and flowery and spicy
T - great wild flower honeysuckle full flavor
M - long lasting smooth honey on the tongue feeling
O - overall this is a great American saison I have not had one in a 12oz bottle this nice

Nov 09, 2013
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argock from Virginia

4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best by June 2013 notched on side of label. Single purchased at Oliver's Beverage (Albany, NY).

A: Crystal clear vibrant golden with 1-2 fingers of soapy, frothy white head with average to slightly below average retention and only a think line of lacing left at the top of the glass.

S: Aroma overall is light. There are some mildly citrus and pear fruity esters coupled with crackery pilsner maltiness and some herbal and citrus hoppiness. There is a faint funk aroma from Brett which is mildly phenolic. No alcohol. Pleasant aroma, but light. I do not get spices although others have commented upon them, possibly the phenolics from the Brett?

T: A very tasty saison with ample clean, lightly grainy, crackery pilsner maltiness carrying forward from the nose. The hopping is solid yet subtle with some citrus American varieties likely in there with lemon and honeysuckle-herbal qualities predominant with an earthy edge. THe yeast characteristics are very cohesive with some pear and tart apple esters coupled with the hairy phenolics of the Brett which are subdued and nicely accenting. A really nice job with this beer -- smooth and delicious.

M: Medium-high carbonation lends to a lively mouthfeel. Light-to-medium dry finish although could be a little drier. Light body and somewhat phenolic and lemony but pleasant aftertaste.

O: I was really pleasantly surprised at this really good saison from Ithaca -- I knew they could crank out the hoppy American style ales but this was a very good example of a medium-strength saison with an American touch. I would seek this out. I wish they would make it a little drier and amp up the aroma somewhat. All in all though, very good. I has Brooklyn Soriachi Ace a few nights ago and I preferred Ground Break to it for its more complex flavor profile and heartier feel.

Jul 02, 2013
Photo of keithmurray
keithmurray from Connecticut

3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - hazy golden liquid with some faint white head

Smell - lemon zest, ginger

Taste - lemon, ginger, yeast, lemongrass

Mouthfeel - heavier side of medium bodied, highly carbonated, sour,dry finish

Overall - may be towards the back of the class for the style, decent beer that I am glad to have tried

Price point - $2/12 oz. single

Jun 22, 2013
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I pulled this out of the cooler (wrong answer!) during my recent visit to The Knickerbocker Hotel in Altoona, PA and have been holding it for the appropriate moment. Apparently, that would be right now.

From the bottle: "The Spirit of the Finger Lakes"; "American-Style Saison Ale".

My initial pour created a finger (lakes)-and-a-half of foamy, eggshell-white head with limited retention. The humidity seems to be rising in advance of another storm anticipated for today. Color was a hazy golden-yellow. Nose was pungent with a lemon zest/black pepper scent along with a yeasty mustiness. I am kind of like Dos Equis' "Most Interesting Man in the World" in instances like this in that I do not always drink Saisons, but when I do, I like them to smell just like this. Yum! Mouthfeel was kind of thin and watery, but the taste was where it was at. It was much like the nose, zesty with lemon and spicy like black pepper and musty from the yeast. This would really be great with some grilled fish sprinkled with lemon pepper! Man, I am really jonesin' for fish at this point. Finish was really quite dry, probably thanks to the yeast having done such a spectacular job. Good stuff!

Jun 11, 2013
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mix a sixer. Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Pours light hazy golden with 1/2 inch white foam. Fluffy at that. Strong Belgian yeast. Sweet candi sugar background. Bitter gritty taste, but smooth. Light citrus, well buried. Pretty good saison, not the best I';ve had, but still sound.

Jun 08, 2013
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LI_PO12 from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into Tulip

Appearance-Deep gold with orange hues, fairly hazy, 2 fingers of fluffy white head that hangs on for a while.

Aroma-Hay, citrus, pear, apple, some banana, light breadyness, farmhouse funk, slightly spicy

Taste-Crisp, belgian yeast though not as complex as the aroma was, breadyness and light malt, a little tart, finishes dry and crisp.

Mouthfeel-Medium full bodied with good carbination no real alcohol present.

Overall-I like this a lot and could easily see this as a great summer brew. Crisp and refreshing American version of the style, especially for the price.

May 13, 2013
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Dodo2step from Pennsylvania

4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

P- Wegmans

A- wheat gold color that has a fluffy 2 finger head that has some staying power. Gorgeous lacing on my pint as well.

S- banana, pepper and hints of clove come through. Very nice and well complemented.

F- banana and pepper come out in the mouth more dominant.

M- smooth and not as dry as you would think. almost like a juicy taste.

O- good beer. when you have to little about it, i believe it is a great beer.

May 05, 2013
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cbutova from Massachusetts

3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Straight from the 12oz bottle into my goblet with a fairly hazy golden-orange body. A head forms quickly to one finger in height. Creamy textured cap retains for a decent time period and falls to a thick pillow/ring around the top. Spotty lace in some places on the glass.

S- Reminds me a lot of a Witbier but I guess the two styles overlap in certain ways. Banana, clove, bubble gum, sweets, black pepper and Belgian malts are prominent here. Slight light-skinned fruit hints as well as some citrus zest.

T- A lot going on and almost all of it comes from the yeast it seems. A lot of fruit and spicy hints. Big orange peel, black pepper, clove, banana, grapes, apple and something floral. These flavors are all quite strong but get along nicely. Some biscuit malts, cracked grains and sweets in there as well.

MF- Fairly sweet overall feel for the style and I would say that is the biggest problem present here. Light overall with a pretty silky high end carbonation. Slight bitterness finishing it all off.

Honestly this is pretty good for an American made Saison for such a low price. It is kind of sweet and a bit too fruit forward but I enjoy the overall flavors presented.

May 02, 2013
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ToddT from Pennsylvania

3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- Clear golden yellow with a thick off white head. The head is long lasted and leaves some nice lace on the glass.

S- Peppery spices, banana, clove, a hint of floral hops, and wheat.

T- Pepper and spice to start things off, a bit of banana and clove make an appearance at the middle. The finish is bone dry with a bit of funk. A classic Siason finish with a hint of spice in it.

M- Medium in body but feels light in the mouth, the carbonation is a bit more than medium and gives this a nice refreshing fizzy feeling.

O- Nice job Ithaca, classic Siason with enough twist to be interesting. The 6.2% ABV is a little dangerous I could drink several of these with out realizing it's this high.

Apr 22, 2013
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wvsabbath from West Virginia

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden yellow/light tan, fizzy 1/4 inch head with minor lacing.

Smell - Funky yeasts, banana, lemon, floral fruits, spices, grassy barnyard aroma. Some wheat and bready.

Taste - Starts out with a sour/Brett like flavor, mixed in with some sweet yeasts, and peppery spices. Very floral, plenty of fruits like pear, banana, lemon and orange. The malts are second in flavor, there sweet and bready, but not as present as other flavors. Has the classic farmhouse funky finish.

Mouthfeel - Sourness coats tounge , floral hops, sweet yeasts come in on palate to sweeten things up. The finish is sour, floral and funky.

Overall - Nice beer, a little different then most saisons, nice sour note mixed In with some sweet yeasts. Nice complex and balanced flavors. Worth a drink for saision fans but might be to much for a first time drinker of the style.

Apr 08, 2013
Ground Break from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 542 ratings