Ground Break | Ithaca Beer Company

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Very Good
542 Ratings
Ground BreakGround Break

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WesWes on 02-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 542 |  Reviews: 232
Reviews by np75rw:
Photo of np75rw
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass a slight hazed lighter straw color with a nice fluffy two finger white head that left broken rings of lace as it settled slowly into a creamy mass.Aromas were a mix of earth and phenols,a slghit lemon rind is there as well.Flavors start out with almost a lactic-like tartness to go along with some lemon pith,phenolic spice and earthy hop rounds out the finish.A good stab at the style and refreshing,good for a hot day.

 446 characters

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Zakk
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of Marc33
1/5  rDev -74.1%

Photo of DWolf
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of generallee
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label has a "Best Before" date but no ABV%

Appearance: This beer pours clear and golden until the last few ounces with all the yeast sediment. The yeast swirls around and slowly blends in give the body a hazy appearance. The slow carful pour produces a huge billowy meringue like head that fills half the glass. It holes on forever and keep a good cap of foam on till the last sip. On the sides of the glass it leaves big splotches of foam lacing.

Smell: There are strong hop presence along with all the typical estery and funky/medicinal Belgian yeast and malt notes. There are fruity notes from the malt and yeast as well as the hops. Hops add some citrus and spicy floral notes and the yeast/malt brings a mix of tropical fruit and mild white pepper like dry spice.

Taste/Palate: There is a lot of complexity packed into this firmly medium bodied beer. There is a flash of candy and bready sweetness with estery yeast as well as dry funk and mellow phenolic spice. The hops which are more influential here then in a traditional Belgian Ale bring solid hop bitterness from the start to the finish and add there own floral and citrusy spice notes. It finishes with dry spice and firm dry hop bitterness. The palate is lively and well carbonated.

Notes: This may note be true to the Belgian style with its assertive American esque hop profile but it works!!!

 1,439 characters

Photo of nstroup
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Doomcifer
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden pour with a beautiful rocky, creamy head. Tons of tiny carbonation bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Sweet citrusy aroma, definite belgian yeast trademark smell along with a spiciness lingering. Strong mix of orange and lemon rind/zest. Nice!

Tastes of more citrus of the lemon & orange peel variety. Clove spice, Belgian yeast, a dash of white pepper, nice spicy hop finish that lingers on the tongue along with the spice. A little funk is present as well.

...This big, rocky head is going nowhere fast.

Prickly carbonation on the tongue, medium body, semi dry finish but not astringently so. I could definitely enjoy a few of these in one sitting. I wasn't expecting much at all from this release but am very pleasantly surprised!

 757 characters

Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the bottle.

Dirty cloudy yellow color, looks better than it sounds. LOL. Crowning of lace is impressive. Candied fruit, hint of ginger, nutty yeast and bready malt make for an exciting aroma. Deep smoothness, decent sized body ... not too dry. Mild tartness, grassy and lemony with a faint raw honey note in the back. Brett throws down some medicinal herb that comes off a bit bitter, good for balance here. Yeasty earthy bittersweet finish.

Super tasty, very drinkable ... sadly just a seasonal as I could see drinking this all of the time.

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Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with best before dating notched onto the side of the label. $11.99 for the six-pack at DeCicco's, Ardsley, NY. Pours quite clear, lighter amber, with a dull golden hue. Off white head, loose and frothy and with staying power. Typical low light sheeting a spotty lace. Bold nose of bubble gum on top of more bubble gum with light peppery and coriander infused spice notes. The nose well anticipates the flavors on the tongue and in the mouth, more bubble gum and the typical saison peppery follow through. Minty, and herbal hops flow through the finish and seal the deal. Highly drinkable and enjoyable NY State take on the popular and pleasing Belgian classic style. Bring on the cheeses, salads, BBQ , spicy food and all the other tasty stuff this one will go great with. More quality brew from Ithaca Beer Co. Do they make a bad beer?

 853 characters

Photo of Homebrew35
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge 2 finger head, off white, bubble streaming from the bottom, high carbonation for sure. Head fades to a nice spotted cap. Pale golden clear body. Smells nice, fruity pineapple, banana, bready yeast. Kind of like La Fin in the smell that belgian quality. Tastes sweet and full of bananas. Some lemon zest, peppery, some apricot maybe on the finish, clove comes out as this one warms up. A touch of hop bitterness on the finish but not too much. Very much on the sweet side and I love it. I could drink this all night. $1.80 for the single.

 550 characters

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, yellow/orange in color, minimal head, low carbonation

Smell: pineapple and pine--hops dominate

Taste: pine and citrus hops, some earth, and pineapple

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, light bodied, slightly bitter

Drinkability: Without a doubt an American saison. This one had some nice piney and hoppy tones that made it taste more like what I would associate with a west coast IPA. I could sip on a couple of these. Interesting beer.

 455 characters

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ground Break, an American-style Saison Ale, begins with a sugary, fruity nose full of pink grapefruit, cherry, orange, banana, and hints of pineapple, spiced up with brown sugar, pepper, and hints of clove. A good layer of toasted grains lies just beneath.

On the tongue, the first flavors are the fruits, with all of the grapefruit, cherry, orange, banana, and pineapple noted in the nose, joined by, yes, pepper and light hints of clove. The spice is quite potent--it has to be, to keep up with the massive fruit flavors--and nips at the tastebuds, joined by touches of hoppy pine. A layer of Grape Nuts cereal-like malts helps smooth out the spicy fruits. The sugars, unlike many beers, don't seem to die off near the end of the mouthful, so the aftertaste has many of the same flavors as the regular mouthful, though perhaps a bit spicier. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is great fare, and would be an excellent ice-cold thirst quencher at the beach, while still being sophisticated enough to pair with fine foods.

 1,059 characters

Photo of virinow
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pulled from fridge. several months past its freshness date, but i couldnt see that hurting a beer like this.

the pour into an oversized wine glass results in a huge billowy head. took me a minute or two for the head to settle to finish the pour. a beautiful white cap of head was the result. tons of soapy looking sticky lace and pretty decent retention. a cloudy, murky golden orange body.

the aroma reviels a spicy blend of belgian yeast and american hops. reminds me of a belgian ipa. the spicy phenolic belgian yeast is definatly the main player. bits of lemony citrus and clove.

lots of flavors going on, decent complexity. a bit tart, spicy, with a pretty decent citrus hop bitterness. lemon zest, lots of spicy phenolic yeast. definatly a hoppy example of the style, but thats exactly how ithaca's website describes this. very tasty!

medium bodied, crisp yet fine carbonation. almost like the real thing!

a great spring beer, really quenches the thirst and is very different than your usual spring/ summer seasonal wheat. i highly recommend this!

 1,070 characters

Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm loving the pour, this one went into my Hennepin glass and it forms a chunky white head that rises well above the sides of my chalice. Aroma gives off a peppery citric lemon tone to it. Almost herbal/citrus grapefruit peel in there as well I'm guessing the American Saison labeling suggested some American hops after giving this one a few sniffs. Flavor is bitingly tart with some funky tones thrown in, a very dry finish makes your lips pucker. Some rolling hop bitterness in the middle that really sticks around, the sour/acidi nature does give off grapefruit pith/rind to mind. Some tropical fruits pineapple, starfruit this is one funky summer seasonal. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied high effervescent carbonation, this one really dries the palate up with a lemon zest finish. Drinkability is really interesting one of the most intriguing Saisons I've tried by a micro in quite some time, excellent stuff.

 918 characters

Photo of mocktm
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown bottle with best before April etching on the side. Is that so hard, why can't more breweries do that? I'm looking at you FFF and Ballast Point...

Any who, pours a hazy orange with mounds of unrelenting snow white head and intricate lacing to match. Not a whole lot of carbonation, but still very appealing.

Doesn't smell quite as complex or pungent as Belgian Saisons, however that doesn't mean it doesn't posses its own intriguing aspects: candied sugar, grass, slight yeasty mustiness, citrus rind, some nut flavor from the malt and moderate spice. Doesn't have that punch you in the face barnyard funkiness, but sometimes that is a welcomed change.

When I bought this in a six pack, I didn't really know what to expect, as most beers in this style come in bombers or 750's, but this doesn't disappoint. As with the nose, sugar sweetness from start to finish with some fruit tartness, mainly lemon and apple. Mild earthy qualities with some minor funk from the Brett, which also produces some phenolic characteristics and a soothing bitterness.

Drinks rather smooth, providing a medium body and a semi-dry finish. Well balanced and a great summer time beer.

Overall, consider me a fan. While this didn't blow me out of the water like other Saisons have, this is still thoroughly enjoyable, especially at $10 a sixer, which is less than what I pay for one bottle of higher quality Belgian imports. No complaints here, Cheers!

 1,438 characters

Photo of tallfellapgh
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of tugg407
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of JMS1512
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Brenden
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm still working through notes from my NY trip. This was enjoyed on 7/4/11, a good beach beer.

Two fingers of off-white head settle on a hazy dark gold brew. Alternating spottiness and patchiness of lacing is dropped in moderation from a retentive head.
The aroma throws the Belgian yeast right out but offers mainly a citrus component. Actually, the aroma's got a huge citrus bouquet to it. There's also just a touch of sugary fruits and a bit of spiciness. This is nice, complex and balanced, offering lots to sniff out.
In the flavor there's lemon and a bit of grapefruit, all fresh juices with perhaps even some orange as well and some bubble gum. There's a bit more rind into the finish and it gets a little briny as it warms. There's definitely some more hops bitterness coming out as it goes.
The mouthfeel is crisp but with a billowing creaminess developing straightaway and follwing through to the finish. The body is almost medium and semi-dry. This beer is refreshing without sacrificing depth.

 1,007 characters

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Ground Break from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 542 ratings