Ground Break | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
232 Reviews
Ground BreakGround Break

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WesWes on 02-02-2010

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Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 543
Photo of Brushkanna
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
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

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Photo of jameswaldo
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a growler of this a few days ago at the brewery, after tasting all our favorites there. We liked this better than Cascazilla, which we really love, and just as much as Flower Power, which is always one of our favorite IPAs.
Looks wonderfully murky, the haze of hops and yeast making a turbid orange/amber soulful thick color promising mouthjoy. Excellent persistent slightly yellowish off-white head when poured gently from growler into pint glasses. Smells like Belgian yeast and hop blossom. What more could you want? We love IPA style always, and this takes a good amount of the hops from that and balances them with a solid hard-bodied yeast. Mouthfeel is excellent balance of fizz and unctuous foam. Aftertaste of hops persists through the funky yeast. The malt hides modestly behind hop and yeast tastes. Besides these delicious robust flavors, drinkability for this brew is helped by its excellent value: $5 per growler for an ale this good is just so wonderful, I'm proud to be an Ithacan!

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Photo of magine
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a cloudy, honey orange. Massive, massive chunky lemon meringue pie like head here. Tons of tiny tight bubbles cascading to form this huge head. Big chunks of head here, tons of lace. Fantastic looks here. Lots of malty yeast making this head like this I imagine. Really one of the most impressive pours I have seen. Exceptional.

Brew smells of big lemon zest, yeast, cloves, spices and orange. Great nose here, could smell it as I poured it. Impressive nose here.

Brew is smooth and creamy up front, spiced in the middle and peppery semi dry finish. Great tastes here; complex spices and malts working in harmony here. Cloves, spice, lemon, orange rind all fill a complex palate. Stickiness to it and some semi sweet and tart flavors here. Great flavors, and great drinking brew. Awesome stuff here.

This is one of the best saisons I have tried. I love Hennepin and feel that is the best of the style, but I think this matches. I would love to try this side by side with Hennepin. Tremendous brew here.

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Photo of CrazyP
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Light orange color with plenty of small bubbles. About a 1/4" white head that stays around.

S - Really pleasant smells. Fruity with raspberry, strawberry, and banana scents, yeast, a little funkiness. A touch of clove and spice.

T - This beer has a nice dry bitterness that goes nicely with the malt. Grassy hops along with fruitiness and spice.

M - A very quaffable, easy drinking beer. Quite dry as a saison should be. Mouthfeel is smooth with a touch of bite from the carbonation. My only complaint is it goes down too quick!

I see how the Bros. gave it a world class rating. You can tell this beer was crafted for drinkability and uniqueness with every flavor having a purpose.

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Photo of BeerTwigs
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer into a pint glass and it settled very nicely. It pours a nice light golden color with medium white head. The aroma is almost spot on for a saison and has really good character. I get banana and the traditional belgian armoa out of the nose of this beer. It has a good body and provides a nice smooth finish. Ithaca has done a really nice job here in changing up the traditional spring seasonals. I would definitely drink this beer again.

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Photo of IronLover
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best by May 2012. Deep golden yellow in color with an orange hue and a deep haze. Poured with a frothy, bright white foam that slowly dissipated to a wispy cap that left huge sheets of lacing on the glass. Complex array of sweet sugar, tropical citrus, Belgian yeast, bread and spicy aromas. Aggressive but oily smooth carbonation up front with lighter than expected feel. Buttery smooth thru the middle and finish. Bready and yeasty flavors up front that give way to tangy grapefruit and orange hop flavors through the middle. Banana and Belgian spices thru the middle and to the finish. Very complex aromas and flavors with a fabulous feel. The Belgian yeast and hop character of this beer was reminiscent of Piraat Belgian IPA, which is also exceptional. A new late winter classic for me.

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Photo of generallee
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
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!!!

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy golden/banana yellow into my DFH glass. A thick and fluffy bright white head cover this golden elixer! Thick and chewy lacing hold onto the rim of the glass for it's life. It looks like summer in a glass! PERFECT!

S- Banana's with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and sprinkled with black and green peppercorn flakes. Hints of citrus peel, Big League Chew gum, compost, fresh cut hay and wheat with little notes of pie spice mixed in. It has just a little bit of Belgian funk... wish it had more! This is one of my favorite Saison's!!!

T- Over ripe banana's, touches of funky yeast, spicey black/red/green peppercorns. Sweetness from the wheat and grains, some clove, allspice and fresh nutmeg. Real big notes of freshly zested lemon and grapefruit peel. Has a nice tartness that lets the honeysweet grains and spiciness shine thru as well. This is damn near perfect.

M- Really crisp, refreshing, and full of tropical fruit goodness! Electrifying carbonation that tickles the tongue! Wonderful Belgian yeastiness, peppery, lemony, and sweet banana and wheat malts. No hint of alcohol at all.

O- I'd give it a 4.75 if I could. This is another brilliant example from one of NY's best and most creative brewery's. I gotta buy up all I can of this before it's gone for the season.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of aranheaney
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Stone Nonic Pint Glass:

A-beautiful yellow, great Saison Head, on a par with Hennepin (my gold standard for Saisons)

S-Clove, pepper, banana and oh yeah heaven

T-Clove, pepper, banana and oh yeah heaven

M-Perfect, carbonation is spot on

O-on a par with Hennepin (my gold standard for Saisons)

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Look was amber with white foam, quite pleasing to the eye.

Smelled of grapefruit, licorice, and a floral bouqet, very sweet.

Tatse was a bit more bitter up front soften by the sweetness of fruit and licorice, which left a lingering bitterness that leads one back to sip again.The sweet yeast was not overpowering as Saisons can be, well balanced with bitter notes from the grapefruit and licorice; still, they don't overpower either giving a feel of white tea. An excellent beer to drink, but with all the spice and bouqet, I wouldn't have more than two at a time.

It is a spring seasonal, but the flavors reminded me more of Autumn.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy orange-yellow coloration with sexy white head that laces really nicely on the sides of the glass. It also has this awesome tornado-shaped, hanging, unfiltered sediment.

S - Fresh smelling, ginger, earthy, grass, Belgian yeast, citrus, floral tones, a lot of spice. Some light honey malts.

T - Awesome flavor. Wow. Ginger galore! Citrus rind, Belgian yeast, sage, coriander, cloves, black pepper. Tart flavor. A real explosion of earthy awesomeness. A little too much at once. Makes it a bit confused, like everything is shouting over each other.

M - Good balance, good carbonation, pretty dry. Medium-bodied and somewhat airy.

D - This beer tastes like fairy puree. One of the best beers I've ever had. Will be getting this again so many times. This beer conquers my favorite style of beer.

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Photo of dank203
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

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Photo of vande
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A ~ a hearty orangish pour with a one finger foamy head that floats rather nicely....dissipating slowly as it kisses the glass on the way down.

S ~ farmhouse funky oder going on with a bit of fruity fragrance seeping in

T ~ Pleasant. Very. Throw in a blender some citrus fruits, some straw, just enough grapefruit to add a nice sour twist, and a dash of floral hops... and that's what ya get.. a nice lil' mix here.

M ~ This is a Farmhouse ale from New York, that I think has it done right. A light, to medium body that is real easy drinking.

O ~ A great summer beer. I could see it being a great tap to have in the Chicago land area...unfortunately, it is not :(

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Photo of gregalobeer
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: deep honey gold with a slightly amber hue, not a lot of head.

S: citrus peel, nutmeg?

T: hops are direct but not overly bitter, very earthy and musky overall, with some of the same citrus and spice notes from the nose

M: wonderfully balanced, smooth but crisp, and the modest carbonation levels let the spices do most the talking without leaving you flat

D: highly drinkable, this would make a great first day of spring BBQ beer

an instant favorite!

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Photo of irish
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Translucent, nearly opaque. Sturdy head, with large bubbles. 4

Nose A bit tart, citric 3.5

Taste Great fruity bitter sour mix. Overtones of fresh bread. A surprisingly attractive mix. 5

Mouth feel Rich and robust, but all the while not overwhelming. 4.5

Drinkability Very drinkable. Like hot foods, it paradoxically makes you want to keep having more. Perhaps an acquired taste, but one worth acquiring. The "newness" and sour/hoppiness of the Saison taste gives in quite an appeal. 4.5

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Photo of MrOH
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brilliant gold with a billowing 2 and a half finger white head. Excellent retention. Rings of lace at every sip.

Very floral, some bubblegum and tropical fruit notes and an underlying earthiness.

The fruit is there. Tropical fruits, citrus, mango, floral notes, bready malt and the earthy background. Well played.

Light bodied with very high carbonation, as befits the style.

A damn fine american saison.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

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Photo of extremelybland
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper, deeper than your average saison and a little cloudy.
A powerful nose here, with fruit, spice, with some bubblegum and Belgian yeast jumping from the glass alongside a notable hop presence.
Taste is rich with pine and orange peel with a juicy Belgian yeast right up front and finishing with flinty and lingering hops, basically coming off like rich Belgian IPA.
Mouthfeel is a touch on the thick side which highlights everything that is going on here, and it seems like a fantastic transitional Spring beer - exactly as they constructed it. I could have a bunch of these
Very successful beer, hope they keep this one going!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - hazy deep yellow color with a fluffy white head that left a good coat of lacing.
S - Belgian yeast and spices fill the aroma.
T - Traditional Saison taste upfront before the American hops come into play finishing tart and dry.
F - medium bodied with a creamy feel.
D - highly drinkable and very tasty.

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Photo of BobCS
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pale amber and fairly hazy, lively carbonation brings up a tall white head with good retention and lacing

S - spices and an earthy yeast character are fairly prounounced, with some citrus hop aroma

T - Citrus and gingery spice bring in a nice wave of spicy flavors that include corriander and spicy fermentation notes that remind me of clove before finishing dry. In my sample, there is also just a bit of staleness in the aftertaste - and now that I look the bottle (which I purchased last week) does have a "best by" date that was last month.

M - Medium bodied and lively, plenty of carbonation tingles the tongue

O - refreshing, lively and spicy, this is an easy beer to enjoy and a good fit as a Saison.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. 12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a nice golden color with great clarity. Huge rocky white head forms and never subsides. Thick rings of lacing cement themselves to the glass. The clarity of it throws me for a loop. Did they filter this?

S: Nice and yeasty with pepper and spice and a perfumey floral scent. Clove. Fruity and nutty. Underlying biscuit and pilsner malt. Great nose.

T: Big hit of clove and black pepper on the attack. Strong yeast character, as in the nose. Chalky and a touch earthy. Very spicy. Underlying tropical fruits and a hint of tartness. Slightly rustic. Malt character is biscuity and nutty. Mild hop bitterness with light floral and orange peel tastes. Finishes with chalky and spicy yeast.

M: Medium bodied. Highly effervescent with an aggressive scrubbing carbonation. Creamy in texture and smooth.

O: One of the better American-made saisons I've had, and an excellent choice for a spring seasonal.

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Photo of capaneus
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(A) i poured it into a DELIRIUM TREMENS tulip. There was an enourmous fluffy, meringue-like head which hung around in an impressive blob throughout leaving thick lacing. the color was a rich brownish shade of amber and quite opaque due to suspended yeasts. a real looker.

(S) smell is of american hops and a distinctly spice belgian yeast.

(T) it seems that "AMERICAN" style variants have come to indicate a beer with more pronounced hop presence and often a darker malt than it's EUROPEAN counterparts. if that's the case, then this beer is true to form. unlike most BELGIAN saisons, this beer is noticeable hoppy (moreso than SAISON DUPONT which is on the hoppy end of BELGIAN) which mingle with the spiciness of their yeast to great effect. there is a subtle ale like fruity malt taste leading to a very dry and slightly tart finish. the flavors are wonderfully balanced.

(M) creamy mouthfeel with delicate carbonation - not at all prickly. a little sticky with a slight alcohol burn.

(D) an eminently affordable and drinkable saison. i'd love to see this as a year-round brew.

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Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
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 Thorpe429
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ubufan2112 for sending this bottle my way. Served in a tulip.

Pours a nice golden color with a two-finger white head off a hard pour. Good retention and some nice sticky lacing as it falls down into a nice cap. Nose is really fantastic and well-integrated with some white pepper, hay, grass, and light fruitiness. Some light grain in the background. All of this carries over to the taste. Everything is somewhat subtle, but it all blends incredibly well. This is one of the more-impressive tasting American saisons that I have ever come across. Body is dry with nice carbonation. Very drinkable. I am a huge fan and will seek this out again.

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Ground Break from Ithaca Beer Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 543 ratings.
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