Ground Break | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
543 Ratings
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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 543
Photo of MLasoski
2.41/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Looked like an interesting buy and I love Ithaca products; however, this one doesn't sit with me right in terms of the style. Maybe it's because I'm used to more crisp and clear saisons?

A: A cloudy copper body with a 1/8" thick head which dissipated within a couple minutes after a couple sips. Can't really see the carbonation either. I was expecting a crispy, clear, and straw-colored body with excited carbonation and a thick head.

S: Blah... nothing special. Smells of mild hops and malts. Can't really pinpoint anything so I'm not going to make anything up either.

T: Tastes a bit like table salt with hops added into the container.

M: Salty up front with the hop character coming through in the end. Pretty light on the tongue with some crisp carbonation in the end as well.

D: I wish I only picked up one of these as part of a mix-a-six instead of the entire 6 pack. I'm having a rough time finishing one. Not what I expected as a saison.

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Photo of matty
2.44/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pale yellow colored beer with a rich thick slowly fading head.Aroma is spices.Taste is lemon-grapefruit,hops and spices.This beer tastes too much like a witbier which I do not like.I will never buy this again and will warn all of my drinking buddies to stay away from this one.

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Photo of potownbill
2.69/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I am not sure what this beer is trying to be: Saison, Wit, Pale Ale, whatever. The appearance of the beer gave me hope that this was going to be a good experience. Clear, pale yellow, with a frothy white head. Bringing it to the nose is where I got my first indication that there was something not right. There was the spiciness of the Witbier, but slightly off, reminding me of something I might have smelled in my basement, namely a funk that didn't belong in a beer. The taste started off with a decent spiciness, some raw barnyard flavor (not bad), but ended with a thin IPA bitterness. The mouthfeel was somewhat thin, but not too bad. I was able to finish the glass, but there were a few moments where I questioned whether the calories were worth it.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.96/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

@ The Parrish, Boston MA. The waitress said it's like Jack D'or but not as much That could be said of a lot of beers.

Darker and clearer than most saisons , it's dark gold with not a cloud in the sky. Frothy head disappoints slides to a thin collar. Left one little patch.

Usual saison yeasty spice with candied ginger. Nice. Taste is dry and appropriately spicy but offset by a lumpy body. Like some one tossed saison yeast into an English pale. Not a fan.

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Photo of angelogarcia3
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very good beer with a clear and ivory colored head. An aroma of citrus & grapefruits. Mouthfeel of Carbonation that cleanse the pallette. Preparing it for the flavors of spice and hops. Finishing with a slight bitterness that you would expect from drinking grapefruit juice. Had it at Madeline's in Ithaca, NY with the coconut dream cake. The pairing was very good.

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Photo of harrymel
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best By: March, 2011

A: Pours a golden yellow ale with turbid opacity. A single finger of soap sud foam falls to a moderate sheet of the same.

S: Belgian yeast, coriander, cardamom, peppercorn, sweet lemon. The malts seem a bit more caramel than typical for the style, not in a bad way.

T: Sweet, herbal, and honestly quite a bit of corn. Plenty of lemon in the background, not sour or tart, but essence is present.

M: Heavy for the style. typical carb. Dries my palate, but only enough to stimulate salivation. Decent.

O: This beer is okay. I think for the style, it's a bit sweet, simple, and americanized. The yeast is the highlight here, but the herbal tones continue to be strong.

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

breakin out the trusty duvel tulip. breakin up to make up. let's see what the crocus can do.

A- could be called saffron yellow but... hazy unfiltered apricot color with a yellowish tinted sticky belgian foam. excellent retention and i assume the lace will follow suit. sturdy vinyl skin on atop the head, forming large pits and craters. i had to wait over 5 minutes before i could even drink.

S- phenolic, melon, spicy, white pepper, rose, and a touch of bubblegum. saaz-like hop aroma, cucumber, overall very fruity and floral. a little funk

T- decent, but somewhat off. fleeting notes of sour, salty, and savory, with piney resinous herbal hop character. minor funkiness carries over from the aroma but gets lost in a flash of zesty hops. light wood, , baked pork, curacao orange peel, carrot, melon, cucumber, basil, and raw broccoli, very vegetable. finishes tea like and strangely bitter. although many flavors can be discerned, seems to lack depth.

MF- aggressive carbonation, obviously bottle conditioned, giving the refreshingness an edge of crisp thirst quenchiosity. after the bubbles subside it's slick and drying but the odd hop bitterness leaves a rough astringent feel.

D- i can't always dig americanized belgian style beers because they seem so hard to get just right. there are a few exceptions, but regretably this isn't one. i've enjoyed the beers i've had from ithaca lately (my upcoming review for flower power will totally reflect that) but this light saison can't even touch their dark saison, cold front. the problem i have with american saisons is the hop flavor and yeast flavor never quite work together and result in an oddly bitter and oddly phenolic elixir as opposed to the rustic funky nectar of the barnyard gods that i'd bounce my basketball jones for. my hats off to sofie however. she's a naughty girl. thanks again to dave from heidelberg for the samples.

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Photo of msquared36
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a light copper with a big fluffy head. The smell is mostly grassy hops. The taste starts off with some malt sweetness that is quickly cut by the same hops present in the nose that linger for a while. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with fine carbonation. Not a bad tasting beer, but the hops kind of overpower it and linger on the palate.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 fl. oz. bottle into a Delirium tulip at low altitude in NY. I believe this will be my first trying an "American Style Saison."

A: Pours a slightly hazy yellow color with a small creamy white head. Decent retention, but not much lacing to speak of.

S: Malty wheat notes are the most prominent, with some characteristic "barnyard" funk in the background. A relatively light smell overall.

T: Opens with malted wheat flavors followed by some yeasty funk. The finish brings along some soapy character that leaves a rather unpleasant bitterness long after the last sip. Besides the soapiness, I this would be a pretty solid saison.

M: Light- to medium-bodied with a slick mouthfeel. A bit overcarbonated in my opinion.

O: A decent take on a saison. Not sure if the soapy bitterness was the "American" aspect here, but it would have been better without that.

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Photo of avalon07
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange color and a cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet aroma of citrus, malt, and spices.

T: Tasted of citrus (orange, lemon), malt, and an unwelcome grassy quality in the finish. If not for this last component, the flavor would have fared better.

M: A high amount of carbonation with a crisp, smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is another wildly uneven beer, one with some good qualities and some that are lagging.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to beerwolf77 for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a clear orange color. Produced a good frothy white cap with good retention and lace.

(S)- A dry, almost floral citrus note. Biscuit-like earthy clay yeast in the background.

(T)- Similar to the smell in every way. A dry but crisp floral citrus with a biscuit-like yeast in the background.

(M)- A crisp carbonation level and a good balance. Refreshing and ever so lightly fruity.

(D)- A pretty good Saison with a classic profile for the style. Nothing to write home about, but its an easy drinker and a good take on the style from the states.

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Photo of bruachan
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle says "american saison". i like the sound of that

well the head is luxurious: i think i could lounge on it! crystal clear light amber liquid lies beneath

strong amarillo scents. bright, yeasty spice

interesting flavor profile. for me, yeast makes a saison. or at least the beer requires a minimum standard of spiciness. and this beer is the closest i've seen to that spice floor, if you will. spice abounds, for sure, (and is buoyed by the hops) but otherwise it's fairly clean as saison goes. dry; herbal; lacks esters

i will say, the hopping was tasteful

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Photo of JG-90
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of vazy
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap and Tap and Mallet.

The appearance is a soft tangerine color with a slight golden hue. Its clear as well. The smell is of moist mulch after a rainy day, a hint of sweetness. Its taste is slightly sweet, medium hopped and a pleasure to drink.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied as it bites the back of your tongue. Overall, its a good amount of hoppiness. Its kind of light and would be good to enjoy with a meal.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
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

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Photo of corby112
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark golden yellow color with a one finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.

Earthy, slightly funky aroma with a good balance of zesty spice, bready yeast and light fruit. The saison yeast is prominent with hints of barnyard, grass and hay. The bread/yeast character is also very strong in the nose along with hints of apple, pear and banana.

Medium bodied with a very strong spice presence up front with lots of pepper and coriander that lingers over the yeast and light fruit notes into a dry finish. Earthy and dry but only slightly funky with hints of grass and straw that is balanced by the sweet malt and light fruit flavor. Hints of apple and pear with a touch of boozy heat toward the finish.

Overall this beer was decent. Full bodied with a nice aroma but it's a bit to heavy on the spice for my liking, overtaking the other flavors. Not bad, just an average American interpretation of the style.

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Photo of ATPete
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Pours a slightly chill hazed gold yellow color with a small white head that leaves healthy notches of lace on the glass. A fat dosing of bitter and aromatic hops is almost upstaged by a strong, dominant yeast character. Honey, grainy pale malt and yeast are balanced by a largely bitter hop character. Tiny bubbles of sparkling carbonation add a soda water dimension to this beer making difficult to quaff. A nice saison.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes:

appearance: hazy copper orange with a 1 finger white head

smell: coriander, spices, hay, wheat, malts, citrus

taste: citrus, spices, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: refreshing saison. very nice summer beer.


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Photo of Augustiner719
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a beautiful hazy orange mango color with a nice shaving cream Ike foamy head. The pour had to be careful to make it contained in the glass. Has a nice herbal citrus component that is very attractive. Also has a spritzy component that invites summer drinking. Taste is on point with the style but feels just a tad rich for my preference. Has a very oily component that coats the palate and masks the complexities in this brew. Really becomes one dimensional and uninteresting as i drink this. Mouthfeel is a bit overcarbonated and has a sweet finish that I am not enjoying. Drinkability is not Super high but given the relatively low abv and the fact it comes in six packs is a plus also. This would be great in a larger format.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A dense haze of burnt tangerine orange is filled with a light and lazy rise of misty micro-bubbles. The head is flat, fizzy and dirty white in color, failing to hold and lace.

S: Nice touch of subtle yeastiness and wet bread along with citrus first appears. Tangerines, wheat quickly come, but loses it strength in the long run.

T: The flavor delivered a solid twang of sour citrus, fresh grapefruit and some tangerine. Wheat seems to be the base product here or at least comes through as such. It is the high rate of citrusy hops that chime is that makes this drink sparkle a bit, maybe not particular to style, but works in its own way.

M: Nice fullness, some traces of carbonation are evident, but is the twang of grapefruit that lines the tongue on the hold that defines this drink. Sharp lemony citrus tones makes for a strong finish.

O: Overall if I wasn’t aware I would of mistaken this more for a pale wheat rather a saision, which would of worked out better. Country time sour citrus twang is the highlight of the show, as a beer its very good, as a saison it steps outside the box a bit much and loses its identity, not much pungent sour fruitiness nor musky yeast nature. Still worthy of a six pack recommendation for hop heads and for people who just enjoy good beer without being defined.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour was a light golden color, almost a hay colored straw, with loads of carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the glass. Really rich looking for the style as a three finger high head of white foam formed on top and settled down graciously into a thin pillow that never left sight. Aroma is light fruit, pears, peaches, hints of light grassy notes, hints of bread and other light grains. Warming brings out a nice little bit of banana and almost a clove like touch to it. Each sip is clean, crisp, concise with tons of depth and light fruit notes. Light drying on the palate as you start to finish it off, but it never does lose sight of the total package.

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Photo of Tinfoilrcr
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Imperial Pint glass.

A- hazy gold, with about 3 fingers of white fluffy head that dissipates at a mediocre speed - not too fast, but not slow either. Leaves behind some nice lacing.

N- Sweet malts with coriander and clove.

T- CLove/Corriander, with some barnyard funk and hay.

M- Light and fuzzy.

D- The "barnyard funk" slows down the speed, but overall a good saisson. Ive had better but would have this again.

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden yellow with one finger of head that fades to thin lace. In the nose I pick up clove but little else. Taste is clove and mild malt. Light bodied and well carbonated.

I like this. I bought a six-pack and have every intention of enjoying them all.

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