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 Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Spot on the style, with fruitiness, pepper, cinammon, and significant complementary hops. Flaw is the strong carbonation, yet it is very fresh still. Orange fruit colour, creamy small head, and with lots of lace. Great fruity aromas including guave,funk, peach, citrus.
Bottle from Premiere Gourmet.

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Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear light copper in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that slowly faded away and consistently left lacy patterns of bubbles floating in the center of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of grapefruit, orange, lemon, black pepper and clove in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell except that the spicy flavors are a little more pronounced and the hops lend a slight amount of bitterness and grassy flavors.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some notes of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is quite easy to drink and the citrus flavors would make this particularly refreshing to drink on a hot summer day.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy glowing orange, a compact finger of white foam on the surface. Surface texture is creamy, and it sticks nicely around the edges. Retention is pretty good, some delicate arcs of lace form in the glass also.

Estery yeast notes of clove and banana resemble a spicy hefeweizen. More earthy notes of coriander, cumin, and/or white peppercorns.

Dry, lightly bitter and spicy. Big notes of pepper and grassy hops. Orange peel, savory spices. Smooth feel, with the spices dominating the flavor, leaving telltale signs of pepper with a numbing tingle on the palate. Dry finish, little to no residual sweetness. Quenching and pleasant overall, something to anticipate springtime with.

Thanks to Mike for this unexpected beer!

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best by April(yeast was heavily caked on the bottom, this could be a year or more old). Pours hazy golden orange color with a very nice 2 finger dense and fluffy white head with incredible retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big lemon, apricot, pear, herbal, floral, coriander, pepper, bread, earth, light funkiness, and yeast spiciness. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good strength and complexity. Taste of big orange, lemon, pepper, pear, lime, coriander, bread, earth, herbal, floral, grass, clove, light funk, and yeast spiciness. Very slight tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruit, citrus, pepper, clove, earth, herbal, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance of sweetness and spiciness; with great flavor complexity. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a slightly syrupy and extremely crisp mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small amount of warming noticed after the finish. Extremely smooth and easy to drink. Overall this is an outstanding saison. Great balance and flavor complexity. Nice touch of funk rounds it out as well.

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Photo of oberon
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It slowly starts erupting, and forms a huge 4 finger head as I pour, forcing me to stop pouring. The bubbly frothy head fades semi slowly with lacing over crystal clear golden orange color.

Nose has some nice Belgian malts, a light Belgian yeast, saison like. Touch of wheat, some lemon peel, citrus, slight grassy like hop aroma, touch of Belgian yeast fruit aromas.

Taste is similar, light malts, Belgian saison malts, light citrus, little orange and some lemon zest, even hint of banana, with the slightest touch of a tart funk. Slightly sweet but finishes fairly dry, with lingering lemon zest and saison malts.

Mouth is fairly light with lots of carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good, with a pretty light overall beer, no real alcohol hit, and nice dry finish.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 4/9/2010 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, bananas, light malts, spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong spicy bite up front that is followed by sweet flavors of bananas and citrus as well as a strong breadiness from flavors of Belgian yeast and wheat. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The hops presence is mild but brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a nice flavorful but lighter Belgian-style beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear dark golden orange to copper in color. The beer has a three finger tall off-white head that reduces to a medium sized thick patch near the center of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus - grapefruit, orange, and lemon - along with spices (black pepper and clove).

T: Similar in taste to the smell but the spice flavors are far more intense than they smell. There is also a moderate amount of citrus flavors (more lemony). Light hints of grassy hops and Belgian yeast lend to the bitterness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly dry in the finish.

O: Easy to drink but a little too strong to be sessionable (higher ABV than I usually have for a session beer). I like the citrus flavors/aromas, they make this one pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Modest near-white head. Leaves a blanket of slippery lace. While hazy, this is far more clear than most saisons. Neutral gold color.

Interesting blend of sourness and barnyard earthiness. Once the head settles, the traditional sour yeast aroma of a saison comes through clearly.

Starts off tart, but mellows quickly. There's a sizable yeast bite toward the end of the tasting. The swallow is lightly tart. The aftertaste is grainy, but short lived . Good body for the style and the carbonation is understated.

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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 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 mdfb79
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 04/25/11 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in Washington, DC.

a - Pours a clear orange color with one finger of white fluffy head and moderate to high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of floral notes, pepper, spices, and cloves. Not bad, but lots of spices, especially pepper.

t - Tastes of pepper, spices, citrus hops, cloves, breay malts, and floral hops. A step up from the nose. It had more going on and less pepper.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, very smooth body.

o - Overall a good saison but the nose is heavy on pepper and the spices. Great mouthfeel, something I would try again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Thanks to stevglad and the N00b BIF for this bottle!

And the Leaving Falls Church uber-bender continues a-crunchin' on. This offering to the gods pours a clear amber orange topped by a tall, thick, white frothy head. The nose comprises earth, coriander, wheat, clove, lemon zest, and banana. The taste follows closely, though with a greater amount of earth and clove. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a nice saison, a bit much with the earthiness, but still pretty tasty.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of stakem
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Draft offering served in a snifter. The brew appears a clear golden color with a finger of white froth. Some patchy lace sticks in thick patterns about the glass. A constant stream of bubbles maintains the froth atop throughout the entire duration. A light swirl effortlessly revives the cap.

The smell is yeasty and herbal with a zesty hop component. It is herbal and Greg smelling with earthy notes reminiscent of sulfur towards the back. It is a bit peppery overall and not bad.

The taste is yeasty with a bit of green herbal character. Some unexpected bitterness initially gives way to a flavor of clove, grass and a zesty spicy aspect. The more I focus on the bitterness, the more the earthy notes of this brew come out.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is crisp and enjoyable. Nicely done and worth checking out but overall there is no significant appeal to it, just an everyday easy drinking saison without much flaw.

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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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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 Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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?

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Photo of jwc215
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before July notched on label.

Pours hazed golden with a thin white head that soon becomes a wide patch. Minimal lacing sticks.

The smell is funky tart - lemony with some cookie dough.

The taste is sweettart - lemony with bready and grassy notes. Refreshing tart, dry finish. I liked it even more as it progressed.

Light-bodied and effervescent - leaves a bit of a tingle.

This could be from Belgium. A well-done, easy-drinking, well-balanced enjoyable saison!

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

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a short 1" head that lingers around a while. Spotty lace develops during the session.

Smell: spices and yeast are easily detectable.

Taste: caramel, spices, hints of banana, some bubblegum, and a moderate bitterness. Yeast is very noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp from start to finish. Aftertaste is short lived.

Drinkability: easy to quaff but personally didn't hit the spot since I was looking for a hearty saison. Mildly refreshing.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of shrek806 thanx bro.

A: poured a light orange with yellow highlights and a half finger head that had very little lacing.

S: apple sauce like aromas with spices and booze and citrus zest that had a creamy base.

T: apples, spices and bready flavors up front like the nose with hints of wheat and brett.

M: medium body with good carbonation and a zesty dry finish.

D: good offering from ithica as a saison and will try to get some more of this beer.

GO Lakers!!!

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Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Clark's Ale House. Appeared a lightly hazy straw yellow with a tall white head. I thought this was a nice American take on the style. While the flavor focuses on crisp malt and herbal spices while the aroma is filled with smooth floral hops that make a great compliment to the grassy and citrus yeast character. Like hops and saisons? Give this a try.

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Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a beautiful gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice earthy yeast character along with a wonderful hop nose. This is an "American" saison; meaning a hopped up version of the Belgian style. The taste is good as well. It has a damn nice flavor that's equal parts yeast and hop character. It's bitter up front with a funky farmhouse finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It's a good beer to break ground on a new year. Bring on the warm weather! Big ups to the chief; another quality beer from Ithaca

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