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

For Trade:
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Ratings: 543 |  Reviews: 232
Photo of HopStoopid120
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of fmccormi
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Cavery
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz courtesy of LesleyH (fantastic trader), this bottle was completely off my radar, but I'm more than happy to have it. Cracked and poured into a Lost Abbey Tulip.

A: Pineapple flesh body with light yellows on some white lace foam. Some really nice retention on this beer, the head just simply refuses to go away. A large bubble crater has formed in the middle of my tulip, with sea-foam formations within. Some slight yellow/orange apricot color tints the rim bubbles.

S: Some really nice juicy funk in here. Smells like some orange juice spilled on a barnyard saddle. Really bright spritz of citrus zest with an unusual flavor of tangerine and lemon. Fresh marmalade jam character that I really like. It's hard to express how thick the fruit flavor is in the yeast, it's very pulpy. A very full bread with orange rind slivers candied in small amounts of sugars. A light cinnamon finds its way on the bread.

T: Whoa, surprisingly Hoppy. The fruit really seems emptied of its juices in the taste, and only older rinds are left. The hoppy character fuses really well with latent lemon notes for a nice marinade for the grassy hops. A light salad with some spicy arugula, water chestnuts, pickled cabbage, and a general dark-colored veggie character. Light garden carrots in the middle end that I really like, hops linger on yellow grasses. mildly apparent alcohol in the finish.

M: This is very full for the style, a slight bit of bit of alcohol leaves a wetter mouth. This isn't drying at all, which is actually pretty pleasant. The wetness does not come off alcohol dominated at all, it is instead just a lightly refreshing finish. The hops feel heavy in the mouth, it's not a strong bitterness, but the sensation creates a bed for the rest of the flavors. Strangely thick and filling in the mouth, like a whole wheat saison mouth.

O: This has a pretty distinct flavor character. Lots of lemon, some multi-colored grasses, light sweet breadiness, and a very full mouth. One of the more chewy saisons that I can recall, and unusual in the way that it lacks dryness. The beer is so soft in the mouth with microfiber bubbles that never seem to burst even as you swallow. Silt like sensations in the mouth as you swallow the juice. While this beer does have some tricks up its sleeve, it does get a bit monotonous. The complexity is not mind blowing, it's just sort-of a different saison. By the end of the glass you feel like this thing is a bit of a two-three trick pony. Not bad at all, in fact quite good, but not of that upper tier of saisons. Nonetheless, this is worth throwing at your friend who says he just doesn't like saisons. Hoppy, but still a farmhouse ale.

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Photo of mocktm
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

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

Excellent. This is an enjoyable ale in every aspect. It may not look like an impressive head or a mind-bendingly bright color, but it has all the combination of sweetness, tang, and hops that marks the greatness of Hennepin. This is my first Ithaca beer; I'm looking forward to trying more. With all the spice and fruit essence that comes from the aroma and the tasting of the Ground Break, it is at heart just a really drinkable beer. If you'd like to try a saison, here is a great place to start.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of Arenbeer
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tumbler glass

Had this fresh at the brewery and wasn't disappointed so I bought a bottle to review.

A- Pours a hazy neon yellow with a huge fluffy 2 finger head that sticks around. Surprisingly not to much carbonation streaming up, in fact none at all. Leaves some sticky lacing though.

S- Typical saison. Strong fruity notes like banana or bubble gum coming from the yeast on top of clove and spice.

T- Just like the aroma. Tons of clove and banana but the what makes this beer unique is the finish. An almost hop bitterness that's followed by strong citrus fruits.

M- Medium to light body with moderate carbonation and a nice bitter finish.


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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 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 wampahoofus
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with an explosive amount of head, foam an bubbles. Excellent retention and lacing. It is a cloudy yellow-amber with a fluffy white head.

The aroma is strong with a fruity with lots of banana and a bit of spice.

The flavor is refreshing with strong sweet malts and a strong spicy flavor on the end. The flavor finishs with a lemon-peel bitterness. I think the bitterness on the finish is a bit strong.

The beer has a rich and smooth texture that lingers.

All in all I find this to be a beer that is absolutly picture perfect to all the senses but taste. I found the flavor to be strong and refreshing but contained a bit too much bitterness in the aftertaste. I will drink this again but will be ready to compare it with others of the same style.

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Photo of Brenden
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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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 VelvetExtract
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear honey color. No haze here. Off-white frothy head. Forms big then dies down to about half a finger. This beer laces consistently and thoroughly. A handsome beer.

S-I get first the Belgian yeast. Clove and banana combo as well. Smells like a Hefeweizen. A bit of hard to describe spice, and some clean green herbal components. Not very familiar with the style but I would think this was a Hefeweizen if quizzed from just the nose.

T-First, I get a tart funk that surprises me. Banana is the fruit that hits me first. Noble hops spill over the palate. Yeast is quite evident as well. This is one unique Saison. Almost like a Hefeweizen, almost like a Belgian pale. The funk stays with you. I am rarely turned off by funky flavors, and this one is pretty cool too. I have no complaints about the surprising flavors.

M-Medium bodied and slightly crisp. Mellow carbonation. A bit sticky. Taste lingers and adds a dimension to the feel.

O/D-Surprised by the nose and the flavor here. I am actually a fan of this beer. I know it is a Spring Seasonal, but the local store had six-packs of this at $5.99. Had totry it at the discount. Would like to try it again when it is freshly brewed to compare flavors. Hops held up well. Pretty cool; Ithaca is a great brewery. I have liked their offerings very much. This is a Saison that highlights the Belgian end of the beer spectrum. I prefer a more American bred version of the style. Still worth a try.

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

Appearance: Cloudy, golden yellow with two fingers of fluffy head that fades slowly with a curtain of lace

Aroma: Yeasty, with notes of grass, ripe fruit and some wheat malt.

Taste: Initially thin, then a building of some slightly astringent malt character all the way through to the finish, which is fairly fast and clean. There's also just a touch of bitterness towards the back end along with some lemon.

The Rest: A clean and refreshing brew perfect after a long day of house projects.

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Photo of FeloniousDrunk
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a slightly hazy yellow/amber from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. A nice frothy 1.5-2 finger white head emerged with minimal lacing.

S: Spicy bread notes appear on the nose: Corriander, cloves, black pepper, a hint of oregano, wheat malts.

T: Bright, spicy flavors throughout with a sweet, clean aftertaste. This is a good Saison, with lots of wild flower spiciness to it: Coriander, a hint of paprika, some fresh black and white pepper, cloves, apple pie. This may be marketed as a spring beer, but it would service wonderfully as a fall alternative to Oktoberfest or harvest beers.

M: A clean, bright feel throughout. Unfortunately thin on the swallow.

O: A delicious and accessible take on the Saison style, with clean, fresh notes and a flavor profile that is filled with content, without overwhelming the senses.

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

A: Darkly coppered straw – hazy & cloudy. No bubbles rising, but a decent cap of white foam. Great lace. Good chance of floaties if you don’t watch the pour carefully.

S: Frutiy & estery nose, but not overly so – actually it is very nice. Spice and earthy yeast. Citrus hops in the background (the American part of the equation). Somewhat sweet and lightly malty grains in the background. Vague candied fruit impression with a hint of lemon.

T: Slightly tart/sweet fruit of apples and pears AND lemon. Fruits are layered with spicey & peppery aspect with just barely a hint of yeasty funk. Plentiful but not overpowering grapefruity, citrusy and other American hop notes. Firmly bitter, but not harsh. Sort of sweet bready malts in the background. Background earthy, rustic and yet pleasant impression. Slight medicinal note pushes through after a bit.

M: Just a fine hair over medium bodied with carbonation on the lighter side. Lends a noticeably fuller, thicker and more viscous feel than many other examples of the style. Yet soft and smooth and light when placed in the whole wide world of beers. Just noticeable tartness.

D: Rustic, robust, and refreshing. Ithica – make this year round, and I will buy it. Too good to be “just” be a seasonal. A nicely fruity saison with an American kick. This is a very well-done and authentic run at the style.

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

Received as an extra in a trade with trxxpaxxs.

Best by date was April

A - Poured into a New Belgium globe. Pours a hazy orange-amber with a thin head that dissipated fairly quickly. Minimal lacing that slides back down into the glass

S - Yeast aroma with notes of orange. Faint banana and clove.

T - Earthy malt flavor with notes of orange and lemon. Clove and pepper provide some spiciness throughout and some cidery tartness. There is a nice crisp yet mellow hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium-bodied w/ aggressive carbonation. No alcohol warmth.

O/D - This was a little bit more spicy and earthy than I would typically prefer, but was nonetheless a refreshing beverage. I wouldn't buy it but would not turn it down if offered.

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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 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 ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy orange-yellow color with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down to a thin ring leaving behind a bit of lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of lemon and yeast with some background wheat and spices. There is a touch of bready aroma and fruits.

T - Starts off with some yeast and lemon flavor. Some spices and fruity flavors in the background. Through the middle some stronger yeast and some wheat flavors come thought. The finish is spicy with some lemon flavor and yeast that lingers nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate lively carbonation. Feels super smooth and crisp with a bit of a dry kick at the finish.

D - Very drinkable. Not exactly a traditional saison but a solid American interpretation of one. The wheat and spices feel nice and balanced throughout.

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