Ithaca Beer Company, located in the lovely Finger Lakes Region, is a great New York state brewery. Opening in December 1998, they’ve since produced countless award winning beers found mostly in the Northeast. They were voted the best craft Brewery in NY State at TAP NY in 2008. Not only do they make great beers, but they also are committed to community outreach and support, with a specific focus on opportunities that bring the brewery, employees and charities together, contributing donations to as many local charities as possible.
To me, they make incredible hoppy, smooth and flavorful beers. They’ve got their year round brews, the Apricot Wheat, their #1 selling beer and one of my favorite wheats, to CascaZilla, made with monstrous amounts of Cascade Hops and kicking your butt at 7% abv. There is also the super hoppy Flower Power that has a ton of flavor due to its five times dry hopping. Then there is the fantastic Nut Brown and the well balanced staple, the Pale Ale.
I’ve sampled a couple of their other seasonal brews including the Ground Break, and American style Saison, blended with a mix of Belgian and American yeasts. The winter Gorges Porter is delicious and full bodied with the perfect amount of toasty, smokey, chocolatey notes. They also have a terrific Amber Ale, the Cold Front which aims to keep you going as the days get shorter heading into winter. It’s a fantastic farmhouse amber ale. They also have a terrific Summer Belgian style Wit bier, the Partly Sunny which is just great to sip on during those warm hazy summer days.
Ithaca Beer Company also has it’s much heralded Excelsior series. The annual release, up to number Thirteen, released in December, are carefully created small batches available at the Brewery. Recent batches have included Imperial Double Red Ale, Monastery Quad Ale and Double Hopped Wheat Ale. There’s also their limited batch which recently included a Brute, Sour Ale, as well as a Sour Blueberry Ale and Strong Rye Ale. There are many more tasty concoctions as well.
To top it off, not only do they make fantastic craft beer, but they also make soda. Ithaca sodas are all natural, decaffeinated beverages. They brew two varieties, Ginger and Root beer in small batches to maintain the highest standards of flavor and purity.
They also are big supporters and sponsors of the Ithaca Brew Fest. In its fifth year, the Ithaca Brew Fest has become an annual end of Summer, welcoming of Fall, event for craft beer drinkers and residents of the Finger Lakes Region. This year’s fest will be held the first week of September at Stewart Park at the base of Cayuga Lake. This year features not only regional NY beers like Southern Tier, Dundee, Bellwether, Butternuts and Saranac, but also tons more from the all over the US and a few international beers.
Ithaca pint glasses and Cascazilla photos came from beerlens.com and wheretotastebeer.com
Cults – Abducted
One of the most hyped internet sensations in recent memory, the Brooklyn band just released their debut album this week. The album combines old school soul and girl-group elements with synths, bleeps and samples. The duo pulls off something a lot of other groups have been trying to do these past few years. They have subtle hooks and super infectious tunes.