Ithaca is a city with a strong sense of community and a passion for locally produced products. There are many local wineries, however people always questioned why there was no local brewery. Dan Mitchell, the founder of the Ithaca Beer Company, set out to answer that question by creating a brewery that would exemplify “The Spirit of the Finger Lakes”.
The original concept for the brewery began in 1995, but it wasn’t until December of 1997 that the brewing system was purchased. It was discovered by chance after investigating another system in Texas that looked great on paper, but wasn’t adequate for the needs of the brewery. After passing on that system Dan had some time to kill and decided to travel around. During a visit to a brewpub in Austin, TX he discovered what would become our brewing system. He went in and asked them what kind of beers they made. They told him that they had stopped making beer and were actually preparing to sell their system. After checking it out the purchase was made and a month later the system was shipped up to Ithaca.
Five months of renovation took place at our 606 Elmira Rd. location to turn it in to a functional brewery. After all the hard work renovating and setting up the equipment we were ready to begin the actual process of creating beer! The operation started small with only a couple of people (Dan and our previous Brew Master Jeff Conuel) doing everything that needed to be done to get the business off the ground. From the making of the beer, the packaging, the selling, and the mountains of paperwork necessary to operate a brewery they did it all. In December of ’98 the brewery officially opened.
Since then, we’ve come a long way and grown considerably through lots of tireless work by a very dedicated staff. Just recently our hard work paid off when we were awarded 2 medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado in 2008.
Ithaca Beer Company now sells beer throughout New York State, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Ohio. Other states are in the works as we continue to expand our capacity. Even while growing we haven’t forgotten our commitment to crafting quality beers and being a part of the community that has supported us. As always we strive to capture the spirit of the Finger Lakes and share it with you.
Ithaca Anniversary Beer
Ithaca Apricot Wheat
ABV: 4.9% Category: Craft / Specialty Brewery: Ithaca Brewing Seasonal Availability: Year Round Beverage Type: Fruit / Vegetable Beer
Easy drinking wheat beer is light in color and body … perfect for those looking for a lighter taste. The combination of wheat and barley give our Apricot Wheat a different malt character than any of our other ales. The hint of apricot gives this beer a fruity finish, making it a fun beer to drink
ABV: 7% Category: Craft / Specialty Food Pairing: Cheese (sharp; Blue, Cheddar) Meat (Beef, Poultry, Fish) Brewery: Ithaca Brewing Seasonal Availability: Year Round Beverage Type: American Amber / Red Ale
The name CascaZilla is a play on both the name of our local Cascadilla Gorge and the monster amounts of Cascade hops in this beer. This red ale gets its distinctive color from a healthy portion of caramel malt, which also lends some body and sweetness to the beer. The predominant flavor and aroma of this beer, however, is brought to you by the fresh American hops. If you haven’t done so yet, treat yourself to Ithaca Beer’s new monstrously hoppy Red Ale.
Cayuga Cruiser is our slightly tart and exceptionally refreshing Berliner-Weisse style ale. Mildly hazy in appearance and light in body, this beer delivers the perfect combination of elements resulting in supreme and satisfying drinkability. Whether you’re on a boat or in your backyard, this beer is the quintessential summer refresher.
Ithaca Cold Front
Category: Craft / Specialty Food Pairing: Smoked or roasted meats and hearty stews, earthy cheeses like Camembert or strong smokey cheeses like Moody Blue (smoked blue cheese). Seasonal Availability: September – January Beverage Type: Craft / Specialty
Cold Front is our Belgian-style Amber Ale brewed in autumn to keep us inspired as the days grow shorter and the nights colder. It’s brewed with European Malts and hops and fermented with a legendary Belgian “Farmhouse” yeast. Savor its deep russet color, rich flavor accented by slight herbal hoppiness, and definite spicy yeast character. Bundle up!
Ithaca Country Pumpkin
ABV: 6.3% Category: Craft / Specialty Food Pairing: Desserts or Poultry dishes, (Cheeses) Asiago or Parmesan Brewery: Ithaca Brewing Seasonal Availability: July – October
Country Pumpkin is our medium-bodied harvest ale brewed with a medley of flavorful malt, pumpkin puree, Magnum hops and a touch of seasonal spices.The masterful blend of 2-Row, Vienna, Munich, Caramunich and Honey malt with Magnum hops balances the sweet pumpkin with an aroma of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and allspice to create a rich, malty ale for the autumn season.Delight in the deep golden-orange glow while savoring the complex, malt-forward flavors and surprisingly dry finish of our new curcubitaceous ale.
Originating from Cologne (Köln), Germany, the Kölsch style is historically only brewed along the Rhine (Rhein) River. The style is so regional that Germans in other parts of the country may not even be able to get it. We brought the style here and added our own little bit of personality by making the traditionally 4.5% alcohol beer closer to 7%. This full flavored dreamy Kölsch will stand out from the rest with its strong pineapple-like aroma and complex fruity flavor.
A cold weather game changer of a beer, Embrr is every bit as rich and tasty as its sonorous name suggests. A true wake up call if you haven’t started packing away your Summer whites yet. Embrr (not a typo!) is brewed with a hefty portion of rye and flaked rye to give this smooth porter a rich chocolaty body and hint of spice. This lovingly crafted porter may just be Ithaca Beer’s finest sweater-weather, crunch-through-fallen-leaves, warm-your-toes-by-the-fire kind of beer to come barreling out of the fermenters, into bottles, and onto your taste buds.
Ithaca Excelsior White Gold
ABV: 8% Category: Craft / Specialty Seasonal Availability: Limited Beverage Type: Rusic Pale Wheat Ale
A Belgo-American ale brewed with domestic barley and French wheat malts, the finest continental and US grown hops, and fermented with Belgian, English and Wild yeasts. Enjoy the glowing opaque appearance, fruity and herbal aromas, zesty mouthfeel and bone-dry finish.
Ithaca Flower Power
ABV: 8% Category: Craft / Specialty Food Pairing: Cuisine (Curried, Thai) Cheese (peppery; Monterey / Pepper Jack, sharp; Blue, Cheddar, pungent; Gorg Seasonal Availability: Year Round Beverage Type: American Pale Ale
Elegantly traditional and rich in its hop character, this India Pale Ale is thirst-quenching and soul-satisfying. Each sip delivers a bounty of herbal and floral hop character, balanced by the fruity signature of our house yeast. Cheers!
2008 TAP-NY Silver Medal Winner. 2008 National IPA Championship Final Four.
Green Trail delivers a mighty hop punch, but also has a smooth malt body that masterfully balances that famous Ithaca Beer hop intensity. Green Trail has “instant hit” potential with die-hard hop heads and new craft drinkers alike. Weighing in at 6.0% ABV, Green Trail neither overwhelms taste buds nor underwhelm palates as sessionable and approachable IPAs often can. Ithaca Beer’s lead brewer, Bill Ballweber put it best, “Green Trail is just a perfect everyday, go-to, instant-crowd-pleaser IPA.”
“What is Green Trail?” one might ask. For founder, Dan Mitchell, Green Trail is a mindset. “It’s about blazing a path that sets you apart from the norm, or that way of thinking out of the ordinary. It’s on that green trail, you often, grow, discover, experience and hopefully improve your surroundings just a little bit…we’re on the Green Trail around here (at Ithaca Beer), are you?”
Ithaca Ground Break
ABV: 6% Category: Craft / Specialty Food Pairing: Grilled meat or fish. Tangy cheeses like Feta cheese Seasonal Availability: Spring
An Americanized – think hoppy – Saison, Ground Break is brewed with generous amounts of Amarillo, Crystal and Glacier hops and flaked rye. It’s fermented with a blend of Belgian and American yeasts.Enjoy the very dry and hoppy bite of Ground Break as the first signs of change start breaking up the long cold winter!
Ithaca Java Power
Ithaca Nut Brown
ABV: 4.9% Category: Craft / Specialty Food Pairing: Cheese (earthy; Camembert, Fontina, nutty; Asiago, Colby, Parmesan) Meat (Pork, Grilled Meat) Seasonal Availability: Year Round Beverage Type: English Brown Ale
The rich mahogany hue of the Nut Brown is the first thing you will notice. You’ll find subtle hints of both chocolate and coffee. We delicately blend chocolate and caramel malts with four others to make this flavorful, easy drinking beer. The malt character will appeal to those looking for a moderately dark ale, but the smoothness is what will surprise all.
Partly Sunny is our interpretation of the classic Belgian Wit bier. This unfiltered ale has a unique spicy flavor and dry finish, making it light and refreshing. Pilsen malt and four varieties of wheat create the yellow color, white foamy head, and signature cloudiness of a wit beer.
Ithaca Rustic Harvest
Ithaca Happy Pils
Brilliantly clear and refreshing, this German Pilsner boasts a healthy amount of spicy noble Germans hops, and a dynamic, yet restrained malt backbone. Our Happy Pils is bound to bring a smile to any craft beer lover’s face.
Ithaca Smoked Porter
ABV: 7.5% Category: Craft / Specialty Food Pairing: Smoky BBQ! Great in Chili or for braising, (Cheeses) Buttery cheeses like Brie or Havarti Brewery: Ithaca Brewing Seasonal Availability: September – January
As sumptuous as it is dark, this porter is full-bodied with big fruit ale notes and leaves a nice toasted head.
Ithaca Hellish Lager
This refreshing true-to-style helles has a subtle malt character and a delicate cast of supporting noble German Tettnang hops. Enjoy the light body, soft mouthfeel, and brilliantly clear, straw yellow presentation of our latest easy drinking, hellishly delicious limited release.