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The Chapter House
Taps: 49 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar ]
400 Stewart Ave
phone: (607) 277-9782
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 27
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
Visited on a wintery February night the Chapter House was a welcome comfort from the blustery dark. Plenty of wood paneling and old pictures from Cornell's days of yore adorning the walls gave off quite a lived in feel. Everything was just a little worn and faded. There were not too many people when we got there and it stayed that way. The bartender was quick with the pints and there was some great beer to be had. Heavily influenced by the immediate areas Southern Tier, Ithaca, Middle Ages and Wagner Valley were all well represented. The rest of the taps were taken up with the likes of Victory, Rogue, North Coast, Stone etc. All the beers were fresh and not too cold. All in all this is a must visit if you are in the Ithaca area.
02-13-2005 02:07:33 |
More by GreatPondBrewer
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
At the time, the hour round trip off the highway to and from Ithaca seemed like a good idea, but now I'm looking down the barrel of a 4 and change hour drive home. I'd say that it's just now that I'm thinking that a beer or two may take the edge off some, though really it was by design from the get go, I knew what I was in for...
Lots of old well worn wood here, the bar "C" shaped running the length to the rear, seating about a dozen. The mirrored barback has a beer can display running above it, just below the mounted set of rowing oars that probably belong to the boat that hangs from the ceiling. Glass lamp lighting above and wall mounted lamps behind the bar. The walls are covered with old Cornell fraternity and sorority composite photos, athlete and club pictures. 4 blackboards hanging to the rear list the tap and bottle selections and a collection of old beer coasters line the area above these boards and on the trim of the panelled glass front windows.
Dozens of ancient ceramic mugs and glasses from a past mug club of yore hang alternating from the ceiling, twisty metal lock games dangling on hooks from the bar back, and a single TV to the rear near the blackboards. The front area below the windows has a small sign reading "Wise guy's corner". I sat there because... well, yeah.
A row of taps 30 long sits on the bar, with a pair more holding 10 each below both ends of the bar. 50 taps in all, nothing on the hand pump (sooo sad), and oddly enough, a single bottle being Delirium Tremons. Good taps, locals & regionals (Ithaca, Middle Ages, Southern Tier, Wagner Valley, Brooklyn, Victory, Magic Hat) and not (Lost Coast, Bear Republic, Great Divide, Anderson Valley, Rogue, Anchor, North Coast), and so so imports (Youngs Double Chocolate Stout, Fullers ESB, Guinness, Harp, Bass, Paulaner Hefe, Stella, Hoegaarden, Jever, Boddingtons, Pilsner Urquell). Beers were fresh, no problems there, and the bartender let me try one of these and one of those, too, thank you.
Beyond the bar lies a room holding a pair of pool tables, electronic darts, a pinball machine, a foosball table, and a popcorn machine. There's a side room with some big tables, more Cornell pics and Phil's golf game, and a far room with an area for bands to set up, a giant arial Ithaca photo, some beer label displays, and about 8 tables, scratched, carved, and beaten to all comfortable hell.
I pledged my fraternity in the 80's, during the "hazing is amazing" years. My chapter house was never this good.
02-27-2006 00:12:10 |
More by slander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
This place has an authentic pub feel. There is a decent amount of college memorabilia hanging around that gives the place a heady ivy league feel, yet the place is dingy enough to have the feel of a working man's pub. It is inviting. There are 49 beers on tap, a very decent selection of craft beer - local NY & PA dominate.The bartender was informative and helpful. He pointed out that the Rogue Dead Guy I wanted was a mislabeled keg - very helpful without being pretentious. This place is classic and a must try.
03-03-2012 02:50:18 |
More by Chickenhawk9932
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
In my four years of living in Ithaca I never visited this place. I always meant to, but just never got around to it. I finally made my way over there while visiting a friend and man do I wish I had gone more often while living there. On a Thursday night at around ten, it was not very crowded or loud at all. There is a choice in three main rooms, with one of them being a place for a group of friends to share a few pints, and another having pool tables if that be what you're looking for.
The list of brews on tap there is quite impressive. About 50 or so taps with mostly US micro brews. Nice selection from Stone and others out in California to Ithaca beers brewed right down the road. The only complaint was that one of the Stone IPAs I had there was a bit off. It could have been the batch, but it also could have been sitting in the keg too long, not too sure.
Overall a great place to go for some good beer and never have to have the same brew twice in a night.
Oh yeah and free popcorn.
02-26-2008 20:51:40 |
More by penguinjive7
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5
The Chapter House is at its best on a cold snowy winter night. There's nothing better than warming up inside with a quality brew. The beer selection is great, the best in Ithaca for anything on tap. The people who work there are always helpful and they know what they're doing. The inside is all wood with years of carvings on both the walls and tables. There is a good mix of patrons, mostly older college aged/grad students plus some residents. There are a couple pool tables some darts, and of course free popcorn.
12-11-2004 20:45:39 |
More by JackStraw22
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Had a chance to stop in here for a quick pint of Cascazilla and I am happy to report that it met the expectations painted by all the previous reviewers. It's got the old neighborhood charm and college ambiance as advertized with the wonderful big wooden bar and essentially an entire bar of dark wooden warmth. I counted 30 taps and the range was very broad, including plenty of local, regional and international beauties. I didn't see a lot of really wild stuff, but it was plenty impressive and i was sorry I couldn't stay for more. It was a nice crowd combining students and some older folks. The bartender was quick and pleasant although I didn't stay long enough to fully experience things like I would have liked to. Good music, a larger room attached to the barroom looks like a comfortable place to sit with friends or do some homework with a beer. Decorations include various breweriana knick-knacks. I look forward to going back and can only say it would be tough to stay out of this place if i was a student at Cornell!
02-19-2011 06:17:25 |
More by Durge
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Amyliz4 and I visited this place Memorial Day 2011 after a visit to Ithaca. Some helpful BAs from the Mid-Atlantic group suggested that I go here to be able to try Middle Ages Blackheart Stout. The Chapter House had that beer as well as a few other things from Middle Ages, plus quite a few other offerings.
The atmosphere was really nice and laid back. The room was fairly dark and there were quite a few regulars sitting at the bar. Dark wood all around. It definitely had a bit of a pub vibe. The bartender was extremely friendly and helpful, chatting with us and telling stories about the bar. It was nice that he went out of his way to be friendly with people who were clearly from out of town. (If it wasn't apparent already, the Virginia IDs surely gave it away.)
I think there were about 40 taps with a really nice selection of pub standards (which only took up a few of the taps) along with tons of regional beer. Loads of things from Ithaca and quite a few beers from Middle Ages. Glassware was appropriate. Prices were definitely in check. Overall, it was a great experience and I will happily return if and when I get back to Ithaca.
06-11-2011 11:21:06 |
More by Thorpe429
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $
Chappy served me my first legal beer. It got me through papers and introduced me to many of the beers I love today. I love the Chapter House!
Now that my bias is duly noted: Chappy has a huge selection in a dank wooden atmosphere. You'll feel like you're drinking in the 19th century in the middle of the Northeast's golden years of beer. What more could you want? Deeply etched picnic-style tables and benches are thrown together in a room inexplicably separated from the tiny room that houses the bar. Greasy and small window panes are housed in steel grids, all in swinging wooden frames that never quite shut in the winter. Free popcorn and foosball reside in the third room. Bathrooms are down a narrow and steep staircase. Aside the obligatory English football scarves, there are old photos of Cornell students, some actually from the 19th century, as well as, if I'm remembering correctly, a rowing shell.
If you're staying in Collegetown or on campus, be forewarned: the Chapter House is at the bottom of precipitous Williams Street. Be prepared for a sober skip down and a drunken slog back up!
If you're a Cornell student, don't go to Dunbar's or Johnny O's. You'll be able to find bars like these wherever life takes you. Go to the Chapter House, because you'll never visit anywhere else quite like it.
03-26-2010 08:21:39 |
More by drummstikk
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
Atmosphere: Geographically and spiritually distinct from Collegetown and the “downtown” Ithaca College bars. The crowd is a combination of undergrads, grad students, and “townies” and spreads out between the bar area, the pool/foosball area, and the back room with long tables. The rooms are well-worn and covered with carved initials, etc. Free popcorn was strewn over the floor, but the place is well-maintained, so the floor, tables and benches are not sticky.
Quality: has soared in recent years. An obvious effort has been made to upgrade the service, quality and variety of beer. The beer is well-poured at appropriate temperatures.
Service: I'm usually here during busy weekends (Reunions, Homecomings, hockey or football games) when people pile up at the bar, but service was good. Bartenders are usually willing to answer questions, offer samples, and make suggestions.
Selection: There are now ~50 taps (35 behind the bar and 2 banks at either end of the bar) and one beer engine. Offerings were listed on a blackboard, and ranged in price from $3 to $6.50 for draughts such as Aventinus, $5; Dreadnaught, $4.50; HopDevil, $3.50; Ithaca Brewing, $3. 75¢ extra for Imperial pints. 48oz. pitchers were priced at 3X the pint price. Some barley wines etc. come in 12oz. servings. Bottles like Unibroue 11 range to $11.
The Chapter House has come through several owners and A LONG WAY from being a run-down “townie” bar and one incarnation as an alcohol-free club. Reopened as a brewpub offering decent beer. More recently, it has become a major outlet for Ithaca Brewing and other micros. Selections during my last visit included Ithaca’s Flower Power IPA (seasonal, but shouldn’t be), nut brown, pale, and Anniversary Stout. Also, Dreadnaught IPA, Middle Ages Old Marcus, Blackheart Stout, Druid Fluid, and Ye Olde Kilt Tilter and London Pride on the beer engine. They also offer a good variety of glassware for proper service: (Shaker, tulip, Imperial, and half pints, chalices, yards and half-yards). They also have a growler program.
Backwash: As far as I know, the best beer-bar in Ithaca and a MUST VISIT!
Revisited 10/23-25/03: This place gets better and better. I had a long talk with James, who gave me several samples and filled a growler with 2002 Dragonslayer. They also had MA Wailing Wench and 3 kegs of 2000 Bigfoot scored from a defunct upstate bar! I upgraded Service and Selection scores to 4.5 and 5.0 respectively.
06-19-2003 13:54:50 |
More by Dantes
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Visited twice during a 4 day visit to the Ithaca area in mid July 2011. Awesome beer selection about 30 taps. Lots of NY and PA brews as well as other great ones. Had Ithaca Flower Power, Southern Tier IPA, Middle Ages IPA and tried tastes of a Victory Brewing choice and English Porter. they had a good selection of stouts, porters and wheats, mostly East Coast but a few West Coast as well. Something for everyone even PBR. No food which is a shame as we would have eaten here every meal because of the great beer selection. Sat at bar both times we were there, great service and good conversations with what appeared to be regulars. Highly recommend if in Ithaca.
07-24-2011 03:08:22 |
More by bird18
The Chapter House in Ithaca, NY
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