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Finger Lakes Beverage Center
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
605 W State St
phone: (607) 277-2337
(Place added by: bog)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I was excited when my brother told me about a beer store in Ithaca with a good selection of beers, but was slightly skeptical that it had any better selection than stores I had been in previously. My skepticism was fueled further by the appearance of the outside of the place; it looks like any old collegetown six-pack store, full of neon barlights in the windows. It was only upon closer inspection of their window decorations that I realized they were advertising good beers!
The miniscule storefront belies the enormity of the shop inside. The place is quite large and has rows of well-stocked shelves lined up with a great selection of craft brews (including specialty sodas). I was pretty overwhelmed and couldn't decide what to get. Fortunately, their pick-n-mix six pack deals makes it easier to sample a wider range of beers without sucking your wallet dry.
A must for anyone in, or passing through, Ithaca.
03-29-2006 16:10:03 |
More by MrDark
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've got a 4 and change hour drive back from Syracuse ahead of me and I'm thinking that this will probably be the only opportunity I'll ever have to hit Ithaca, as I'm so very seldom in the middle of New York state. It's not exactly along the way to or from anywhere and a good hour round trip off the highway, but I can probably get a good "one-two" in. Mind you, the weather's got to hold, but slow and steady always wins the race so I'll just point the car south west and...
Took me and up and down the block to find Finger Lakes tucked away, but it was well worth the hunt. You know what you've got when you enter the place as you can get a pretty decent view of the place, though it's more than all that. The first thing you do is lateral to the far wall and see what's going on in that imports aisle, Belgians along the wall and other imports behind you. Cantillon, De Dolle, Fantome, Hansens, Caracole, all the usual suspects and a couple of unusual items. Likewise, a good collection of English & German opposite. The next 2 aisles hold mostly American micros, local and regional (Ithaca, Middle Ages, Southern Tier, Cooperstown, Saranac, Keegans, Blue Point, Brooklyn, Victory, Weyerbacher, Stoudts, Long Trail, Otter Creek, Magic Hat, Harpoon, Cisco, Buzzards Bay, Sam Adams, Smutty, Allagash, Atlantic, Shipyard, DogFishHead) and not so (Boulder, Great Divide, Flying Dog, Celis, Lost Coast, Sierra, Anchor, Rogue, Stone, Anderson Valley, Mendocino, North Coast). A couple of bottles of Heavyweight Black Saison made Ithaca feel close to home.
Wasn't 'til I was around the far side that I noticed the growler pour area. Currently 11 taps (Flying Bison Skye Pilot Scotch Ale, Ridgeway Lump of Coal, Celis Grand Cru, Arrogant Bastard, Goose Island Christmas Ale, Rogue Brutal Bitter, Sierra Celebration, Avery Old Jubilation, Piraat, Lake Placid Ubu Ale, AB Winter Bourbon Cask Ale).
The rear corner of the store is packed with a most extensive collection of juice and sodas. All sorts of small and local brands with cutesy packagings. Also, they've extended us the courtesy of tucking all the crappy macros out of the way so they aren't a nuisance to anyone.
Good snacks and a nice glassware selection in the corner. Bought me a bottle of Pater Lieven and a couple of Cantillon tumblers and hit the road. Worth the visit if you're in these parts.
02-25-2006 16:50:46 |
More by slander
quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Since we were about to leave New York, we stopped in at Finger Lakes Beverage Center to stock up on samples to take home with us. The selection was pretty good for local beers and they even had several West Coast beers that I can't find in stores in Washington. The store layout was quite confusing, while the macros, Belgians, English and other imports were grouped together, there were Ommegang brewery beers in with both the Belgians and the American section.
A majority of the store is devoted to American micros but the layout for the Americans seemed to lack structure. In the middle of a row of New York beer, there'd be a Colorado brewery...I didn't get it. Oh well. We will probably return to Finger Lakes Beverage Center again next time we're out just to get a growler or a variety of hard-to-find New York brews.
01-01-2006 05:03:18 |
More by ccs
quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
My main beer store and THE king of craft beer in Ithaca (and from what I can tell, the best thing between Rochester and Poughkeepsie). The store is conveniently located right off the highway but also right in town, easy for anyone to get to.
Beer is arranged by country of origin in aisles. Discounts / bargains are at the front of the store right when you walk in; they usually have a sale on some odd macro (rarely cases, I mean 22 oz Buds or a case of 7 oz Coors Light cans etc.) and a few micros that are going out of season or need to get some turnover. Recently this has been anything from Woodchuck cider to Mackeson XXX stout to mixed summer seasonals (Magic Hat, Sam Adams, etc.). These prices are good, expect $19 for a case.
Great selection although they are missing some hard to gets (3Floyds, etc) but no one is perfect. Macros are found way in the back, in coolers, along with some cold micros that may not be in the main part of the store (some Stone bombers for instance) so make sure you walk the whole thing.
Service is good, they are nice folks who try most of the time. They'll admit when they aren't sure about something. They sell me sorted, boxed bombers for my homebrew needs for $.10 apiece, saves me time and effort. They have also been nice about returning keg taps late, just give them a call to let them know.
Around 10 growler lines, ranging from $7-13 to fill. They sell cheap growlers (the jugs themselves) also and have a growler club, 10 fills gets you the 11th free and $1 off on Mondays. Bottom of the growler line is stuff like Post Road Pumpkin, top is Victory Golden Monkey, these rotate frequently though and usually have some seasonals.
Great keg list, they have mostly macros cold and ready to go but if you order in advance they can pick you up an astounding selection, although it might cost you (Allagash is $180, not sure what most primo kegs cost other places). Also a nice selection of glassware and they sell bags of ice and packs of cups for kegs.
I do get patronized sometimes though as a younger consumer, and when I went in to order Crazy Ed's Cave Creek Chili, an employee I'd never seen before said they didn't carry it, when I've gotten it there before. He had no idea what beer I was talking about, in fact, even though the store had sold it for years.
The biggest and best beer place in the area; Ithaca Coffee's beer section is just like a miniature version of this, but is the only place comparable in town.
11-14-2005 20:22:01 |
More by semihobo
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Thank the beer gods for this gift to Central NY. I came down from Syracuse for a day trip to Ithaca and stopped by on my way out of town.
Easily the best selection in CNY, hands down. These guys buy beer unavailable through their distributor to bring a prety awesome selection.
I was able to get a growler of SN Celebration Ale, a St. Bernardus Abt 12 and a mix-a-6 all for pretty good prices. Very good single selection in addition to everything.
Come here for hard to find Belgian and West Coast beers.
11-14-2005 04:35:36 |
More by tempest
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place isn't as big as Beers Of The World or Half Time, but the space they have they put to good use. They cram the macro swill all the way in the back, and they waste no space in the Craft Brew section - it's all good stuff. Seriously, you could go down any aisle with a blindfold on and randomly grab a bottle, and you won't be disappointed with what you selected. Very clean and well maintained shelves, and I haven't found an expired beer there yet. They also have 11 beers on tap for growler fills, and they are always good selections.
Service is always good both when filling growlers and asking questions about the selection. I get to this store occasionally when I am in Ithaca for work, on several occasions when I make a large purchase, they have hooked me up with a free glass, which is always appreciated.
11-05-2005 20:32:54 |
More by BlastTyrant
quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Being from Pennsylvania,I am not used to being able to walk into a place and buy 1 beer, a 6pack, a case or a growler all in one place. My wife thought I was a kid in a candy shop(a big kid in a beer store) when I walked in. I was so confused as there was so much to look at. Nicely laid out per location(import or domestic micro) I had a great time just browsing and took back home some hard to get brews. Great place, a bit pricey although. Cases were a little overpriced. A great place to get samples though. Pennsylvania sucks for beer selections!
10-05-2005 20:38:41 |
More by katdaddy210
quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
A very good selection, a notch down quantity but not quality-wise from Beers of the World. Helpful friendly staff and nice store, but they are only average in their knowledge of beer and what they had, but they try. The stock turns pretty good, and there were a few beers not carried elsewhere. I did not have to go out of my way to get here rather than buy everything Beers of the World, but I would recommend it to anyone passing through. Prices are fair. Nicely laid out, and they let you use the bathroom.
05-12-2005 05:44:38 |
More by Sammy
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Tucked into a little plaza just up the street from one of the yummiest restaraunts in Ithaca (Maxie's Supper Club), this gem is allllmost as good as HalfTime in Poughkeepsie (just a slightly smaller selection), and is a must stop if you are within a 60-miles radius of Ithaca. Something like 8 growler lines, with impeccable service, careful filling and sealing (a nice plastic seal around the cap and neck of the growler last time I was there), and what appear to be larger-than-average growlers (though I can't confirm that; it may just be the shape). Growlers I've had filled there: Ithaca Double IPA, Rogue Brutal Bitter, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and Anchor Christmas Ale.
Excellent selection of local brews, styles from around the world, glassware, special gift packs, and gourmet sodas. Cave-aged Ommegang, Allagash Curieux, and a number of Cantillons and English ales are among some of the rarities I've picked up. Service is soooo friendly, I mean, they really are excited about your purchase. The staff is quite knowledgeable as well.
I thought prices were more than reasonable. I wish this place had been there when I went to school in Ithaca; I would have spent my days even drunker and poorer.
04-20-2005 20:14:36 |
More by bultrey
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
What more to say than... awesome store! This is truly a top notch establishment, easily one of the best beer stores I've ever visited. Felt like a little brother of the King of All Beers Stores, Half Time in Poughkeepsie.
Where to start? I'll just describe it in random circles - very strong in the American selection, with both sixers and bottles out, but in small quantities for quick turnover and little heat exposure. Pretty much all of the great breweries available to the state of New York is available, though not completely all. The cold bombers and sixers are way in the back.
Belgian selection is small but well picked. Just one side of an aisle, but smart choices of De Ranke, Fantome, Gouden Carolus, and others of the best of Belgium. German and British beers are on the other side - again, well chosen though not breathtaking.
Twelve growler taps are now up for consumption, with most refills around $6 - 9, with only the 12% alcohol North Coast Old Stock available for $12. All are pressure filled with care and sealed with electrician's tape (these people know what they're doing!). Nice variety of NY choices like Southern Tier and imports like Anderson Valley and Sierra Nevada.
Impressive soda selection of 150 kinds in every flavor imaginable. Couldn't even find the Coke and Pepsi, which like the Bud and Coors, is stuffed in a dark corner. Got to love a store that de-emphasizes such brands.
A small store but very well-lit, clean, and well-organized. Fabulous customer service and they really know and enjoy good beer. No idiot high schoolers working the cash register (actually had a great conversation with the wife and husband owners) and not a whiff of anything less than hand-crafted, artisanal brew at great prices. Click on the link to their website and you can get a big hint of the quality that infuses every inch of the store.
12-29-2004 23:10:03 |
More by nomad
Finger Lakes Beverage Center in Ithaca, NY
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