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Finger Lakes Beverage Center
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
605 W State St
phone: (607) 277-2337
(Place added by: bog)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$$
Agree with others who have spoken of the selection: it's fantastic, even if not clearly organized. You have to browse the various narrow isles to find out what they have.
The quality of the beer in house is way high: lots of top-shelf beer. But also a wall, and I think an entire room, of college get drunk fast and taste nothing beer. Fine, sell to your local demographic, but a lot of gross shit there.
The service, well, was... fine. Nobody approached me. A couple people sort of looked my way, but then ignored me.
No food that I saw.
A very interesting looking growler bar, and I wish I'd had a growler handy.
The value, well... the usual upstate beers that are solidly priced, were solidly priced: Middle Ages, Ithaca, etc. The out of towners were somewhat to quite expensive. This is not a value buy place.
My biggest complaint was the VERY limited selections that are refrigerated: if you want me to pay $18 for a bomber or $22 for a corker and caged 750ml, can you at least have some of it refrigerated?
I accept that it might very well be the best place in Ithaca. But a 100, World Class? Nope.
12-09-2012 20:40:53 |
More by warmstorage
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place is full of craft beer, I would say between 900-1000 choices. An aisle each for Belgian, German, English, and other countries. Several isles for American craft beers, all of which are nicely organized with prices for bottles, six packs and cases displayed.
The Belgian section is excellent, with trappist brews, quite a few sours (rodenbach, cantillon, others), fantome stuff, de struise and many others.
There are also a ton of regional brews represented with their entire lineups (Middle ages, horseheads, Ithaca, Weyerbacher, Southern Tier, Erie, many more).
Besides regional beers there are tons of brews from all over the country to choose from (Avery, Troegs, Pretty Things, SN, occasional Alesmith, Bear Republic, tons of Stone, etc.). I have yet to see or find something that I thought was out of date or too old. Also, every week or two Finger Lakes gets new beers to improve their selection, which is great.
There are also 8 rotating taps for growler fills, which is something that I haven't seen at many places.
I have had a few conversations about beer with people working there, and they know their stuff, even when I have asked questions about things like Sam Adams Tiple Bock and Captain Lawrence Nor'easter, someone working at Finger Lakes had tried them and was able to tell me what I needed to know. Generally you are greeted at the door and that is it, they leave you to browse
Prices are pretty good. They compete with Wegman's, having the same prices for the few beers they have in common(although some things are a bit cheaper at Weggys).
Overall, Finger Lakes is worth a stop for anyone passing through the area.
07-29-2009 02:42:16 |
More by Hojaminbag
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
One of the few bottle shops we decided to stop at during our trip to Lake Placid, NY.
Man...they have lots of beer...isles and isles...six packs and big bottles, mix and match singles and even a growler fill area. I imagine pretty much everything that is available in NY is here...
I was greeted at the door, but pretty much left alone after that...which is fine with me.
Another note...they have the largest "craft" soda selection I have ever seen.
This store ranks right up there with the big boys of bottle shops. I am really happy I got to stop by and will make sure I stop by again if I am in the area.
02-06-2011 19:43:54 |
More by mgbickel
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: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4
I planned a party with some old college buddies, and we met in the Finger Lakes area. I was put in charge of the beer, and scouted out a local beer store. I'm seriously pleased with what I found.
I called ahead and had a nice conversation with the clerk on-duty. She was knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to work with me to get a few special-order kegs. They seem to have a good distributor.
The store itself is easy to find, and has ample parking. Compared to other NY beer stores, it doesn't have the selection of Beers of the World or Half Time. Still, it's got a wide variety of beers that cover most styles. Very nice selection of regional brews. They had about 5 or 6 beers on tap, for purchase in Growlers. I think that they could have been a little more creative in this selection (most seemed to be commonly available pale ales).
On site, the staff was pleasant and helpful.
I'm guaranteed to swing by this store on my next trip to the area.
07-31-2004 16:11:45 |
More by Suds
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: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
A place that filled a real need in Ithaca -- a great retail beer store.
Only a few years old now (my memory is foggy), FLBC should be a required visit for those that wish to educate themselves about good brew in the Northeast US.
The owners are fantastic people, very friendly, who set out with two very specific goals -- support local (and EC) breweries, and get the beer to the consumer as fresh as possible.
They've accomplished both.
At the front of the store are usually a few 3Ls and magnums of brews for special occasions (Anchor OSA, etc.), followed by three very clean, well lit aisles, double sided. It's almost as if the owner himself has pre-mapped out a path towards beer appriciation. Starting at the right, there are things like Sam Adams, Red Hook, and the like. A little further down, is Smutty, and Ithaca Beer, and Anchor. Round the corner to meet Dogfish Head, Middle Ages, Cooperstown, and the like. By the end of the line, you'll find yourself surrounded by the funky lambics and quadrupels. I would like a slightly larger Belgian section, but what's there is already great (many things I've never seen anywhere else). Besides, the focus is on the Northeastern US, and all the great breweries around there.
Everything is fresh, well organized, and the staff knows their stuff. In fact, I'd say that the husband and wife that run and own the place are just about the nicest beer store owners ever. Just incredibly genuine, friendly people.
Two other positives:
1.) All the BMC stuff is way, way in the back, tucked into a corner. For once, we don't have to take the walk to the end of the store.
2.) There are some mysteriously hard to find bottles in the back coolers, including a very wide selection from a certain San Diego brewery (but let's keep that on the hush-hush). The owners of that establishment shouldn't be worried though, as again, these beers are treated with the upmost respect and care.
Last, but not least, there's a great growler line, but I've never taken advantage of it.
One quick note -- at the end of the block, you'll find Maxie's, another BeerFly location. One block west from that, you'll find the Greenstar Co-Op, the best place in the area to get locally harvested honey for meadmaking (and dirt cheap, too!). Hitting all three is suggested.
Go, go, go, to this store if you're within a 1.5 to 2 hour drive of it or closer. You won't be disappointed.
UPDATE: It's been about 6 months since I've been here, and things keep getting better -- new additions include 5 varieties of Cantillon, the full Heavyweight line, and 6 more taps on the growler line. The belgian section has expanded by leaps and bounds, and looks to keep growing. Prices have rose by a very little bit, but I think this is an indicator of market influences, not the store struggling. Even with the new prices, I left with a great collection of brew, and still spent far less than I expected. Just a fantastic store.
12-29-2004 17:38:19 |
More by ithacabaron
quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This past weekend we took a trip to the finger lakes area. Searching beerfly confirmed that this was going to be my go-to place for beer during our extended weekend getaway. During our 3 day stay, I returned to this shop 3 times (25 minute drive one way from where we were staying.)
I was only asked once on my first visit out of 3 if I needed assistance which is completely fine with me. I usually prefer to be left alone to browse and be surprised at what I find on my own. However, some others might call that lack of service? Whatever no big deal, maybe the workers recognized me and knew I wanted to (for the most part) be left alone.
Huge selection with prices clearly identified and the prices were fair and in some instances cheaper than what I am use to seeing back in PA. Right upfront in the store are the gift pack type of varieties where you buy a couple bottles and get a glass, etc.
More than 5 rows of singles offerings with 4-packs, 6-packs and 12 packs convieniently located on the bottom 2 rows of the shelving. The bottles seemed to be arranged in a sort of area by area layout. Far left of the building had mostly Belgian offerings and some glassware to pick from. Middle couple of rows were the domestic offerings lined up by brewery.
The right side of the store had a list of 11 or 12 drafts available for growler fills. A chalk board displayed the offerings and prices which matched up with what is advertised on their web site. This draft area was placed between the register and a back section of the store that had the cold beer and soda. (I didn't enter that part of the store so I have no comments.)
The ends of the rows were displaying the seasonal offerings. Which at this time was a disturbingly large amount of offerings of pumpkin ale. "I hate pumpkin ale." I whispered to my wife. "I know, you tell me all the time. But look here is a stout/pumpkin ale." Dammit if I didn't pick one up anyway while I was waiting in line to pay.
I didn't spend much effort looking around at other beer shops in the area. Who knows, maybe I passed a better one during my travels. The point is, this place had everything I wanted and then some. I would return again.
08-30-2010 19:37:51 |
More by stakem
S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Atmosphere- looks like your average beverage store lost some points (in my book) for having Jimmy Buffet on the speakers and singing along.
Quality looked fine other than when trying to find best by dates and they seemed to have been wiped clear, the guy dusting with a wet cloth could be a culprit.
Service was fine cash guy was friendly no one asked if we needed help which is fine by me.
I think there were 3 or 4 breweries stocked here that we don't get in Buffalo which is why I wanted to stop along with more local things we only see on occasion like horseheads bc.
Some things seemed cheaper than normal and some seemed pricey I'd lean its slightly pricey here but college town best selection I expect a bit of a increase.
also if you're into craft soft drinks this place is jammed full of them it was hard to pick which birch beers I wanted for the ride home. If in Ithaca again I'll stop for sure.
08-01-2011 18:54:38 |
More by sliverX
quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Made the 50 mile trek to Ithaca to check this place out based on recommendations from the locals. I was definitely not disappointed. The store has a nice organized layout; Belgians have their section, UK and Germany have theirs, Mexico & Eastern European have theirs, and the typical widely distributed American craft brews have their 3 isles worth. FLBC has almost every NY made brew (didn't see Southampton) and a majority of the PA brews. You can get a little disoriented looking at all of the singles they have presented. They had a nice selection of imports that I haven't seen in other stores. I told myself that I wouldn't pick up any Belgians and just stick with American brews that I can't get on Long Island but alas my stash was probably 75% Belgian, oh well. Their growler station is impressive, almost a dozen different offerings. They also have some nice glassware and beer related t-shirts. Also a nice assortment of gourmet sodas. FLBC does a great job for the size of the place.
11-08-2008 02:33:39 |
More by Gmann
Finger Lakes Beverage Center in Ithaca, NY
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