I've been itching to get a taste of Great Lakes' newest brew and asked her to pick up some Lake Erie Monster if the store had it and to surprise me if not. Thus, I was presented with the result of the latter situation, a sixer of Ithaca Ground Break, an American-style saison.
The Enthusiast chose this beer because she recently enjoyed Ithaca's Apricot Wheat and knew that I tend to enjoy the saisons. I can't fault that logic.
Ground Break is a seasonal, available from February to April, and weighs in at 6 percent ABV. It pours a golden orange in color with a thick frothy head. This beer suffers from a trend I've noticed in American brewing where the hops consume the flavor. And as a "springy" seasonal, what little flavor that did pop through was overly sweet.
The overwhelming sensation was fizzy, hoppy and sugary -- not tart like I expect from a saison. If that's your thing, go for it. But it doesn't suit my palate.
To me, the hops weigh down the usual light and refreshing quality I prefer from this style of beer. I guess that's why it's an "American-style" saison. What, does that mean in name only?
Maybe I'll "cellar" the rest to see if it gets better with age.
At a Glance
- Who: Ground Break (Ithaca Beer Co.)
- What: 6 percent ABV, American-style saison, six-pack
- When: May 17, 2010
- Where: The Viper Lair
- Why: Trying new things is my thing
[Drunkard's note: The Booze Hounds Beer Rating scale (0-5 Hiccups) is based on a complex mathematical formula that would be impossible to explain to such a dunderheaded audience. Let's just say the higher the score, the more likely I am to drink it again. Natty Light would get a zero.]