Saturday, January 8, 2011

finger lakes ladies' week: ithaca beer company

It has become part of our traditions, since age 23, that my best friend and I flock to the Finger Lakes of New York, at least once a year. Our first visit, which we tagged along with her experienced parents, concluded with a laughable crock of stories, and a fine case plus more of fine wines that I cannot typically find in my local state shops.

Last year, however, we planned two trips, because I suppose it seems that age 25 has just been a hard one, and we get giddy sharing our trips to upstate New York with new wine trail trekkers. Back in November, we packed up our traveling boots and invited my cousins to a mid-week excursion, with the first-stop of the whole journey being at Ithaca Beer Company in Ithaca, New York.
While it seems that the Finger Lakes continue to add more and more microbreweries to their handcrafted scene, I was long overdue in my beer-obsessed ways to wonder into Ithaca's tasting room. And honestly, after being in the car for four plus hours, a stop at any brew hub is appropriately in order.

A fanatic over IBC's Groundbreak and other mid-year seasonals, I knew that a winter trip would allow me to try, at the least, a few new concoctions. Like many new female beer drinkers, back when I was diving head first into the world of hopped sensations, I flocked toward fruity brews, including the Apricot Wheat. Of course, my drinking sessions have since become more and more complex, but I believe I will always be fond of that Ithaca beer.
During our visit, Ithaca was offering a taste test with the Apricot Wheat, which is typically concocted with an apricot extract. However, they are considering switching to a blend made with apricot puree, and I couldn't be any more in support of that decision. (The aftertaste is much more pleasant; overall, a mighty fine and fresh swig).
Other beers on tap included the Nut Brown, the Flower Power, the CascaZilla and the Pale Ale, but what I was must excited about was grabbing a bunch of bottles from their Excelsior series, including the rustic wheat ale, the White Gold.

Ithaca Beer Company was indeed an alluring adventure to jumpstart our girls' trip, and if you have yet to swing by their HQ, plan your trek, ASAP. More information on the brewery may be found at