Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ithaca is Gorges -- Part II

Digging into the Ithaca box a little deeper, and I came up with a Cascazilla. The brewery sez:
The name CascaZilla is a play on both the name of our local Cascadilla Gorge and the monster amounts of Cascade hops in this beer. This red ale gets its distinctive color from a healthy portion of caramel malt, which also lends some body and sweetness to the beer. The predominant flavor and aroma of this beer, however, is brought to you by the fresh American hops.
Yes, indeed. The beer's surprisingly gulpable for being so hoppy and so big (7%), and even a Lager-drinker at our caroling party loved it. Like the label, too: the monster movie stuff with the idyllic image of the gorge falls in the middle of it. Ithaca's come a long way from four year-round beers (solid, but not what you'd call exciting) and a couple seasonals (I never thought I'd see Flower Power again, and I'm so glad they brought it back). Now they have beers like this, the big bottle wonders (working my way through a few of those, should post on them), and real promotion -- and they're in Philly.

So...you should go see them. Ithaca really is a town worth visiting. Very cool, and an early entry in the East's good beer scene (the Ithaca Chapter House, which was once a brewpub with a bitching-good blonde bock), a nationally-known vegetarian restaurant (Moosewood, and even a carnivore like me likes it), a hopping 24/7/365 deli with excellent sammiches (Shortstop Deli) and surrounded by fantastic Finger Lakes scenery...oh, and did I mention there's a seriously great cidery there, too? We'll probably be passing through the town at some point in the next week, it's always fun.

4 comments:

Rich Pawlak said...

The very first beer I posted about in my blog! A grove of grapefruit trees in that nose! And justa good oevrall gulp of a beer. I'm also diggin their nut brown and peach wheat too. And I dont evern like fruit beers!

sam k said...

I vacationed with the family around the finger lakes in 2004, and visited Ithaca Brewing. It was a small storefront; a draft-only operation, and I didn't like any of their beers enough to even buy a growler to go.

Yet now, EVERYTHING I read about their beers is not only positive, it's positively intriguing! I'm assuming some sort of sea change occurred in the intervening four-plus years, and I promise to check out an Ithaca brew the next time I have the opportunity.

You are on the money about the town, too. A beautiful setting and a great university town with compelling scenery, dining diversity, and all those waterfalls! Actually much like my own State College (without the waterfalls). Hope to go back soon and bring a growler home!

Alan said...

We are huge fans of Ithaca. Haven't been since February due to the fostering not jiving with international setting but in 2006, I think we were there six times. Hugely family friendly, site of Finger Lake Beverages as well as the Sciencenter and The Museum of the Earth not to mention Purity Dairy.

Ithaca needs to be the site of a beer blogger's regional get together in 2009.

roan22 said...

...And they are really good!! I met and briefly talked to Ithaca's [assumed SEPA-area] sales rep at this year's Kennett Beerfest..a young guy about 25, I was begging him to send cases plus more draft of Flower Power down to Philly...I love that beer, but this is coming from a true hophead as you know. :)