Ithaca Beer offers tasty locavore lunches and dinners at their new Taproom

February 19, 2013

The conventional wisdom is that you can't have a brewpub that has both great beer and great food, and after over fifteen years making great beer, the folks at Ithaca Beer Company have set out to disprove that by making some great food, too, at their new Taproom.

The Ithaca Beer Taproom's new bar.The Ithaca Beer Taproom's new bar.On the south side of the brand new Ithaca Beer building set back near the intersection of Route 13 and 13A south of Ithaca, behind the building that housed their brewery and tasting room for most of the company's history, the Taproom features a bar and casual table service Wednesday through Sunday, as well as a new beer and soda shop.

Whether you're relaxing at the bar or grabbing a table, start out with a local cheese plate or a charcuterie plate that features a grilled selection of Autumn's Harvest sausages and Piggery pate. The cheeses and meats are just a few examples of the locavore focus.

Why would you dip your fries in just one sauce when you could have three?Why would you dip your fries in just one sauce when you could have three?The starters menu includes a smooth and hearty cheddar ale soup, made with the brewery's own Pale Ale, or go with a fry "flight" -- crispy hand-cut fries served with a trio of dipping sauces including a tart taproom ketchup and chipotle aioli.

The menu features ten-inch wood-fired pizzas made by Finger Lakes Flatbreads owner Leslie Muhlhahn, who's the Taproom chef. If you're familiar with Leslie's flatbreads, you'll recognize the classic combinations of tomato sauce with basil and mozzarella, and garlic herb oil with asiago. The dough is made with organic flour from New York State's Champlain Valley Milling.

The vegan burger with a side salad.The vegan burger with a side salad.Other options include an excellent local grass-fed burger, a vegan brew burger made with mushroom and brewer's grain topped with housemade poblano mayonnaise, and specials that have included a New York strip steak, pork loin sandwiches, and grilled salmon. The generous roasted beet salad includes mixed greens and Lively Run goat cheese in a creamy basil vinaigrette.

Of course the Taproom has about a dozen Ithaca Beers available, ranging from their year-round Apricot Wheat and Cascazilla to such seasonal items as the Gorges Smoked Porter and Cold Front. There are also about a half dozen Finger Lakes wines as well as Ithaca's root beer and ginger beer. You can sit at the bar and buy a beer, or pre-selected flights of four beers, but we're sad to see that Ithaca Beer no longer offers tastings of their product line.

Visit the Ithaca Beer Taproom from noon to 9 Wednesday through Sunday, off Route 13A near Buttermilk Falls State Park. Check out ithacabeer.com or call 607-273-0766 and tell them you heard about them here.

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