The shores of the cosmic ocean

As a kid, watching the original Cosmos TV series, I was truly inspired by Carl Sagan and his ability to not only make science something I could understand, but also something that I desperately wanted to be part of. So, when I started thinking about college it was only natural that I seriously considered studying astronomy at nearby Cornell University where I might just get to take a course or two with the legend himself. That plan never really worked out. But, it put a desire in me to go to Ithaca, NY. As a teenager with no car, looking at a town an hour away seemed as though I was standing on the shores of the cosmic ocean. Looking out at the stars and wishing I could make the journey. Now, a one hour drive seems so common that going to Ithaca from Johnson City is little worse than heading to the grocery store. It is, however as distant as I’m willing to go and still consider something a hometown brewery.

When I started collecting bottles many years ago, Ithaca Beer Company Apricot Wheat was one of the few craft beers one could get in a typical grocery store. Years later, the Apricot Wheat beer bottle has changed in appearance.

Ithaca Apricot Wheat then (left) and now (right)

But Ithaca Beer Company is still going strong, and they are well worth a visit. They have a great big brewery, tap room, and restaurant that sits on a street that they apparently got to name.

Ithaca Beer Company
Ithaca Beer Company Sign
Ithaca Beer Drive

Outside, they have stacks of kegs and great big brewing tanks.

Ithaca Beer Company stacks of kegs
Ithaca Beer Company brewing tanks

Inside, crowds are bustling about having a great time and patiently waiting until the frosty weather improves to a point where the outdoor area becomes a little more friendly.

Busy day inside Ithaca Beer Company

Also inside, they have great beer in all manner of sizes.

Ithaca Beer in a variety of sizes
Flight of Ithaca Beer

Critical for my particular mission is that they have a good selection of beer in regular 12 oz bottles. So, this was one place I didn’t have to get a giant growler of beer that I was going to have to drink in a limited amount of time. In fact, I still haven’t finished all my bottles.  If you look close at the picture below, you can see that Flower Power and Embrr are still full.

Ithaca Beer Company bottles from last trip

So, that does it for the hometown brewery series. any breweries left that I talk about require leaving the cosmic shores and traveling out into the vast ocean of breweries elsewhere in the state, the country, the world, the galaxy, or even the universe.  I’ll let you all know as soon as I come across a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

Author: UsedHair

I am a labeorphilist (one who collects beer bottles) looking to discuss the adventures often involved in obtaining the bottles and the challenges that accompany the hobby.

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