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The Ginger Man

Not Rated.
The Ginger ManThe Ginger Man
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

263 Ratings
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.91%
Taps: 72
Bottles: 160
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

11 E 36th St
New York, New York, 10016-3318
United States
phone: (212) 532-3740

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @thegingermannyc

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.45/5  rDev +5%

The wife and I had to meet up with friends in the city for drinks. We decided to go earlier and get some diner. So I hopped onto BA and did a BeerFly search and found The Ginger Man. It was about 10 blocks north where we needed to be with an excellent looking brew selection and some light food stuffs. We decided to give it a try.

Walking into the place you are greated with a small glass display of beer books (M. Jackson and other books), beer glasses and bottles along with copies of The Ginger Man novel (which seems to be the name sake). The place is dark with very tall ceilings (I'd estimate 19-20 feet high). There is a long bar with many tables around. I didn't know if we could just seat ourselves or not, so we had to wait around to get that answered. We ended seating ourselves right next to the hot water radiator (that night was the coldest night of the year so far).

They claim 60 beers on tap. I didn't count so I'll give them that. The selection included almost everthing imaginable. My wife opt for a 20 oz of Stone's Smoked Porter which was fresh and wonderful. I got Delirium Tremens which was excellent. I followed it with Maredsous Triple. All beers tasted fresh and wonderful.

We accompanied the brew with beer tasting plate and the bratworst plate. The tasting plate included mustard, three large blocks of cheese (swiss, cheddar and blue), apple slices, grapes, walnuts and crusty bread. The brats included bread, mustard and a pickle slice. I was in heaven with the triple. Those Europeans know how to eat. Everything went very well with each other (save for the pickle), was very fresh and light. We ate our fill without feeling over full. Excellent.

To end a great experience, we were lucky enough to catch a cap right outside the front door.

NiceGuyMike, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of dougnboston
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%

Just in from the Ginger. Really enjoyed myself. Good crowd and nice too. Had good conversation with several and well really enjoyed myself. I think this is one of the top bars around. Proper glasses for the Belgium beers. Good, not great, but good food. The "beer companion" cheese and fruit plate is very big which has more other stuff, not so much cheese.

As a recommendation, I'd say "go", it's a very good beer bar with a strong and good selection of top quality beers. Do go.

Update: I just keep going back to this place, I love it. The selection is about the best you can get from any beer bar and it's a place that just keeps growing on me. Gotta have it gotta go.

dougnboston, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of johnniemarg
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%

I go to the Ginger Man all the time after work as it's located right in Midtown. The selection, in terms of numbers of beer is unmatched in NYC. There are 68 taps, 100+ bottles and 2 cask engines. For any beer lover, seeing their wall of taps is simply awe-inspiring. Most beers are $6 and come in imperial pints. The taps rotate often and this place always has a great selection of seasonals.

I last visited on a Monday night. That night they had a problem with the CO2 and it was taking them a while to get you a beer because of the amount of foam. This was an anomoly though, because I've never had such a problem there before.

Service is good. They've got a few bartenders that have all been there for a long time and they're knowledgable and friendly. They'll let you sample anything. Service at the tables not as good as at the bar, simply because there is more turnover it seems at that position so the waitresses are not neerly as knowledgable about beer. I often have the problem when sitting at the table where my friends and I need to sip each other's beers to figure out which beer is which because they clearly put the wrong ones in front of us. It's not too big of a deal amongst friends, but it sucks when you're expecting a Stone IPA and you get a mouthfull of blueberry instead. Table service can be painfully slow when it's busy on Thursdays and Fridays so I generally order a new beer with half a glass to go.

The atmosphere of the bar itself is great. Very old-fashioned comfortable setting. I think the place used to be a cigar bar and it has that kind of feel to it. High ceilings make the place feel very open. It's got a long bar on the right, with those glorious taps, with 20 or so stools. On the left side there are booths against the wall. Smaller bar in the rear left of the bar that usually has 2 removable taps. These taps are only up when it's busy and they're usually nothing special (a pilsner or a Magic Hat #9, etc.). There is a dark lounge with low ceilings in the back that has a bunch of couches and there's another couple of couches and a couple of tables, in the front of the bar.

I used to go all the time on Thursdays and Fridays, but it just gets way too busy on those days such that it's shoulder-to-shoulder and you can barely move. It becomes almost impossible to get a seat at the bar or a table unless you leave work at 5pm. There generally are a lot of hotties when it's busy though, so it's not all bad. I prefer to go when it's less busy - Monday thru Wednesday.

Here's the one thing that I really don't like about this place - the food. They don't have any warm food except for the soup. Cold sandwiches are just okay. Another place I frequent gets negative remarks for its "standard pub fare". But personally, when I'm having a beer I want to occasionally have a burger and fries. Ginger Man has neither. And maybe I want to have some chicken wings as I watch a football game. No chicken wings either as there is no fried food at all. There are a couple of platters (one of them cheese and fruit and the other cold cuts) that are okay but not great. The closest thing they have to snack food is a microwaved pretzel or a basket of potato chips, but here's the catch: they charge you $2 for the potato chips. WTF? I'm giving them a "2" for the food. For perspective, I gave David Copperfield's a "4" for food and when I get around to reviewing Waterfront Ale House and Stout, I'll probably give them each at least a "4.5" based on my previous experiences at those places. I like good food with with my beer and it bothers me that I often have to leave Ginger Man to get dinner elsewhere.

Ginger Man has the biggest selection I've ever seen and I love to go there often for a few pints, but the food menu is a big letdown and table service isn't great when it's busy.

johnniemarg, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%

The chalkboard as you enter reads as follows:

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." - Ernest Hemingway

An enormous inviting bar I stopped in during the lunch hour to kill some time before heading out to LaGuardia. Lots of taps and bottles. Two cask engines (one was out, one had Fraoch Heather Ale). I had a small pour of the Fraoch (really wanted some cask) and a pint of Magic Hat.

It was rainy so I had some minestrone soup which was pretty good. I could've stayed all day but was pressed for time. Service was good although I was in at less than peak hours and they knew their stuff. A must stop if you are in the neighborhood of the Empire State Building.

ViveLaChouffe, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of cougrclaw
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%

Me and a buddy found the GingerMan on a fluke while looking cruising the streets of NYC. We ended up staying six hours. The establishment and atmosphere are top notch. The selection is incredible both bottled and draft. We both started with a draft ourselves but then decided to split bottles. We grabbed the last two JW Lees Harvest 98s and had a DFH World Wide Stout to hilight our stay there. We ran up a big bill but enjoyed everything, including the two apps. Service was exceptional and knowledgable. I will be back the next time I'm in the city.

cougrclaw, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of BillyB
4.03/5  rDev -5%

Very trendy mid-town yuppy hangout. Crowded and expensive but they have an excellent selection of taps and top shelf scotches as well. Service was a bit weak but I think that's more to do with the crowds than the attentiveness of the servers. They are certainly busy. I tried my first Magic Hat #9 and Blind Faith here as well as an Anchor Foghorn and an Old Speckled Hen all on tap.
The seating is actually quite cozy with a labrynth of rooms filled with big comfy easy chairs and couches, but finding a spot among the pretentious twenty-something yuppies is another story.
The real story is that this bar actually inspired me to read a book. The name was taken from a novel by J.P. Donleavy and has quotes from the book printed on the walls all over the bar. Very funny and entertaining book. Very good bar.

BillyB, Nov 25, 2005
Photo of OldSock
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%

Atmosphere – Went on a Saturday night with a few beer nerd in training friends, pretty busy but not overly so. The music selection was eclectic, and seating was a bit limited. We eventually wrested some stools away from people and claimed a corner.

Quality – Everything seemed fresh and served, cooler than I like it, but warmer than a lot of places. Glassware was clean and appropriate.

Service – A waitress passed by every few minutes and took our orders. Drinks were delivered slowly, but not painfully slow. The waitress was nice, but not overly chatty.

Selection – Eclectic selection of New York beers, regional micros, bigger craft brewers and lots of imports. I was miffed that they had kicked their keg of SN harvest ale, but my pint of Rogue hop heaven got me over it. Check out the website for the current taps/bottles.

Value – A bit expensive, but not more than I expected for a night on the town in NYC. I think our tab ended up being about $60 with tip for about 9 good beers.

OldSock, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of carln26
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%

I’ve been blessed over the last few years with an opportunity to travel for work and for recreation. In these travels, I’ve spent some time in some of the best beer bars in the country, and the Ginger Man is one of those. It’s centrally located in midtown Manhattan, and is easy to find. It is a large space with what appears to be 20ft ceilings. This is great when you have a large crowd, as the noise gets lost up there. The bar is polished hardwood and has plenty of space. The beer selection is awesome. I had a couple of fresh hop ales, and a South Hampton Secret ale. All the beers were fresh, well tended and tasted great. I had a light lunch of soup and a salad. The food tasted great, and was delivered promptly. This place has a reputation as being one of the best in the country, and the reputation is well deserved.

carln26, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%

During a weekend excursion to NYC, a couple of friends and I finally stopped by The Ginger Man. This place has been on my radar for some time now and I had the opportunity to see what it's all about. After hailing a cab and getting out of the East Village on an unseasonably warm November day we were determined to enter this midtown beer bar.

Once you arrive at The Ginger Man you are greeted by a large open room with huge ceilings. A very lengthy wooden bar covers the right and tables to the left. I noticed only one TV that was propped above the bar that had a football game on. A massive amount of taps decorate the back wall of the bar. Our bartender greeted us and then gave us their beer list. The beer selection here is just about as extensive as they get. Expect around 50 taps with an impressive bottle selection to match. Great representation from breweries all over. I noticed one cask selection that was the Blue Point Hoptical Illusion. I had the Anderson Valley Hop Ottin', Rodenbach and Anchor Old Foghorn. Beers come in either 13 oz or 20 oz glasses. There is some beautiful glassware on display on top of the bar.

The bar was relatively empty when we arrived but as the afternoon went on, this place started to fill up. From what my friend has told me, this place can get crowded at nighttime and on the weekends.

Unfortunately during our visit, The Ginger Man was ridiculously warm. It was clearly visible that we were not the only customers uncomfortable by the excessive heat. The bartender was responsive and let us know that they were having problems with the heat and trying to fix it. This oversight was obviously unintentional, but I would be lying if I said it didn't detract from our experience here. We were sweating in our T-shirts as we were trying to enjoy a few afternoon pints. Our bartender was cool throughout our visit. She was responsive, knowledgeable and honest.

This is a solid beer bar, no question about it. The selection available will impress you, but I left this place feeling that it's slightly overrated. The beers I had were decent in terms of freshness and I think this is one of those places that suffers from the quantity vs. quality idea. I also don't particularly care much for this area of Manhattan either and maybe that has taken away from my overall impression. The vibe was a tad sterile and lacking. I like a bar with a little less pretension and more comfort. Prices are a little on the high side too. Certainly recommended if in the direct area or seeking a specific beer, but there may be much better beer bar options in NYC.

Hibernator, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of GnomeKing
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%

There were about 40-50 taps, plus a big bottle list. I had a Cantillon Geuze, Bengali Tiger (cask), and a Sixpoint Brownstone. Each was well-poured and fresh. New York brewers are well-represented here, as are many other regions and countries. If my memory is right, there was even one from Lithuania.

The overall feel is spacious, a bit upscale, and just a dash funky. The main room is large with very tall ceilings and vaguely gothic chandeliers. Next time, I'm going to lounge out on the leather recliners and couches in the room toward the back. There is an great display of glassware behind the bar. There's awesome chalkboard art. (When I was there in mid-October, there were drawings of a skull for halloween and a girl in a dirndl for Oktoberfest). It's a pretty place with some unique touches that give it its own personality. I think anyone--regardless of age, personality, sex, whatever--would like the vibe here.

The food? Eh. The soft pretzel with honey mustard sauce couldn't compete with Auntie Ann's, and my roast beef sandwich was thin on the meat and didn't have much flavor. Even the sandwich's bread, while appearing hefty and tasty, was kind of bland. If you're here, you're hungry, and you're drinking, sure, have the food. It's good enough, but it doesn't add to the experience. Also, the
menu is on the small side, with not many interesting choices.

GnomeKing, Oct 24, 2005
The Ginger Man in New York, NY
94 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.