The Ginger Man
Taps: 72 / Bottles: 160
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 255 | Reviews: 212 | Display Reviews Only:
4.14/5 rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5
Finally stopped by the famed Ginger Man, and I had been holding off on a review of Spuyten Duyvil because I wanted to compare the two.
The Ginger Man is the Super Target of beers. For sheer selection and quantity, it can't be beaten in NYC, even by Spuyten. But, like many Manhattan places, you lose a certain amount of intimacy and atmosphere because of the sheer number of people they pack in and the frenetic servers doing their best to keep up. No matter, if you know what you want, you're good to go.
This is a cavernous place in midtown, and as such would be great for groups.The bar is large and accomodating, and there are plenty of tables, nooks, and crannies to hide away in. The decor is warm and inviting like a ski lodge, if not a bit cookie-cutter.
The quality of the beers, as far as I know, is top-notch. Everything was served at a nice temperature and tasted fresh. Glassware choices are a bit limited: either 12.5 oz. tulip glasses, imperial pints, or 22 oz. large glasses, each accordingly priced.
The waitstaff tries -- they really do -- but in the end, they're just bartenders and waiters that are doing their jobs.
Example #1 -- Girl sitting next to me wants a recommendation. Bartender asks her what she usually likes, and she says Bass, but she doesn't want a Bass. Bartender recommends a Stone IPA. Wha!? Predictably, the beer's a bit too much for the customer. I discussed it with the cutsomer briefly. She was like, "this is nothing like Bass! I don't know if I can finish it!" In bartender's defense, the customer should have asked for a taste. Actually, the bartender should have offered one.
Example #2 -- I ask to try Duchesse de Bourgogne from the tap. Excellent. Excellent. I say I would like one, without specifying a size. I just assumed. Bad idea. I am served an imperial pint of the Duchesse for $10. This beer is great, put an imperial pint is a bit much to handle -- plus, it belongs in the small tulip glass, and I wasn't prepared to drop a 10-spot.
Oh well. My buddy and I had some great beers. I had the Duchesse, followed by Young's Oatmeal Stout, and Arrogant Bastard. My friend had a Fuller's Porter (draft) and a Fuller's Vintage Ale from bottle. This just scratches the surface. Just check their website out. You'll see that the selection is top-notch. The prices were pretty standard for midtown Manhattan (actually, Murray Hill, I guess).
Overall, I will definitely come back. It's conveniently located and great for big groups. But I would still choose Blind Tiger or Spuyten based on that neighborhood feel.
10-05-2004 16:30:36 | More by bultrey
4.45/5 rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Ginger Man. I loved walking in and being faced by over 60 beer taps and two hand pumps. Between the 60 draughts and the 100 or so bottled beers, many of which I've never had the chance to taste, the selection was awesome.
I sampled a number of beers in addition to the ones that I actually paid for so it was my kind of service. The bartender was knowledgeable, friendly and took a lot of time discussing the beer with me. Of course, I had my BA hat on so maybe that was the reason.
I found the prices reasonable for Manhatten. Some of the bottles are pricey but it would take me many moons to get beyond the draft selection.
The food was excellent. The bartender got the soup wrong in her description so she comped the soup. Three of us got out under $60 for about five or six drafts, soups, sandwiches or salads. I consider that a bargain. Well, considering tip, it was higher but worth it.
I will definitely be making a return trip on my next visit to NYC, but there are many other spots that I also hope to visit.
08-31-2004 23:17:15 | More by rdrummer
3.05/5 rDev -27.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5
Great selection of beers but very expensive. The prices in the menu do not really equate to reality. They play to the midtown tourist crowd. The bar service is slow, even during the day when there are 10 people in the whole place. With all the good beer bars in NYC, you could probably find everyone of those beers on tap elsewhere in a more comfortable, cheaper place. There is a nice little room in the back with couches and big chairs.
At least back in the smoking allowed days, they let you smoke and even sold cigars, so for some that was a plus, know you have no reason to show up at this place
07-19-2004 16:20:18 | More by kennyo
4.75/5 rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$$
The Ginger Man is located right in midtown, so it gets very, very crowded right afte work. This can really take away from the atmosphere, so it pays to go either late night or on weekends to really soak the place in. It has a very long bar with 65 taps and a couple of cask-conditioned hand pulls. Considering the number of taps, the selection could probably be a little better, but nevertheless it is outstanding. Bud and Bud Light are the best sellers according to the bartender, so you get an idea of the crowd. Lots of yuppies. The menu is very limited, but if you are hungry an expensive sandwich is pretty good. There are also a couple of salads and appetizers of mediocre quality. The best part is a lounge area in the back with comfortable chairs and coffee (beer) tables. The place is clean, the bathrooms well kept, and the service is decent. I would definitely make this a stop for anyone coming to the city.
07-19-2004 15:42:30 | More by newyawker
4.22/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5
Pud likes...Pud really, really likes.
How could this place be so close to Penn station and escape my clutches all this time? Well, damnit, I finally bellied up to the bar and now I'm pissed I didn't do it earlier. Large selection, many many varieties including Belgians, fruit beers, Hefe's, stouts, porters, etc. etc....and YES some cask-conditioned ale.
A cool room to the rear and to the right which has comfy chairs, couches and tables to hang out in, but they require waitress service.
Nevertheless...go there...this is an excellent beer bar.
07-01-2004 22:13:00 | More by PudTinkler
4.44/5 rDev +5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
Have only been to this link in the Ginger Man chain, but if they're all like this one then kudos to them.
Atmosphere is nice, old-tavern-meets-bistro style dark-wood joint with a cool couch-filled lounge (that used to be a virtual humidor before the smoking laws were passed.) The selection here is great, 66 taps, 2 casks and a boatload of bottles. Highlights from the current tap list include Gulden Draak, Old Foghorn, Chimay, a couple from Stone, Troubador, Trois Pistoles, many more. Service was great, bartender had no trouble letting us sample a bit before we bought, have always had good service here even when busy. I've never really tried the food (had a tasty soft pretzel with honey mustard, which is what I've always had) so I can't really rate it, looks like they have a good selection of sandwiches and pub food though.
You need a prybar to get through the crowd on a Thursday or Friday night, but it's an awseome place to hang out during an afternoon, especially if it's rainy outside, the rain on the giant front windows really adds to the atmosphere. Worth a stop if you're in the city.
06-15-2004 02:42:16 | More by PopeJonPaul
4.45/5 rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
I was very, very impressed with this establishment. I got there when it opened on a Sunday. So my wife and I were the only people in there. The array of tap handles was very impressive. It had a very nice New York-restaraunt atmosphere. Since we were the only ones there it is hard to judge service, but we were well taken care of. I got my favorite, Fuller's ESB, on-tap. That alone, to me, was worth the trip. The food is good but not great. Their selection is hard to rate. For taps alone it should be a 5. But with bottles, I've seen more extensive lists. I'm not putting their selection down, but I'll average it to 4.75 and round down. I would definitely hit this if you are in Manhattan.
05-24-2004 13:23:17 | More by GeoffFromSJ
4.78/5 rDev +13%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Great place overall.
The atmosphere was quaint and cosy with beautiful wood everywhere, the bar was long and i saw about 50 taps behind it which put a smile on my face. I had three brews all on tap and the cheese plate was outstanding. I went at about 1pm on saturday afternoon so there was not a lot of people in there at all. The service was very good, but there was only about 5 people in the place, Liek i said before the selection was outstanding, everyting from locals, micros around the country to belgians and german brews. I was so unsure as to what I should try. I had Storm King Stout, Arrogant Bastard and La Fin Du Monde. I was with my wife and sis-in-law and both of them were very impressed. The seating was extremely comfortable, we were lucky enough to get there and several couches were available. I could have sat there the rest of the day, but we were only thee for a weekend and we had other things planned. I will definitely go back
05-06-2004 15:00:11 | More by kegerator
4.63/5 rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Checked this place out on the recommendation of Davo, 'cause if anybody knows, Davo knows! Arrived with my bud around 3:30 on a Sat. afternoon, and walked in to find a total of 5 people in the place. High ceilings, lots of dark wood and earth tones lend an inviting atmosphere to the place. Grabbed a seat at the comfortable bar and after drooling over the 60 taps on the bar wall and perusing the draught list was immediately attended to by the attentive barmaid, who offered generous samples of 3 beers before I decided on a selection...like the proverbial kid in the candy store I tell you! Had a pint each of Storm King, Blue Point Oatmeal Stout (on cask, no less!) Arrogant Bastard, and a Trois Pistoles to round things out. Had a decent roast beef sandwich to provide a base for those delicious brews. It was hard to leave, but we had to make our way back to M.S.G. for a show. I'll hit this place everytime I'm in the city, you should too!
04-04-2004 15:03:45 | More by beerluvr
4.33/5 rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
a great nyc beer bar to go to on a late sunday afternoon, when the weekend crowd isn't there. one of the best tap lists in the city, there are usually 2 or 3 examples of about 10 different styles on tap. the place is big, dimly light, and inviting. if it isn't crowded, you can grab your brews (20oz pints) and head to the back and lounge on the couches. the few times i've had a server they have been good. can't comment too much about the food, but we did order a cheese/fruit/nut sampler that was well done. the main attraction of this place for me the inviting atmosphere and plethora of great brews, particularly on tap. must be checked out if you're in nyc.
03-21-2004 21:22:55 | More by pheurton
The Ginger Man in New York, NY
94 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.