The Ginger Man

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

108 Ratings
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: n/a
Taps: 81
Bottles: 66
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

301 Lavaca St
Austin, Texas, 78701-3936
United States
phone: (512) 473-8801

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @austingingerman

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 68
Photo of DoktorZee
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

One of the best beer bars in Austin the GingerMan (with sister locations in Dallas, and New York, I believe) is never going to disappoint with it's huge number of taps (never really counted them, but clearly somewhere between 70 and 100) and selection of interesting beers. If there's a hot new release you've got a great chance of finding it here. They've also usually got 2 casks going - one Texas/local and often something interesting. Selection is solid for Texas beers, excellent for west and east coast and sometimes really surprisingly good for Europe (e.g. 5+ interesting Belgians on tap most times plus some Germans).

The folks working here are solid: friendly with a very good knowledge of what they're serving. Overall vibe is positive as you'll usually be able to strike up a conversation with equivalently passionate beer fans alongside you at the bar. Only weak point is the food; you should really eat somewhere else before you head to the GingerMan because you're not going to find anything that impresses on the menu.

I'd definitely rank this in the top 3 of Austin beer locations with the Draught House and the 3rd position being battled for by placed like the Pour House, Spider House and a few up and comers (Hank's Garage has some promise).

Photo of jamescain
4.14/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I've only been here once, but I enjoyed my experience. If not for the fact that Austin has so many other choices, I would probably stop by more often. My only complaint, and this has nothing to do with the establishment, is that because they are located downtown, parking can be difficult depending on time of day. I didn't try the food but it looked good. They have a very good selection of beers, but are slightly pricier than other locations around the city. The atmosphere was relaxing and enjoyable, with low lighting and music in the background, rather the foreground. The bar tenders are quick to serve you and seem knowledgeable about beer. I wouldn't say it's a must stop in Austin, but if you're staying downtown, it as a great spot to find a good or local beer.

Photo of mltobin
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

When on a trip to Austin last month, I made a point of stopping into the original Ginger Man. I was a little surprised that at 1:30pm on a Thursday that they were closed...had to grab some tacos from one those food trucks and come back after 2pm. When I made it back, it was very quiet, only a few other patrons. Their beer selection was in a similar format to the locations in CT/NY, but tailored of course to the distribution in Texas. So, it was nice that I was able to order something from Deschutes and the local, Jester King. The food menu also looked similar if not identical to CT/NY locations...upscale pub grub. You will spend more money here than some other watering holes, especially for Texas, but its worth checking out and hopefully ordering something that you have not had before.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Atmosphere is pretty good. There's plenty of restaurant-like seating, a long bar, a lounge type sitting area, and plenty of outside sitting...which is pretty cool. It's one of those dimly lit pubs though, which makes it difficult to view your beer well...and if your mighty tired, the low light makes fighting sleepiness a bit of a challenge lol Selection is monstrous though, and most is good quality stuff, with some more run of the mill stuff in the mix as well...but fantastic over all. Service was good, though with how crowded it gets, it can make for some slow beer purchases though. Small price to pay in the end for one of the most exceptional tap lists in the city.

Photo of DrJay
4.44/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I stopped in here twice on a recent visit to Austin. It worked out great because my hotel was across from the convention center, only a few blocks away. My experience both times was great -- first time I sat at the bar and had fast, attentive service all night and the second time found a table for myself and a few colleagues. It was busy during my second visit, but it was still easy to get service at the bar.

Deciding what to have was more difficult. With 80 taps (and a couple of beer engines) staring at you, it can take a while to figure out what to have. The printed beer menus helped, but weren't up to date with the most recent changes. Sitting at the bar helped, since it was easy to chat up the bartenders and hear what kegs had just been put on. The selection was impressive, with plenty of national and regional craft selections, quite a few limited release beers, and one beer engine running during my visit -- I mostly stuck with locals like St. Arnolds, Live Oak, and 512, but did end my first visit with a Victory Storm King.

Decent vibe overall, quite dark inside the bar area with an open air patio in the rear of the building. Good tunes on the jukebox too. Definitely a place I would go out of my way to visit again if I'm in the Austin area and highly recommended.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

This is essentially one long room, which is fairly dimly lit, with an outdoor patio at the back end of it. The physical bar itself was rather nice looking. Some kind of deep polished wood.

When we got there at around 5:00pm, it was relaxed, but most of the barstools were full, along with a couple of tables. Our first couple of beers were no problem to get. By 6:00pm it began to get packed, and we were still taken care of, just not so quickly.

The tap wall had around 80 different bers to choose from and most all of them seemed to be very good selections. The bottle selection had to be over 100 and also looked to have some nice ones. They had a couple of cask engines, but nothing was on while we were there.
Locally, they had a good represention of beers. This was one of the only spots that we found that actually had Jester King. Saint Arnold, Live Oak, Ranger Creek, etc. were all represented.

The food menu was limited (which is no big deal), but seemed to be on the pricy side. We tried a 'big pretzel' and knew that we'd made the right decision. It was very tasty! We split it four ways, then ordered a couple more. We even got a few other people at the bar to order pretzels, as well, because we were talking about how good they were.

I kind of get the feeling that people go to Flying Saucer to get wasted and come to Ginger Man to be seen by others in the craft beer community. (Austin, please forgive me if this is wrong. It's just based on what we saw while we were there for a few days.)

Photo of omnigrits
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

The Ginger Man has been my bar of choice in Austin for so long it makes me wonder why I haven't reviewed it before.

Although it's essentially one big room it's sort of divided into three or four drinking areas plus the beer garden. The main seating area opposite the bar is probably the most pub-like and very comfortable.

I've never counted exactly how many taps they have, I believe it's 80+, and the beer's always good. Whenever there's a special release or a beer with a small allocation for the city they always get a keg, and if it's something really special you'll need to get there early.

Plenty of weekly specials. My collection of beer glasses owes much to the GM's pint giveaways.

I wish the food was a little better. When you're in for the evening and drinking the kind of ABV-age that comes with so many craft beers, some good food to help slow down the alcohol absorption would be welcome. The Beer Companion is nice, but not filling.

It's still the place I like to drink, though, and by a long way. I just have to make sure I've eaten before I walk in the door.

Photo of Citadel82
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Another Gingerman in another city and this one does not disappoint - at least in the beer department. The atmosphere was dark and rather noisy with a charming dive like feel to it. The beer Garden out back looked nice but the cigarette smoke was off-putting for most of my party so we stayed indoors on both nights we visited. On the first night we were right opposite the bar and on the second night we were in the back just inside from the patio. Crown was a mix ofyoung and old and early some families. As the evening wore on it became more hipsters. The brews were great. Tried several locals including a porter on cask. Also had some Ommegang BPA. All came in the same shake pint and were on the cold side. Service was spotty. Bynthe bar it was bad in the back it was better. Food was passable and rather limited, bu it was not the reason for the visit. Selection of beers was great with the locals very much in evidence as well as some standouts from west and east coasts. Victory and Oscar Blues come to mind. Value was quite good, though I am from the East Coast and used to higher pricing. If you are looking for good beer and food better eat before you get here. But as I said its about the beer...

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Have been making the drive up from San Antonio to hit this venue the last month or so and plan to continue doing so. It's very cozy and the staff is super friendly and very attentive. They always have some unique selections on draft and very reasonable prices, especially if you make it in for happy hour. I have not actually eaten there yet, but my rating is based of the minimal food menu for the time being, once I try something I may adjust that part of the review. So overall, great selection, great value, they have glass nights each week, beer tastings, and I am sure other events as well!

Photo of stephens101
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

The Austin Gingerman has the same dimly lit, dark wood and brass decor atmosphere as its northern sibling in Dallas, including a nice outside area that my friends and I made great use of on a temperate Saturday evening. The keep Austin weird contingent was full-on represented, replete with superman caped mullet-man who was ruling the dart boards.

Placed throughout are beer signs from the usual suspects, and of course you have a few dart boards for when you're feeling lucky. The bar is exceptionally long, with a somewhat impressive tap lineup. To my buzzed and vociferous excitement I noticed the Live Oak Old Treehugger and a few other seasonal/limiteds were flowing from the taps. A nice array of bottles from the corners of the good beer world are to be had.

When we arrived it was fairly empty, but by ten or so it was filled to the rim. A few people had to stand, and toward the end some unapologetic vultures were circling our table. Service was good, waitress was nice, but when it started hopping things got a bit slow. This annoyed the couple I was with, but didn't hinder my experience in the least, as I was sipping on the Old Treehugger, which kept me warm as the night began to cool.

I dug the Gingerman in Dallas, but after my visit to the Austin location I've got to say this one has got Big D beat. If you're downtown and want to enjoy a decent lineup of good brews and experience a laid back time with a bunch of mellow hippies, yuppies, punks, emos, suits and norms, then I highly recommend stopping by.

Photo of champ103
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I love the Gingerman in Houston. I did not get a chance to visit the first Austin location (now the Ghost Room). Lets see how this goes...

A large and open room as you first walk in. A very long stone bar runs almost the length of the right hand side. Several areas with couches and wood tables along the left hand side. There is a smallish beer garden out back. Hm, the tables look familiar, I think I know who made those. The downtown location, and newish look to the place does not do it for me. I like the worn in homey feel of the original in Houston better.

The quality, selection, and service is much the same as in Houston. They have two casks here, one for Saint Arnold one for Real Ale. Lots of local Texas beer, US micros, and Imports. Excellent as always. The bartenders are on top of their game as well.

Overall I do like this place. Though I think it suffers just because it is not the original, and not my local Gman. That is just my bias though. If I lived in Austin I would be here all the time.

Photo of LittleDon
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Summary: One of the best Austin has to offer. Great location and outside seating. If only parking wasn't such a bitch.

Come here toward the end of the week, particularly on Friday or Saturday and be prepared for a hike. Stopped in on a Tuesday night and was able to find a lot about 2 or 3 blocks away. The only negative to the night. A handful of people were there, not empty, but by no means a lively crowd. Very comfortable atmosphere, lots of overstuffed chairs and sofas and a nice beer garden in the back (not as nice as the old place, but still very adequate). Irish pub feel inside, dark wood and brass. Tons of taps, but no cask available. Service was outstanding. The beer tenders know there stuff and I was given samples based on my beer discussions without having to ask (makes 'em a 5 in my book). Food was passable, but I wasn't there to eat. Half pints available, for those of us who can't (or don't want to) manage a third or forth pint.

Photo of rowew
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Had some time to kill on a slow afternoon, so I stopped in to the Ginger Man. I was the only person in the bar at first, and it slowly got more busy as the afternoon wore on. Very nice old school pub feel, with a long wall of taps. Good sized patio out back. Sat at the bar and enjoyed several offerings - nice selection of both local, micro, and imports. Bartenders were all very friendly and knowledgeable - they knew the beer and were willing to make suggestions and provide samples. Also had a couple cask offerings including a pecan porter that was very good.

I'll definitely be back on my next trip to Austin.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Visited this place numerous times over a 3 day stop in Austin. This is unquestionably the best bar for craft beer in the city with what must have been 50 to 60 taps. There were some impressive selections, including numerous DFH beers not commonly found on tap.

The atmosphere was great, the service is friendly and the bartenders are all knowledgeable on the variouos offerings and more than willing to provide free samples.

The food was pretty good although the menu was somewhat lacking in selection.

If I am ever back in Austin, I will go out of my way to visit Ginger Man again.

Photo of peterjk
3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Sorry to harp on what may be a common theme, but the Gingerman was a lot nicer in it previous location. I find the new spot to be cramped, especially when it gets busy on the weekends. It can be almost impossible to squeeze through the very thin space along the bar to get to the back patio. The selection of beer is still top notch, but I've been unimpressed with the service here even before they moved. I think that the demographic changes down town are to blame, too many condo ducebags tipping low and ... well being duce bags. I've waited along time to be served on relatively slow week nights. The prices are also some of the highest in town, understandable b/c I am sure that their rent is ridiculous. This used to be my go to bar in Austin and if I am down town it is one of the few places that I still like to go. But it no longer has enough draw to get me to deal with the parking and the crowds on the weekend.

Photo of RobertTh3Texian
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went there just before I went to the "Great" Austin Beer Fest. It was also during the USA-Ghana game. But, the beer selection was good, not great, lot of Austin brews. And they had (512) Pecan Porter on gravity so that was cool. I couldn't stay long b/c we wanted to get in line for the Fest but it was pretty good. They could think about closing that door during the summer though. Sweating my butt off. Good bar all around though. I will return later. And this is located right off of down town, within walking distance of 6th Street, the Convention Center, AMH, and South Congress. And it's right by where they do the Austin Farmers Market. L'Chiam

Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Visited on a Tuesday night - the place was pretty empty and quiet. The interior is similar to that of the GM in CT, minus the pompous know-it-all hipster douchebags that are employed there.

Was greeted promptly at the bar with an eager, friendly barkeep. Told him I was from out of town and he steered me towards samples of local beers (Live Oak, 512) which BTW happened to be on special that night. Good selection of Belgians and national brands also.

Beers all tasted good and were in proper glassware at the right temperature. Prices seemed reasonable for Austin...save for a peculiar Harpoon Leviathan IIPA for $8 an 8 oz pour (which I can get alot more reasonably at home in Boston).

Limited food menu. Looks like they do pizza slices from a local place and small plates which seemed over-priced. Decided to eat somewhere else.

I had a good experience and I will visit again when I'm in town (for beers only).

Photo of Hibernator
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

My final night in Austin and I saved the best for last. The Ginger Man was clearly the craft beer bar highlight of my time here.

As you walk in the vibe and atmosphere is chill and relaxed. The lights are dim and the crowd is enjoying themselves, whether at the spacious bar or at one of the comfortable looking couches all over this ample-sized bar.

I really enjoyed the brewerania that decorates this place including the vintage beer can collection - very cool. I bellied up to the bar and began to read the extensive craft beer menu. It takes me several minutes to finally decide and I order a Stone Old Guardian. To my pleasant surprise, it was served in a full pint glass.

The selection here is spectacular with highlights that include Stone Ruination, Stone IPA, Avery Hog Heaven, Anchor Foghorn, New Belgium Lips of Faith, Victory Golden Monkey, Bear Republic Racer 5, (512) IPA, Wit, Pecan Porter and other local favorite Independence Brewing (including the Imperial Oatmeal Stout that was delicious).

They also offer 3 cask conditioned ales. On tap during my visit there were Saint Arnold Elissa IPA, Avery IPA and (512) Pecan Porter. I had several rounds here and found it difficult to leave. Bonus point for the jukebox stocked with great music and the dartboards. Every beer I had was fresh, tasty and enjoyable. The quality at Ginger Man is exceptional.

An excellent craft beer bar and highly recommended when in Austin.

Photo of rwf08
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2

Been to the old location and the new location in Austin. I like the new one more. Better beer garden in the back. I seem to get hit up for cash by the homeless more on the way to this new location though...

The inside of the building is awesome. Wood everywhere, two dart boards, jukebox, booths, tables, couches, and a beer garden.

The beer comes in either a standard pint, imp. pint, or proper snifter or other glassware depending on the style. Big points with me and it is nice to look around the room and see huge hefe glasses, goblets, and whatever else.

Beer always tastes fresh and delicious, with a great selection of seasonals and some solid staples. (512) Pecan Porter, Live Oak Hefe, DFH 60min, and a few others I can't remember off hand.

Service is good and is exceptional if you TIP them right. I got myself a few free pints one night because of that. They also are knowledgeable about the beers and will give you samples too. I did have one guy there when I asked about a beer just say it's good and walk off to the next customer. That bugged me but I'll give them a six sigma quality anyways.

Food...this is the only thing I don't like. It is expensive, small portioned and just not good. I just get the beer companion but that is still like $7-$8 for some cubed kraft cheese and some grapes.

Food aside my favorite, and only, bar in Austin when I visit.

Photo of woodychandler
4.14/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

The brick building had the logo painted onto the right facing side. A set of brick steps in front led to the bouncer and then into the bar. The dark wood bar was an inverted "J"-shape with a wall of 83 taps backed by copper as the back bar, topped by a series of three chalkboards. 140 bottles. Continuing aft was a lounge area filled with leather couches and chairs and an extensive outdoor beer garden with wooden picnic tables. To the left of the bar, aft, was a green-felt billiards table with a super spent can collection in the overhead.

Photo of sprucetip
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Had been to the NYC location, so was stoked that there was one in Austin when I visited. I became a regular for the week I was in town.

80 taps, no crap. Lots of Texas beers, and a solid representation from the east and west, as well as the other prominent beer making nations. Koeninshoeven Quad was on at the time, and that pleased me greatly. Proper glassware and the beer was not overly cold.

Service was exceptional. Barkeeps, Ben especially, were friendly when they had the time to be, but were always there when needed, and never blinked when a sample was requested.

Atmosphere is a bit upscale, but very comfortable. Couches in some areas, in addition to more standard seating at the bar and tables, and a patio outback. Only 1 TV, and it was kind of banished to an out of the way corner of the bar. Strong focus on beer at the Ginger Man.

Didn't try the food. Prices were totally reasonable, especially on Tuesdays night when all Texas pints are $3.

Photo of ocmpoma
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Visited on 5Sep09.

First thing I noticed when we walked in on a late Saturday afternoon was that there was only one visible TV, tucked into its own seating area off on the right -- instant bonus point as far as I'm concerned. Next thing I noticed as my eyes adjusted to the dim light was the dark wood paneling and then the wall behind the bar. Instead of the typical rows of whiskey, rum, and vodka bottles, there were tap handles -- all 80 of them, stretching along the wall.

We grabbed seats in the back, near the glass garage door that looked out on the bier garten. Ginger Man is in an old warehouse (my favorite touch is the rail at the bar, which is an actual railroad rail), and the building was well suited to its current incarnation. Belgian, British, and German beer paraphernalia were hanging here and there, but by no means overdone.

They had a ton of bottles, but I didn't look at those too much and focused on the draughts, of which there were plenty -- Belgian, German, UK, Ireland, US craft brews, all regions and styles represented on tap, except maybe Asia. One of the best selections of draught beer I've seen. Best selection we had was the Maredsous 8.

We also ordered an appetizer sampler, which came with cheese, bread, and some fruit that went great with the Belgians we drank, and some artichoke dip which was good with the ales. Overall, a fantastic place to sit, relax, and enjoy some great beer without a dozen (or any, for that matter) TV screens all around.

(note: the picture above is of the establishment before they moved; google maps' street view shows what the current location looks like.)

Photo of Riccymon
3.43/5  rDev -19.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Visited Ginger Man for the first time tonight after picking out a few draught beers from the list on their website. Very nice atmosphere--low light, nice furniture, good music at a reasonable volume. The wife and I settled down in the back room, and after learning that my first three choices from the website--Avery 16, Real Ale Lost Gold, and New Belgium Dandelion Ale--were all unavailable, settled on North Coast Pranqster and Saint Arnold Root Beer, and later, Sierra Nevada Anniversary.

As mentioned, the draught list and selection seemed good, with a few highlights that didn't pan out. Bottled beers offered even more variety, but seemed a little pricier.

Service was just okay. Our waitress was pleasant, but twice she checked with the bartender when I asked for things off the menu, as she didn't seem to have heard of them before.

Though I was a bit disappointed with availability and service, I would stop back again when downtown, though not before exploring a few other beers bars I've not been to.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.14/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped by for a couple of pre-dinner beers while on a business trip to Austin. The vibe was very casual and the atmosphere was very relaxed. I was a bit surprised how much the place resembled the location in NYC. The couch areas were almost the same and also the wall of tables down the side wall. Dark wood dominates the décor and the door were open to the front and also to the patio out back. The draft menu was pretty nice and we were lucky to be there in Texas Tuesday with all local drafts being $3... There was not service at the couches so we had to go up to the bar to order drinks. Not a big deal. The service was helpful and the local patrons were also very nice.

There was one aspect that was slightly annoying. Every five minutes or so, loud music would come on for about 2 minutes. Not even a full song. Just random music for a minute or two, then back to nothing. Not sure what the heck was going on there.

Didn't order any food. Pricing was reasonable to begin with and the happy hour prices were crazy. A nice spot to stop when in Austin. Definitely recommend it.

Photo of walshclimb
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The Ginger Man is a classic Austin bar. I heard recently that they will be moving soon, but they are in the same old location for now. We stopped in on a recent overdue visit to Austin and had a great time.

There are usually some people hanging out on the front deck. Upon entering, you see a nice wood trim pub with a long bar and loads of taps down the right side behind the bar. Loads of great beer including TX, micro, euro, etc. They had a cask porter on hand pump from 512 brewery that is definitely worth a try. The back patio is very popular when it is warm. It holds a bunch of picnic tables that are shaded by a few big trees. You have to watch out though because grackles hang out there and may leave you white-stained if you are under them. It hasn't happened to me, but I have heard others ocmplaining the last 2 times I was there.

In any case, great beer selection, great staff, reasonable prices and a really good atmosphere. Can't really ask for much more. I hope the new place is as great as the old one.

The Ginger Man in Austin, TX
95 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.