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The Ginger Man

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

98 Ratings
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.2%
Taps: 81
Bottles: 66
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @austingingerman

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ColSanders
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Best pre-game place for Downtown area Concerts in Austin, TX.

Photo of Sir_Goatman
5/5  rDev +17.1%

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5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of axpetree
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of fredaboots
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of chadspivey
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is the best beer bar in austin for sure. They have 80+ beers on tap and over 100 in bottles. It seems that there's something new on tap every week. There is always a St. Arnolds seasonal CASK CONDITIONED on tap. Even if the place is packed to the limit, you get what you want in a matter of minutes. The food is pretty damn good, too. This is a beer bar, though, not a restaurant, so don't expect fine cuisine. There are many beers on tap here that you won't find anywhere else in Austin. You'll pay a little more that bars that only offer like 5 beers, so don't just get some macro beer, get something nice for a buck or two more. If you've never tried live oak hefeweizen, this is the place. You'll be blown away at how many QUALITY beers are on tap here.

Photo of BAbaracus
4.86/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Easily the best beer selection in Austin, bar-wise. The 120 or so beers they have on bottle may not sound like an overwhelming number, that is until you realize that they refuse to stock more than a handful of token macros. This goes double with the 76 beers on tap - of the latter only Miller Lite rears it’s ugly head, and my impression is that this is done solely to keep the BMC fans who come in with their more enlightened compadres content. The front door opens on a long bar with an impressive array of taps. The Ginger Man actually has two different keg coolers set at different temperatures, so lagers and lighter ales are served at an appropriately cooler temp than the heartier Belgians, stouts, etc. They have one cask which is nearly always St Arnold Amber The bartenders are generally very knowledgable and more than capable of recommending something in a particular style of beer. The only real downside is the pricing - most imports and American micros start at $4.50, with just about anything over the standard 5-6% abv usually at $5.50 and above

Photo of malcontent
4.84/5  rDev +13.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Perhaps it's difficult for me to give The Ginger Man (Austin) an accurate review because my wife & I went when the establishment was entirely empty i.e. 2 PM weekday, we were waiting outside for them to open (hey, we were on vacation). As a result, we were able to converse without any noisy competition & the bartenders were able to chat & give us their undivided attention. That doesn't change the fact that the tenders were exceptionally polite & knowledgeable & not shy about sampling out draughts that we were not familiar with.

The set-up reminded us of an Old World men's club, with nooks & cranny's galore, high ceilings, beautiful woodwork & imposingly-stocked bookshelves. If it weren't for the modern (& excellent) jukebox playing, we might have expected Finneas Phog to enter & challenge us to a race around the world. The bar counter is made from old rails & the taps (some 50 of them) are mounted across the copper bar back like exotic trophies.

The selection itself is outstanding & the inclusion of a generous number of local microbrews sealed the deal. There was even one hand-poured cask of St. Arnold's offered at the time (one month ago).

Of the 6 or so establishments we patronized on our brief visit to Austin, The Ginger Man was head & shoulders above the rest.

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 wardough
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A "must" stop if you are in Austin. I called my buddy, BJ, and he directed me to this place. The atmosphere is great. Everyone is drinking quality beer and enjoying it! Service was phenomenal, especially the bartender, Ben, who is well versed on beer styles and how different people would like those styles. He knew the intraciate details of each beer. Impressive. Selection was great. Definitely the best that I saw in Austin. I've seen better in the US, but this was still among the best. Their food offering is a little meager (sandwiches, slices of pizza, empanadas, pretzels), but the place is about beer, not food. Still, I ate a sandwich and it hit the spot. Great value.

I will gladly go back to this place, as beer lovers flock to the Ginger Man.

Photo of stumac
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of reebtaerG
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of nneighb33
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of DamYankee
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

A must see for the true beer enthusiast.

The atmosphere is quiet, with plenty of booths and a nice outdoor patio out back and a front porch to enjoy you selected beverage.

The food menu is limited, but it is all quite good and reasonably priced (yes, it is so limited that I sampled it all in the 3 hours I was there). Certainly not a place to go for a meal, but an excellent selection for palate cleansing between beers.

The beer selection! 90 beers on tap! from the standards to the rare finds (Lindeman's Framboise on tap!). An excellent selection of local beer are available, and don't be shy about asking for a tate sample before you decide, the servers are knowlegable and happy to answer any questions for the beer initiate and to offer suggestions.

All beers are available by the pint or half pint, which I found nice.

Juke box, pool table, darts are all available.

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 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 IBUnit63
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Mellow yet lively atmosphere to contrast the madhouse on 6th Street after midnight on a Thursday night in Austin. Big, big bar with a long long row of taps - excellent! Service was very friendly and willing to add color around some of the local taps I hadn't tried before; made best efforts to sample the Texas stuff I can't get at home. Excellent varied selection up and down the spectrum; very good pours all around. Music was unobtrusive - crowd was pleasant. A good place to enjoy high-quality stuff in moderation. Very reasonable - a good value. Would highly recommend.

Update: Back in town March 24-25, confirming notes above. Prices seem even more reasonable than before, even if it's contrast from recent travels. Very much enjoyed $3 Texas Tuesday with many local selections, including St. Arnold's, Real Ale and Live Oak. St. Arnold's Elissa IPA still on cask and becoming a staple of visits here. Enjoy!

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 Gatordaddy
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of mamaraza
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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

The overall feel of this place is what makes this a must stop for better beer while in Austin. Above and beyond the 100's of options and beer styles what seemed to set it apart is that the bartender knows beer. He was very friendly and you could sense that he just enjoyed the beer culture. I was there 11/1/07 and they had the current Beeradvocate magazine with Michael Jackson's visage prominently displayed behind the bar which was a nice touch. I sampled some local Live Oak oaktoberfest and a Saint Arnold IPA on cask both very nice. They had just gotten a few Lagunitas offerings on tap which is something I haven't seen too many places outside of California. A must stop when in town.

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 BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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 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.

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The Ginger Man in Austin, TX
95 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.