The Ginger Man
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Taps: 81 / Bottles: 66
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$$
Austin is weird. They don't need any more damn shirts or signs saying "Keep Austin Weird" because it is already weird enough! Now I have that off my chest I can move on to the review.
This was my first visit to a Ginger Man and I must say I am impressed. 83 taps including a rotating cask selection, and I'm not sure how many bottles, but it was a lot.
The place is narrow with the bar running about half the length. Dark wood everywhere, 2 steel tip dart boards, one bar box pool table, not much interior seating. Very nice outdoor seating area with large picnic tables and trees for the grackles to make their sounds from.
The menu was lacking as far as selection goes. My wife and I shared a jumbo pretzel and spinach dip with tortilla chips. Nothing wrong with the food, but nothing great either.
The only service was at the bar, which kind of blew, but the tenders seemed reasonably knowing of the beers they carried and the last one I was served by made a nice suggestion.
All and all a great place to check out if you're in Austin, with the best selection of beer I saw in the area.
05-25-2006 17:20:35 | More by Shultzerdugen
4.38/5 rDev +2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Another beerfly in the category of "I can't believe that I haven't reviewed this place".
The Ginger Man is one of the top beer bars in Austin, no doubt about that. They have a very solid lineup of locals, seasonals, and imports. The bartenders all have been there a long time and are very knowledgeable. They have a beer tasting usually once a month that is well done.
Inside is a little small and cramped but they have a nice patio in the rear and a porch in the front that you can hang out and people watch if you want.
If the weather gets nasty, there is usually a line to get in because the place is so small. This is because of the fire code.
My homebrew club meets here once a month and I have to give them points for that. They are really cool about letting us bring in all our homebrew and taking over the back patio.
The food is above average. Pretty good selection of bar food. I had a roast beef sandwich on swiss with tasty french bread. Sandwich was warmed and it had a tasty horseradish sauce with it.
They are moving just down the street in a week or two but I'm sure they the quality of the place will stay the same.
02-18-2009 17:48:49 | More by JonathanL7890
4.4/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$
The Ginger Man beer bar in Austin has a huge number of taps (about 80) against a copper backsplash extending across the back wall of its single long wooden bar. More than half the taps are dedicated to US micros with good representation from local SE TX area brewers (St. Arnold, Live Oak, Independence, and Real Ale). Belgian, German and UK beers make up most of the rest of the draft beer offerings. In addition, there are about 100 bottled beers offered with a large majority being either US or Belgian, and the remainder being mostly German, British, Canadian and Mexican.
You'll waste more time trying to find parking on the street than it's worth, and I would recommend simply pulling into one of the public lots or garages in the area. I stopped by late on a Sunday night and was greeted by a live version of Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense" as I walked in the door. The music was loud, but not in any way annoying. I suspected, and later confirmed, that the music was being driven from a jukebox.
The place is bigger than my initial impression led me to believe. Dart boards up front, a pool table in the back and a single TV above one end of the bar. The place is nicely laid out to accommodate small groups looking to hang out in what is, no doubt, a very crowded place during peak hours. But if you get there early enough you can probably score one of the small nooks furnished to make you feel like you're hanging in a friend's den or basement. Add in some quality beer, a game of darts or pool, and this is about as good of a hang out bar as it gets.
I started with a half pint draft of Old Stock Ale, blackboard listed as a new arrival. This was followed by a pint of the Collaboration not Litigation Ale. Both beers were $4.75. The CnLA is a spicy amber Belgian-style strong ale with tremendous lacing and a creamy smooth mouthfeel.
The clientele is mixed, but mostly a crowd of 20-30 somethings. The barmaid is quick, attentive and easy on the eyes. A raspy voice adds to her overall allure, but it's her genuinely pleasant nature and disarming smile that makes me feel warm inside when I order a beer from her... OK, maybe it's the high abv beers getting to me, but one should never let realty interfere with a warming sense of delusion.
The last draft I ordered was the Full Moon Pale Rye from Real Ale. It's a local TX brew I've never had, but it was fresh and I really enjoyed it.
Across the States you'll find a number of bars with a large number of draft beers on tap. What makes the Austin Ginger Man a cut above the rest is its well thought out selection (both on tap and in bottles).
03-27-2008 22:52:56 | More by 86sportster883
4.4/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5
Best overall beer selection in Austin. This place has an awesome draugh selection featuring 82 beers on tap and this includes 4 Lambics. The bottle selection is less impressive but still good with 110 choices, 9 of those Lambics. This is the only place I know of with such a large selection of Lambic Beers, both flavored and un-flavored.
The atmosphere is great with lots of wood and a library feel but can get a little loud since it is in the downtown Austin area which is always full of roaming hoards of revelers. The bar area is a treat for the beer drinkers eye with near 90 beer taps projecting at eye level behind the bar and really cool chalk drawn art above, advertising specials and events.
There is an outside beer garden as well and this is usually a good place to toss back a pint or two in relative quite (as long as it isn't summer, which starts in May and ends in late October, this is Texas you know).
The wine selection is average for a beer bar but a little better than average selection of Ports. There are also several ciders available on tap or in bottles.
The food is average pub fare (snacks and sandwiches), but that isn't why you are here is it. It is usually very busy in here on a weekend night and this challanges the service but they usually keep up.
04-13-2002 17:51:09 | More by mapman97
4.4/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Went here on a Friday night while in town for a conference at UT. The place was quite busy, but I found a spot at the bar and tried the roast beef sandwich and two beers: a local Alt and a local Braggot. Service was very attentive in spite of the crowd. Sandwich was very tasty, though the food options were somewhat limited. Beer selection was quite diverse and the two I tried were very nice. I was also offered samples of two other beers that I asked about. Unfortunately, the Austin Craft Beer Festival was starting the day I had to leave town, but I'm glad I was able to stop by. They only charged me for one beer and the sandwich and told me not to worry about it when I pointed this out (I left a nice tip). Will definitely be back next time I'm in town.
10-22-2011 05:40:30 | More by Geigespieler
4.44/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
I stopped in here twice on a recent visit to Austin. It worked out great because my hotel was across from the convention center, only a few blocks away. My experience both times was great -- first time I sat at the bar and had fast, attentive service all night and the second time found a table for myself and a few colleagues. It was busy during my second visit, but it was still easy to get service at the bar.
Deciding what to have was more difficult. With 80 taps (and a couple of beer engines) staring at you, it can take a while to figure out what to have. The printed beer menus helped, but weren't up to date with the most recent changes. Sitting at the bar helped, since it was easy to chat up the bartenders and hear what kegs had just been put on. The selection was impressive, with plenty of national and regional craft selections, quite a few limited release beers, and one beer engine running during my visit -- I mostly stuck with locals like St. Arnolds, Live Oak, and 512, but did end my first visit with a Victory Storm King.
Decent vibe overall, quite dark inside the bar area with an open air patio in the rear of the building. Good tunes on the jukebox too. Definitely a place I would go out of my way to visit again if I'm in the Austin area and highly recommended.
06-05-2011 21:32:50 | More by DrJay
4.47/5 rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Stopped here for a couple of hours on a Wednesday night while visiting Austin. I didn't count the taps but there were as many as I can ever recall seeing and all the ones I sampled seemed very fresh. I stuck with local brews of which there were many to choose. Bar tenders were very friendly and prompt. Quick to inform on every selection and accurate by my experience. The atmosphere is dark and relaxed but even on a Wednesday, which was not very busy, the clientele were generally buzzing and friendly. There was a pool table inside and a nice outside "beer garden". The juke box offered some decent blues & rock tunes with a good sound system. They apparently have bands there some nights, being downtown in Austin, but there was no entertainment that Wednesday. A few screens available for viewing sports, primarily from the bar. Decor was sort of old brick warehouse variety with some interesting beer items displayed. It's a fairly large place with a few coffee house type sitting areas (plush chairs and sofas) if you have a small group to be with, or a hot date perhaps. I didn't try any of their food but it did not seem to be a significant part of their business. Beer was the deal here and the varieties were really beautiful, a little of everything and many rare ones on tap to sample (cask ales, Imperial IPA's, etc., etc.). Only wish I could have stayed longer or come back again before leaving town. Take a taxi here and enjoy the beer. An excellent place to get your beer on!!
06-03-2007 02:15:21 | More by Durge
4.5/5 rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The overall feel of this place is what makes this a must stop for better beer while in Austin. Above and beyond the 100's of options and beer styles what seemed to set it apart is that the bartender knows beer. He was very friendly and you could sense that he just enjoyed the beer culture. I was there 11/1/07 and they had the current Beeradvocate magazine with Michael Jackson's visage prominently displayed behind the bar which was a nice touch. I sampled some local Live Oak oaktoberfest and a Saint Arnold IPA on cask both very nice. They had just gotten a few Lagunitas offerings on tap which is something I haven't seen too many places outside of California. A must stop when in town.
11-05-2007 15:01:45 | More by veech
4.5/5 rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
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.)
09-07-2009 22:06:13 | More by ocmpoma
The Ginger Man in Austin, TX
95 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.