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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)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

TheSevenDuffs, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of kcillini77
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%

I brought my family on a business trip to Austin and last night for Valentine's Day we managed to get a coworker to watch my son and we headed to downtown Austin. I sought this place out for drinks prior to dinner after reading about it here on BA. Once I walked in I realized I had been in this place once before during a recruiting trip 8 or 9 years ago, but that's another story. One note to consider - the parking area adjacent to the building was a private lot charging 7 bucks to park. Not knowing what else was available in the area we went ahead and paid, but you may want to look for on street parking elsewhere if you want more money for brews.

This is the type of place I would love to live near. I don't know what it's like late night, but early evening it had the laid back atmosphere of a coffee shop combined with wonderful beer, authentic (non electronic) dart boards, and a lounge area.

We happened to get there during their "Thursday Thirsty Thirty Minutes" where from 6-6:30 ALL draughts were $3.00. Belgians too. During our visit I worked on brews not available in my neck of the woods: Maredsous #8, Lagunitas IPA, Stone IPA, and a cask conditioned St. Arnold's Elissa.

Selection was great, and service was good. My only complaint was that with such a wide selection of beers and a handy up to date list there was no listing of ABV, and the bartender I spoke to had no idea what the ABV on the Maredsous was. I think it's kind of important to have that info available to aid in responsible drinking. Also, I saw lots of people drinking from authentic glassware - Duvel tulips and other varieties, but all of my orders were served to me in standard shaker pints. Not sure whether the glassware is bring your own or on request.

All in all a very enjoyable experience and I will definitely return next time I find myself in Austin.

kcillini77, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%

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!

StoneBrewFanatic, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of miskatonic
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%

Spent a long weekend in Austin Recently and it seemed a no-brainer to go to the famed Ginger Man. All I can say is wow! Wow, wow, wow!!! As a New York City resident I am no stranger to the concept of the multi-draught-line beer bar, nor am I unfamiliar with a bar known to have a magnificent bottle selection, so I was holding high hopes when I visited here, and I was completely blown away by what I witnessed. The thing I like so much about the Austin location of the Ginger Man (and what I think the NYC location can take a lesson on) is their incredible selection of locally produced craft ales (often multiple selections from a single brewery), selections from Live Oak, Shiner, St Arnold, & Real Ale Brewing Co. dominated the selection of 39 american craft ales on draught. When you consider that US breweries represent 50% of the entire draught selection (something like 80 lines), you may agree that this is craft beer bar that favors the little guy over big Euro-breweries and their deep pockets (you listening NYC G.M.?). The remaining forty lines seem to be an evenly divided selection of German, British/Irish, and Belgian offerings of note (usually) and fine quality The bottle selection is also a lot more impressive with far more American selections than I remember seeing on the NYC list, and just a more well rounded selection in general. It's great to see a town like Austin (where American macros, Guiness, and Mexican Brew seem to dominate the bar/retail scene) support a major beer bar that should definitely be a vacation destination for all BA's and role model for beer bars across the US.

miskatonic, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of francisweizen
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%

I'm not the biggest fan of the ginger man in NYC, and I didn't know that their was three of these in Texas, but the Austin one was pretty awesome! Atmosphere is great, more small, with a hometown locals feel that the NYC one lacks. Dark wood all over the place with some nice booths, a good jukebox, and a small l shaped wooden bar. Service is standard friendly fare and selection is awesome, with quite a bottles list of micros and imports as well as damn-near-60 tap lines, with many local Texas micros on offer. The cask was St. Arnold Amber, which was nice, as was their IPA. The standout though was the live oak hefe, the best damn hefe in the world. Damn straight. A nice bar in a killer drinking/live music city...

francisweizen, Jul 08, 2005
Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

Shultzerdugen, May 25, 2006
Photo of JonathanL7890
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

JonathanL7890, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of 86sportster883
4.4/5  rDev +3%

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).

86sportster883, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of mapman97
4.4/5  rDev +3%

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.

mapman97, Apr 13, 2002
Photo of Geigespieler
4.4/5  rDev +3%

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.

Geigespieler, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of DrJay
4.44/5  rDev +4%

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.

DrJay, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of Durge
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%

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!!

Durge, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of Gatordaddy
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Gatordaddy, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of mamaraza
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

mamaraza, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of veech
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

veech, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of ocmpoma
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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.)

ocmpoma, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

BillRoth, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of DoktorZee
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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).

DoktorZee, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of walshclimb
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

walshclimb, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of NCSUdo
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Just got back from The Ginger Man, spent a few hours there tonight after dinner. Wasn't what I expected, but that doesn't mean a whole lot. I hear about a place with 80+ beers on tap and I'm thinking pearly gates, but it never shocks me when I walk into a very normal looking bar.

Atmosphere wise, this is nice laid back place. It looked about half empty, but a I overheard a regular comment on how busy it was and the bartender agreed. A little dark for my liking and only some juke box tunes playing despite an ample size for both music, TV, etc. Seemed like a really friendly environment with a lot of locals and regulars.

Service was good. I only had one question regarding "Lucifer" which I wasn't familiar with and was told that it was similar to Duvel. Good quality place, I mentioned to them about there recent appearance in BA magazine and the bartender wasn't aware of it (although he did mention that he thought something was coming since BA was around during a recent beer fest).

Selection can't hardly be beat. First time I got to wrap my palatte around an Arrogant Bastard so you know it was a good night for me. Sure wish the Tar Heel state could get some Stone in, cause the Bastard was A+. Finshed the night with a glass of Lindeman's Framboise, and was shocked at how little I spent. I spent more on the cab ride home then I did on top notch beers I enjoyed while there.

Overall, a really great place to go and have a beer. Doesn't seem busy during the week, won't be able to speculate as for the weekend. Surrounded by other pubs/beer bars with live entertainment if you are looking for that.

NCSUdo, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of omnigrits
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

omnigrits, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of rwf08
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

rwf08, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of IBUnit63
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%

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!

IBUnit63, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of LittleDon
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%

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.

LittleDon, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of DamYankee
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

DamYankee, Apr 18, 2006
The Ginger Man in Austin, TX
95 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.