The Ginger Man

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

99 Ratings
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: n/a
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: 99 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
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 NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Of all of the bars that I visited while in Austin, I think I spent the most time at the Ginger Man. Not because they have a hundred taps or whatever, but because the people there seemed interested in beer! The servers were friendly and knew what they were talking about - not as much as me, but hey, who does? And at least they weren't just repeating a memorized list of beers on tap, or spouting off half-truths about the brewing process (as so many brewpub employees seem to do).

That said, the building is an interesting, beautiful old industrial brick A-frame on an odd street with no sidewalk. I'm sure there's some great history about that, but I don't know it. There's a small area out front though because of that, and I had a good time hanging at a table with a bunch of locals and Eddie Stoudt from PA one night.

Inside there's a blocky wood bar, wood floors, wood panel, black "industrial" lamps, dark leather chairs in cozy corners, tin-cut lights, and "Edison-reproduction" lightbulbs in minimalist retro chandeliers. Think Pottery Barn, but dark, and real. The little comfortable relaxation areas they have are very nice though. They have sofas and leather chairs and reading lamps. It's so much more welcoming than New York where I'd first seen this type of atmosphere, and that's Austin!

What else? Oh, the beer, yes. They have a handpump that sees a lot of action! And a wall full of taps that seem to move quickly. The bottled beer selection is fairly average stuff, but they do cover the whole world with it (Red Stripe, Cooper's Sparkling Ale, McEwan's Scotch Ale, Tsingtao, Labatt's Blue). Some highlights from the draft selection during my visit: Grottenbier Brown, Live Oak Big Bark, St. Arnold Elissa IPA, Meantime IPA, New Belgium Mothership Wit, Blanche de Bruxelles.

They also have wine and cider, which can be good if there's someone in your group who's absolutely unwilling to try beer (think cratchety old grandmas); and a limited selection of foods (sandwiches, pizza, cheese plate).

So, in conclusion, I'd say that although it can sometimes get a bit of a college crowd (and anywhere in Austin will), if I only had time to visit one place I'd make the Ginger man my destination. Well worth a visit!

Photo of Redrover
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The new location is great and has the same feel and ambiance as the old one. Well Done!

** Orignal Review***
The Ginger Man is located on the north side of Fourth Street. It is easy to spot due to some great signage.

This is a great older building. Nice well-worn floors, a copper wall of taps, darts, a neat broken-in bar and some cool memorabilia add to the charm. Being in Austin, you knew they would play good tunes. Note they had a copy of the Beer Advocate Magazine on display behind the bar and they were lending it out for customers to view.

The bar seats about 20. There are plenty of booths to share. There is a bit of outside seating in front and a much larger area in back. They also have a lounge area with comfy chairs and couches located in the back. Nonsmoking, which is a huge plus.

The have a massive tap selection (85 per the bar tender) that the menu breaks out by color (dark, amber, pale) and then further by country of origin.

Note they also have a cask, which was offering St Arnolds Bourbon stout while I was there.

They also offer a ton of bottles. You really have to check the website to gauge the width and depth of their offerings.

I took advantage of the local Texas offerings, which I can’t get back in Chicago.

Food choices are limited, but I did enjoy the beer snack (3 types of cheese, sausage, pickles, olives & grapes). They offer sandwiches, some pizza and some sort of filled pastry thing. I think you will find enough to keep the beer munchies at bay.

Friendly locals and nice bartenders add up to an enjoyable place to visit. If I could recommend only one spot in this enjoyable town, this is the one I would choose.

Photo of francisweizen
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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...

Photo of greenspointexas
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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 orangesol
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Made a quick stop downtown on my way to Rainey Street to check out the Ginger Man. Atmosphere was pretty solid, only a few people inside at the bar while the rest were out back enjoying the nice weather. Quality was pretty high, nice building inside and out and the beers were all served in correct glasses. Service was good, had to wait a bit for my bill but they were just starting an event and it was becoming a bit hectic. Selection was pretty good, beers from all over the world as well as plenty from TX. Prices were on par with all of the other bars I visited in the area. Overall an awesome beer bar in the heart of the city, I would definitely return if I am ever in the area again.

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 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 GRG1313
4/5  rDev -6.3%

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 cfrobrew
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of 86sportster883
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).

Photo of jdense
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Went into The Ginger Man on a visit to Austin. Being a frequent visitor or Beervana, I was looking for a big selection at reasonable prices. After reviewing the website, I was looking forward to trying the Left Hand Twin Sister DIPA. Voila, $7.50 for an 8 oz. glass, which seemed a bit unreasonable after seeing a bomber at Grapevine Market for $8.99. Settled on tasting several of the local brews (St. Arnold, etc). Pretty good selection, but as evidenced above, some of the prices were a bit unreasonable.

The service was hit and miss. My first visit the barkeep was more interested in sharing career plans with the female musician wannabe sitting at the bar, reveling her in tails how he wanted to score movies. Good luck to you buddy. The second visit the bartender was extremely accommodating, allowing me to try a full rank of local brews before ordering.

Be leery of visiting during the daytime, finding any free parking within shouting distance is a longshot at best. Probably worth a visit for BAers on a beer sojourn to Austin is search of local brews, especially during a hot summer night out on the back patio, though my advice would be to go to Grapevine Market and grab a few brews and find a big old oak down by the river.

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

I had one night to spend in Austin, and at the advice of the BeerFly guide, despite a heavy work schedule I ensured I made it to Gingerman, and I was happy I did. This was a great place to get a glimpse of the Texas craft brewing scene, both by scanning the beer menu and talking to the bartender and several very friendly and knowledgeable patrons.

When I approached, I was afraid the place might be closed, with the dim lighting and substantial wooden front doors shut tightly. Thankfully, it was not, and I entered a dark room witha long bar in front of me, and tables to the left. The bar was long and a substantial brass back-bar punctuated with taps stacked about three high. There were maybe 80 taps in total (+1 beer engine) with a great selection of local beers from St. Arnold, Live Oak, and Full Moon. Decor was of heavly varnished wood. I didn't find the place to be too smokey. I found a seat at the bar, saw a rye beer on the menu of interest (Full Moon Pale Rye), and got my beer right as the bar started to get really busy (particularly for a Tuesday). I started chatting with the guy on my right ("Tim") who was a resident and had an interest in Texas brewing. He and another patron ("Eric") chatted with me during the duration of my visit to Ginger Man had a couple of good beer recommendations, which made my visit very pleasant. The bartender was also pretty helpful and conversant with Tim, Eric, and I about local beers, particularly given how busy the place was.

Tuesday was "Texas beer night," so all my Texas brewery drafts were $3. I was impressed!

I was very happy with my visit to Ginger Man.

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 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 Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Durge
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!!

Photo of Gatordaddy
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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 Bwagner1122
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of CraigTravor
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

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.

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The Ginger Man in Austin, TX
95 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.