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 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.

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

This is my first Ginger Man to visit, even though we have one in Houston. The best thing about this place is the amazing selection, I counted roughly 75 beers on-tap and 115 in bottles. I've never been to a place that has anywhere near that many different varities of beer. The atmosphere is also nice, very casual with lots of choices of places to chill. You can go outside on the backyard beergarden, chill in a booth, at the bar, and even in a couch. Seems like a great pub to hang out at. The service was adequate, but nothing special. Food wasn't a big component here, only appetizer-type snacks were available. I had a pretty good time at the Ginger Man, but the $4.50 I paid a pint was a little steep for me. Maybe if I weren't a college student it wouldn't seem so high. Still, my expirience in Austin makes me want to check out the Ginger Man in Houston.

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 kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

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

There’s over 40 beers on tap here by my estimation, including two on hand-pump. Located near the heart of downtown Austin, it has that vibe somewhere between a downtown afterwork hangout (at least, on the day I visited there were waves of happy hour haunters coming in) and hip beer geek hangout (until it got crowded I enjoyed sitting next to some fellow craft beer enthusiasts and musing poetically about hoppy brew).
The physical space is dark, quiet during the daytime but quickly turns lively. Lots of local options and a staff that was busy but didn’t ignore me when I was ready for another.

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

This is my third G-man to visit (Houston & Dallas already). Next time I make it up north, I'll have to complete the circle and catch NYC.
This one doesn't have the converted house look and public house feel of the other two. Much more of a restaurant set up, but does have the classic G-man back porch area. Is pretty dark but had a nice bar and some couches and stuffed chairs to relax on. Went in after the Texas Craft Brewers Festival basically across the street. My palate was definitely fatigued by that point, but the beers seemed fresh and were served appropriately (so this IS a G-man). Was very happy to see St. Bernardus Abt 12 on tap and ordered one for my friend. BTW, a new habit I'm trying to pick up in beer bars, order for someone else, they order for you. Forces you out of routine. Anyway...
Service was a bit slow, but it was full swing Saturday night and the place was fairly full. Great selection, there were a lot of beers I would love to go back and try, and so I believe I will! If you are in Austin, this is the right area. Hit the G, and Bitter End around the corner, but that's another review....

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 reebtaerG
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of stumac
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Was visiting Austin and as always have to find my way to one of the local beer spots. BA pointed me towards The Ginger Man.

Very cool dark feel inside. Once you walk in there is a rectangular bar that is narrow and extends for a way towards the back of the building. Near the entrance there is a nice living room like area with some couches a couple of TVs and some books plus some cool bear-themed decorations.

The selection and quality were good as far as I could tell. A decent amount of locals with some of the more readily available crafts like Blvd, Chimay, etc.

The atmosphere was chill, warm and inviting. I would definitely frequent this place if I lived here.

They have a bear garden and more wide seating areas at the back of the building but I stayed near the front for the most part.

Photo of BKotch
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

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