The Ginger Man
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Taps: 81 / Bottles: 66
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
4.01/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
When on a trip to Austin last month, I made a point of stopping into the original Ginger Man. I was a little surprised that at 1:30pm on a Thursday that they were closed...had to grab some tacos from one those food trucks and come back after 2pm. When I made it back, it was very quiet, only a few other patrons. Their beer selection was in a similar format to the locations in CT/NY, but tailored of course to the distribution in Texas. So, it was nice that I was able to order something from Deschutes and the local, Jester King. The food menu also looked similar if not identical to CT/NY locations...upscale pub grub. You will spend more money here than some other watering holes, especially for Texas, but its worth checking out and hopefully ordering something that you have not had before.
06-27-2011 01:59:37 | More by mltobin
4.4/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$
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
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.
01-04-2009 03:36:29 | More by jdense
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.
02-02-2007 01:45:21 | More by BeerBelcher
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
4.44/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
I stopped in here twice on a recent visit to Austin. It worked out great because my hotel was across from the convention center, only a few blocks away. My experience both times was great -- first time I sat at the bar and had fast, attentive service all night and the second time found a table for myself and a few colleagues. It was busy during my second visit, but it was still easy to get service at the bar.
Deciding what to have was more difficult. With 80 taps (and a couple of beer engines) staring at you, it can take a while to figure out what to have. The printed beer menus helped, but weren't up to date with the most recent changes. Sitting at the bar helped, since it was easy to chat up the bartenders and hear what kegs had just been put on. The selection was impressive, with plenty of national and regional craft selections, quite a few limited release beers, and one beer engine running during my visit -- I mostly stuck with locals like St. Arnolds, Live Oak, and 512, but did end my first visit with a Victory Storm King.
Decent vibe overall, quite dark inside the bar area with an open air patio in the rear of the building. Good tunes on the jukebox too. Definitely a place I would go out of my way to visit again if I'm in the Austin area and highly recommended.
06-05-2011 21:32:50 | More by DrJay
4.28/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
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.
10-28-2010 23:57:23 | More by rowew
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.
11-11-2010 22:20:01 | More by LittleDon
The Ginger Man in Austin, TX
95 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.