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The Ginger Man

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

30 Ratings
Ratings: 30
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 14.22%
Taps: 52
Bottles: 80
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

99 Washington St
South Norwalk, Connecticut, 06854-3080
United States
phone: (203) 354-0163

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @gingermansono

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: cjpala on 05-17-2007)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mltobin:
Photo of mltobin
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%

I have been going to the Ginger Man in Greenwich for sometime (great spot) and was excited to hear that they would be opening up in South Norwalk.
They are in what was once Amberjacks and then vacant for quite some time.
The atmosphere is nice, but at times is lame when there are too many obnoxious 21 year old brats.
The quality of the beer is high and one of the most impressive elements of the Ginger Man.
The service is very good. Most of the bartenders are well-versed in what they serve and friendly. While I would agree that if you get a table the waitstaff is sub-par.
The always rotating selection is exceptional, go see for yourself.
Food is very tasty, but without a doubt, pricy for a bar.

mltobin, Jan 16, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of MRVermont
5/5  rDev +18.5%

MRVermont, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of sunnytropic
4/5  rDev -5.2%

sunnytropic, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of BeerBro75
5/5  rDev +18.5%

BeerBro75, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of tylergoov
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

tylergoov, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of GCBrewery
4.94/5  rDev +17.1%

This is THE place in Norwalk, the only place that might compete with the beer selection is Coalhouse Pizza on High Ridge in Stamford or the GMans sister company Cask Republic in New Haven/Stamford, but 52 tap lines devoted to world class beer with an impressive food menu and great atmosphere that can't be beat. Not to mention the beer dinners that are held here every so often; I was fortunate enough to attend the Founders dinner offered Feb 2014 and it was one of the best dining experiences of my life. Great beer, great food, the only qualm I had is that the hot ass bartender couldn't answer all of my inquiries, but she did manage to get the manager promptly and he definitely knows his shit. Some of the bottles are WAY overpriced, but stick to the taps and you'll be all set. So glad I moved within walking distance of this place.

GCBrewery, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of revooner
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

revooner, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of Mersh
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

Nice to have a bar close to home that is dedicated to supporting the craft beer culture. With a ever changing tap list and bottle selection this is the best place to go for brews in Norwalk.

Their special events are always great as well and the staff is pretty knowledgeable.

Mersh, May 19, 2013
Photo of pmlondrigan
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%

A - Lovely atmosphere, my wife and I frequent this joint in the early evening/afternoons. The hours we session the Gingerman really help...if you go during normal bar hours it can be a bit well like a bar.
Q - I don't know what quality means???
Service - Great, the bar tenders are freindly, helpful, and resonably knowledgable. Really friendly is all I look for what more can you ask for?
Selection - Honestly the selection is just ok. If you are a beer dude/lady you will usually find yourself choosing between 2 or 3 good beers at G-man. I just find for a bar with 52 taps there is a whole lot of not so interesting offerings that aren't great. But in there defense G-man does get some fantastic NEBCO and Allagash as well as Dogfish rarities.
Food - Its ok. Don't usually eat here as I'm a bit of a food snob. I must say though out of all the food the Turkey Burger is tops. Always juicy. Also my wife and I are sluts for the house made potato chips, yeah get those!

pmlondrigan, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

I've been to The Ginger SoNo several times but only have I taken the time to review it. This location is owned by the same dude who owns Ginger Man in Greenwich and Cask Republic in New Haven, and you can expect the same atmosphere and space.

Lots of wood, dim lights, coziness, same cool rock music, ample booths and the rocks. It's all good in this department.

The menu, alas, is just simple bar fare with some good items like flank-steak tacos and seared tuna BLT. Mostly sandwiches, we usually get the roasted-veggie-and-goat-cheese quesadilla. It delivers. Desserts looked good but we had a pretty terrible fake strawberry shortcake (tasted like a stale savory biscuit instead).

As in the other Gingers and the Cask, there is a great selection of bourbons and spirits, but only one cask, which was by the way OUT when I visited (Berkshire Brewing Lost Sailor dry-hopped with Chinoook).

The beer menu here is expectedly good, but the bottles are only alright. Go for the drafts! Dogfish 90 and 120 ($16 a pop for this one!!), Southern Creme Brulee, Old Raspy, Harviestoun Oil, Weyerbacher Pumpkin, Lagunitas Sumpin, Chimay and other Belgians, Stone 15th... you know the drill. These guys have it.

Service was OK, not great. Overwhelmed, understaffed, and yet efficient enough. Still, I felt the need to talk to the manager. Prices are high and you know that. I like SoNo and this bar and will keep coming back, despite the issues.

DoubleSimcoe, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of BrewIAm
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%

Visited the SoNo GM for the first time for lunch on 8/15/11. Not surprisingly it was practically empty on a rainy Monday.

Impressions: The SoNo GM is a clean, inviting establishment, with neutral to friendly staff. The food menu features some creative menu items, but could stand a few more pub standards, served in pretty large portions. Prices at what you’d expect this close to NYC. Everyone in our group seemed pretty happy with their meals. Good selection of beer, with heavy emphasis on pale ales, IPAs, Belgains, & wheats. They only offer two preselected flights of four beers & for me it’s a major shortcoming not to be able to build my own flight to sample the beers I want which resulted in my scoring the selection getting a 3.5.

C’mon Ginger Man, give the people control of their own flights!

BrewIAm, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of SunDevilBeer
2.28/5  rDev -46%

This place epitomizes everything I despise about the current day craft beer bar: service with an attitude, exorbitant prices, overpriced food, and douche-y patrons.

Visited for the 2nd time last week after a disappointing visit a few years ago.

Yep, indifferent hipsters are still employed here since my last visit. I wasn't in the mood for anything tick-tastic or boozy since I had a long drive ahead of me and ordered a Brooklyn Lager. You would've thought I ordered a Hamm's Light with the reaction of my server. Service was f'ing slow and terrible...like what I'd expect at Boston beer palaces. Servers were much more interested in striking up conversations with each other or regulars rather than asking if I was satisfied.

For a weekday early evening, the music was too loud. I like me some indie-rock, but the music was just obnoxious.

Against my better senses, I ordered the cheese plate....what a joke. Measley portions of underwhelming cheeses and standard crackers. Awful.

To top things off, I witnessed a manager berate a customer for trying to return a beer they weren't satisfied with. I wasn't privy to the details, but I just noticed the cavalier attitude of this guy lecturing a paying customer. Having worked in the service industry for several years, I thought the actions of the G'man employee to be reprehensible.

I will never return here.

SunDevilBeer, May 15, 2011
Photo of mttaylor1066
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

I live nearby in Stamford and this is my favorite lunch place. Yes, it is because of the beer selection and the staff knowledge. The Ginger Man is very quiet over the lunch hours and really gets going in the evening.

If you like a "quiet ale" then hang out at lunch. If you like a loud bar with your beers, come in the evening.

The staff know their beers and they aren't afraid to express their opinions about any of them. They also serve ales in the correct glassware.

The location started off as a bank, then went through several incarnations as a seafood restaurant, an American food restaurant and now The Ginger Man.

They have the widest variety of beer that I know of in Southern CT. The cask-conditioned ales come and go but if they have one tapped I always give it a go. Never been disappointed.

The food is also very good here, but perhaps a little too chic. They make a good hamburger but serve it on an English muffin. The other selections are pretty typical of an upscale Fairfield County restaurant. Fish tacos, paninis, and "Maple Ancho Pork". You get the drift.

(Fer crissakes, this is a manly beer place, serve a manly burger on a sesame seed bun! Keep the foofy items if you must, but would it kill them to offer a simple grilled chicken sandwich?)

I've also been to the Ginger Man in NYC, which has more beer on tap but the food is terrible. I want to stress that, the food in the NYC location is poor, at best.

mttaylor1066, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of birddogg66
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%

Stopped by the Ginger Man last week on a trip back to Connecticut. I had stopped by here on my last visit and was really impressed. This trip, I stopped by almost on accident on the way from Stamford to Fairfield.

The Ginger Man in SoNo was one of my favorite places that I visited the entire week. As you walk in the front door, the perfectly lit bar stretches along the left side, while couches, tables, and chairs are a plenty around the right side of establishment. I was amazed by the amount of Dogfish Head selections among the 52 draughts. As I started talking to Andrew, the Bar Manager, he told me that Sam Calagione had been there the previous week to toast his new Bitch's Brew, a few days before Brew Masters premiered. I had yet to see the show and he let me sample some of the stout before it blew later that afternoon. I enjoyed the Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter, served as one of their 3 cask selections. The bottle list here is too big to comprehend, and is constantly improving.

I would suggest a stop by here if ever in the really cool SoNo district. Especially if you just spent 2 hours at the Stamford Mall, you'll need it!

birddogg66, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of jaluria
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%

I've visited this particular location several times now and thought a review was in order. There are 2 sister bars (with the same name) in Greenwich, CT and New York City. Haven't been to either of those locations, but hope to one day.

The bar itself is located in downtown South Norwalk (SoNo). Outdoor seating, 1 or 2 HDTVs in the corner ofthe bar and plenty of seating for diners. The left hand side of the place is the bar while tables are setup on the right hand side.

The food is reasonable but not extraordinary. I would recommend eating at any of the local restaurants walking distance from the bar including: Soup Alley, Burger Bar Bistro, Coromandel.

The beer selection is impressive; 50+ taps and a good assortment of bottles. About 1/3 of the tap selection is dedicated to imports (Old Speckeled Hen, Bluebird Bitter, Fullers, Leffe Blonde, etc). Pints are reasonably priced and served in the proper glassware.

Definitely recommend stopping in if you're in the area; worthwhile.

jaluria, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of BeerFan95
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%

I've been to this location and only this location many times. The service has always been good. A knowledgeable and polite staff is always ready to help. It always seems to have a calm relaxing atmosphere.

The food is always good, and the ingredients seem to be very fresh. My one slight disappointment is I find the food menu a little limited. I would like to see more sandwiches or even some wraps on the menu.

The beer has always been good to. A nice rotating selection of different styles and a few beers that are staples including a house beer by Captain Lawrence. The bottle list is also nice, and includes beers I haven't seen in my local beer stores.

BeerFan95, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of hoochlovesbeer
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

I'm a BIG fan of the Gman in NYC. Norwalk is not NYC, however this location is it's younger brother. The beer draft selections are constantly being rotated with a few regular staples, eg, Hoegaarden, Abeyye Leffe, Harpoon IPA, etc. Look for the obscure seasonals from Captain Lawrence, Brooklyn, Allagash, Dogfish Head. The staff is well informed and always eager to help you navigate the beer menu to find what you're in the mood for.

This place's biggest, and I mean biggest baddest asset are the monthly beer dinners. I've had beer dinners at other restaurants before, but the way the Gman Norwalk pairs the food with the beer is exceptional. Bringing out tastes in both that you would've never picked up if you had each seperately. For about $65, 5 courses are served including a cheese course -my, oh my am I in Belgium? I like it that they showcase one Brewery a month and highlight their portfolio based on local fresh food. I raise my pint glass to these guys. Keep up the good work!!!

hoochlovesbeer, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of zoolzoo
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

The Gingerman, nice place in downtown Norwalk.

The beer list is good. There are alot of beers to choose from - plenty of locals, usually a cask, the usual suspects, and some surprises.

Atmosphere is nice - cozy, wood, semi formal; but ramps up at night. The service is attentitive and aware of the beer menu. Beer dinners are reguarly held here which is something to look out for.

The food is pretty good but listen - just get the cheese plate and a reasonable beer pairing of your choice. It comes with four different types of cheeses which seem to rotate but are great, bread, crackers, apples, and some sort of chutney. Yum.

zoolzoo, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%

This is a really good bar, pretty good selection, better that most around. I have never been to the Ginger Man in New York, but I heard its just as good. The atmosphere is good, and you really feel accepted and welcomed. This is a great place to chill out, with the buddies, and is a nice general bar in all. But, because of it's good selection, this bar makes it as a staple in CT beer connoisseurs. In addition, the food is really good as well, and pairs well with most beers served.

I highly recommend this location for visit, a great place.

StevenBilodeau, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Having been to the one in Manhattan, I was excited to see on in Norwalk when there recently on business. Parking is a pain, few street stalls available. Parking in back is $6. Tip, coming from 95, drive past, turn right at next corner. Better luck for street parking & only costs $1/hour.

Nice wood bar with poor lighting. 52 taps, almost all of it quality stuff (very few wasted on macros), cask & OK bottle selection. Taps are heavy on the domestics, bottles, heavy on the imports. Business was brisk both Tue & Wed when I stopped in. Music is not too loud, so can carry on a conversation, without having to shout.

Now onto the beer. Taps have a good selection of NE beers, Blue Point, Brooklyn, Victory, Magic Hat, Allagash, Weyerbacher, Captain Lawrence, Cisco. Others include, DFH, Stone, Oskar Blues, Chimay, Pauliner, Franzkanar. Beers are a little pricey by Florida standards, but we're about 45 min from NYC. Most $6-7, some others $9-14. Did have some hard to find bottles like Brooklyn Black OPS

Some of the beers sampled were Blue Point Fresh Hops on cask, Victory Prima Pils, Cisco Dark Woods, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy & Weyerbacher Insanity.

Did have a Cesar salad, which was decent. Have typical pub fare, not too unreasonable in the prices.

Overall, it lived up to my expectations. Beats the one in Manhattan, not nearly as crowded. I think it would be hard to find a better place in the area.

FLBeerGuy, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of Jesstyr
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

When it comes down to it, I love the Ginger Man, and I celebrate it coming to South Norwalk. Without it we would truly be lacking a "beer joint" and this is as nice a gastropub as you'll get in a town like this.

You'll always be able to find a table, but its never empty - plus the porch is the best seat in Norwalk - my fiance and I will go there all fall long. Even in the busy times, the crowd is good, not too old or too young.

Service is good, but not great. They need a lesson from other great gastropubs and get waiters that love and know beer. That said, its still above average, and this cant be the easiest place to wait tables.

Selection is the best you'll get around here, but it honestly hasnt gotten stagnant recently. Perhaps resting on laurels? I used to come here to try something new, but now I grab a few St. Bernardus and enjoy a good meal.

The food fits the beer very well - truly better than you'd expect, and its only gotten better. Cheese plate is well done, though stagnant. Beer dinners sound great, but are poorly marketed. I love the clams and the marinated steak sandwich. Specials are always worth checking out. Burgers are tremendous!

Altogether this place is perfect for a really good meal at a decent price, particularly for SoNo. Check it out if you havent.

Jesstyr, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of slander
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Let me tell you how this goes. See, if Cindy has invited you to her house within 2 months either way of your birthday, then there's a surprise party there for your ass. So there really aren't any surprises these days, and we don't even pretend otherwise anymore, it just is. This Labor Day weekend gathering would be (her husband) John's not a surprise party, strangely called for 5 on a Saturday, affording me some time beforehand to take in some sights along the way...

So I called Loren to see if he wanted to meet up in Stamford but he said he had to cut the lawn (way to pick up the slack Nate. NOT!) Dared to hunt out a parking spot AFTER the tracks against his judgement and did procure, meter fed & katty to where I want to be, no less. Oooh, swanky, polished, polite even. Straightish wood bar with a copper foot rail seating a dozen+ off to the left morphing into a bar counter extending down past the up front. Barback is a massive wood paneled piece with shelved booze vertically on center over more tiered stuff below, and the taps in rows of 27 alternating handles to both sides on copper back panels being waxed on, waxed off polished. Vertical boards above listing new beers, staff picks, house suggestions; they have some serious artwork to them, and TV's mounted above in both corners of the bar. Shelved glassware end to end below with intermingled bottle coolers and some giant Paulaner ceramic steins riddled about. Small lamps with amber panels along the bar with a single handpump.

Painted yellow beigey wall uppers 2/3 high with blended duct work over smart framed wood panel lowers and blinded windows up front. Wood pillar uprights throughout the room with ornate grape & vine steel pieces atop, some framed ceiling action with random spots involved, and Chandeliers with dangling amber cylinder lamps. 2 pair of tables lie adjacent to the bar wrapped in nooks of framed wood & paneled glass thick & distorted; it's cool. 2 tables in one front corner sharing "L" benchage and 6 on the other side sharing the same. 3 in another patch with 5 square tables adjacent angled, and a small area with leather cushy chairs past there to the rear. 2 bench tables to the rear on center fronting a mostly exposed bank vault with a large clock hopefully not telling the true tale of time. The seating areas are framed with wall mounted amber bell lampage on mirror backed panels and windows with low red curtains matching the seating below along the perimeter. And an outside brick enclosed seating area; potted plant lined silled and viney abound. Nearly a dozen tables there, some umbrella'd up, and a small, currently unmanned bar out there. Vintage beerings in display cases to both sides of the entranceway to the outside seating area and the front vestibule. An old Orval, an '85 John Courage, a '90 New England Holiday Ale, '87 & '90 Anchor OSA's, all sorts of vintage bottles and growlers in the cases, too.

54 taps including a pair of sodas; a little bit of a lot of things. 29 micros, 2/3 of which are New England-Tri State-Mid Atlantic regionals (Allagash, Cisco, Sam Adams, Magic Hat, Long Trail, New England, Captain Lawrence, Southampton, Blue Point, Ithaca, Southern Tier, Victory, Weyerbacher, DogFishHead), with the other 1/3 being local to someone else (Great Divide, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, Kona). The remainder is a mix of mostly but not all usual suspect imports (9 Belgians, 6 Germs, 4 UK) and (stop me if you've heard this one before) a stray Mexican, a single crap macro and a cider on a list in a bar... A single cask offering (Blue Point Double Blonde Ale) and they do beer flights.

Bottles, yes, bottles, sure, bottles; 80+ in all. Roughly 2 dozen US craft beers (some Allagash & DogFishHead big bottle offerings), nearly just as many Belgians, and another 30something more, including some pricey pricey Italians & a handful of vintage beers. Wines by the glass and it wouldn't be the Ginger Man without Single Malts, roughly 30 selections.

The plan was one and out, so I could hit that other place I've been meaning to see ridiculously out of the way up Route 8. Ordered a does this taste like the Ithaca Flower Power? We had to count out the taps as the handles were actually removed for the aforementioned cleaning of the back panels, and no, # 21 is La Chouffe, so the mispour is free for me. But it kept me around for a second beer, best laid plans (Flower Power, for real, please). Beer was fresh and I suspect they turn 'em pretty well.

Place is dead this early Saturday not long after opening; I'm a-hangin' barside with Kevintender and some of the staff. Signage for the welcoming of Stone Brewing to Connecticut, the only state so deprived in the east, probably for its sins. It's a clean, comfortable house, at least now it is; I can't speak for what it's like packed and 3 back to the bar. Good tunes, Pettitte's pitching just now, and I've got my Flower Power on; just how I want to spend my Saturdays.

slander, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of kenkochiss
5/5  rDev +18.5%

I love this place! The NY G-Man was my first. I live in Ct and just found out there's one close by in Norwalk. Great selections, the waitresses and bartenders I've dealt with ALL know their brews and love them too! I've been twice in 3 weeks and still can't get over the tap and special brew selections. Oskar Blues Ten Fidy and Pale Ale, Allagash Black and Four, Houblon Chouffe, Ommegang Abbey, Dogfish Head WWS and San Palo, The lists are freakin' endless. the tap prices are pretty good, but the bottle prices are high - but why would you drink a bottle with all those taps anyway?

Find one, visit one, be beer happy!

kenkochiss, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of Hautacam
5/5  rDev +18.5%

My girlfriend and I spent about 4 hours here on a lazy, snowy Sunday. Great looking place with a really nice vibe.Dark wood, kind of modern, but warm interior with copper or brass tap walls (?), anyway, whatever the correct term is, they were good looking. Nice touch to the 50 or so taps of what has got to be the best selection of taps in CT...are we even in CT ? Just for example : 3 Captain Lawrences....awesome ! De Glazen Toren Saison, Le Balladin Nora, DFH Worldwide , Hitachino White, DFH Fort, t'Smisje Barleywine, Harviston Old Engine Oil...no easy choices. We had the CL Gingerman Ale to start....excellent brew served in a 20 oz imperial pint....most of their reasonble ABV stuff is served in those , so when you look at the prices $5 - $7 per pint, not that bad for Fairfeild county. All beers were served in appropriate glassware. Nice snifters for the big ABVs.

The bartender, Matt is a really nice guy... took good care of us with samples , suggestions and good conversation whenever he could stop. His passion for quality beer and homebrewing was evident. It's always great to meet people in the business that really care about it.

The music was kept in the background so that conversation was easy. They actually had some pretty nice classic blues on ...Muddy Waters, James Cotton, etc

We were also pretty happy with the food there. I had the chicken pannini with portabello mushrooms, peppers and house mozzarella and chips....very good. My girlfreind had the Drunk burger with sweet potato fries and was really happy with it. We took a soup to go; an Amish aged cheddar soup made with CL pale ale and had that later as a snack....excellent.

If we lived closer, we would be in here often. Great time. We will definitely go back. Highly recommended.

Update : 4/13/09
After a few more visits and a beer dinner( Capt L), I have to say that this is the BEST beer bar in CT ( I've raised my ratings to 5's) and if you are within driving distance, you must stop in. Consistantly great taps, food and passionate beer people working there. JUST GO !

Hautacam, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of caddyguy
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%

I've been here a few times now. Has a nice wood bar that evokes someplace that is certainly not here. Always had a great time. For Fairfield county, they have one of the largest selections on tap I've seen. Bartender is knowledgable, and always willing to give You a sample. The only place around where you can get a Youngs Double Chocolate Stout that I know of. And a frequently changing cask ale is usually available. I had a very good Captain Lawrence cask..real nice. Check it out, the burgers at the bar a fine too. Enjoy!

caddyguy, Oct 03, 2008
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The Ginger Man in South Norwalk, CT
93 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.