The Ginger Man

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The Ginger ManThe Ginger Man
325 Ratings
The Ginger ManThe Ginger Man

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

11 E 36th St
New York, New York, 10016-3318
United States

(212) 532-3740 | map

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Ratings: 325 |  Reviews: 221
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2

I've been to The Ginger Man many times, and I always love the place. That is, of course, because I come in off-peak hours!

I cannot even fathom visiting during those after-work times when the place is purportedly filled to the brim with so-called "young professionals" and an assortment of Bud Light-chugging dudes and dudettes. No, thanks. I'll come in the morning/afternoon, on a Sunday evening when it is manageable and leisurely.

The beer, oh the beer! 75 taps? I believe it. Always amazing. Casks. Rare offerings. Huge bottle selection (but beware: pricey as fuck!). I love the fact that it is divided in styles, and they always have a couple of each. You want a barleywine? Yes, there is one or two. Imperial Stouts? Of course. Some weird beers from Nebraska and Montana? They have them too. And so on. Also crafty Euros, Belgians, rares like Mikkeller. Yeah. My kind of bar.

Food. Don't expect much. Super pricey for standard bar food, some sandwiches, chips, pretzels. Whatever. Just an excuse.

I love the atmosphere almost as much as the beer: the cozy sofas at the end of the bar in the "lounge" section, the dim lights, the quiet music... it is almost like hanging out in the living room of your wealthy grandpa's big country house! Sweet.

Price. Way off. Sure, this is Manhattan, but still. Nothing under $6, not even the house beer or Bud Light. Most pints are $7, and the beers you want are $7-$10. Sorry, I do not have a trust fund.

Quality is good, they pour the stuff nice and use good glasses, but a lot of them are too narrow and small. I'm not a fan. And I don't like how they don't give samples and they have that annoying disclaimer saying "we don't give refunds or exchanges for beers because our managers are trained and they say they are good". Something like that. Seriously??

Service is alright at the bar, slow at the tables. And let me tell you, I had two beers, tab was $14, the girl says, "this sounds ridiculous, but the minimum is $15". Yes, it is ridiculous. Fuck You.

The Ginger Man is, to me, this special place to go once or twice a semester, but that's it. I cannot afford it, I cannot stand the peak crowds, I cannot stomach the food. It will never be a neighborhood bar.

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Photo of slander
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Cellarman hit it on the nose when he said this place had 2 distinct personalities. Starting with weekdays, during which this place is most unpleasant and maddening, packed with pretentious cigar chomping suits, that are drinking Scotch and should go somewhere else anyway so I can just enjoy my beer (please). I've actually stood on a long line outside, waitin' for you to leave so I can get in. It's just criminal. And the cigar smoke (they sell cigars there and encourage you to smoke them there) seriously impedes upon one's ability to taste your beer... and then they're weekends, when Yupfest '03 is out of session and you can actually enjoy this place...
66 beers on tap and a pair of hand drawns plus an impressive selection of bottled beers. A very nice tap collection here. Victory Strom King Stout, Weyerbacher Quad, a pair of Lindeman's (sure, you always see the Framboise but you never see the Peche on tap) and on and on.
A real comfortable bar (except the afforementioned weekday thing) with high ceilings and and dark wood throughout. Nice vintage beer posters and a room off the back with some comfy couches and chairs. Great damn jukebox, too.
I am counting the days on my fingers and toes 'til they put the "NYC smoking in bars" ban in effect and hopefully, the weekdays will become more like the weekends there.

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Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Mid town location, attracts a large following amoung the after work set. Alot better since smoking got nixed. The amount of Cigars here used to be a real drag. Can get packed on a buisy evening. Large front windows, high cieling, nice collection of beer stuff around the place. Selection is allways impressive. Tons of taps, tons of bottles, allways new and changing stuff. Usually 2 on cask. This place moves a LOT of beer so freshness, usually wont be a concern. They pay attention to quality, use the correct glasswhare and in general run a classy operation. Full menu of above average pub grub and typical, semi upscale food and snacks. A must hit for locals and beer travellers

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Gingerman is midtown's best beer bar with a great selection and a clean and comfortable (but somewhat loud) atmosphere. It's quite open and features a large front area with some nice tables, oriental rugs, and short burgundy-colored velvet curtains in the front window. Across from the bar are some really nice semi-authentic UK-type wooden booths with mirrors and wood paneling. These are a great place to enjoy some great food and a couple of pints with your friends; but the long bar is also very comfortable if you're on your own. There's a partial tin-ceiling and some antique chandaliers that add a bit of charm. The kitchen is exposed at the back before you get to the nicely adorned back rooms. It's exceptionally clean and well-run but it seems kind of bright at times; it can get noisy; and it somehow just doesn't fit in with the whole look of the place - but the food is good so it's worth it! The menu is a bit limited, but it's some of the best bar food around. A $2 soft pretzel makes a quick bar snack on the run, but the Guinness (beef) Stew is a bit heartier at $4 per cup. The Strawberry Salad ($7) goes well with a witbier, the Roasted Portobella Sandwich ($8) goes well with a brown ale, and the Fresh Mozzarella Sandwich ($8) works surprisingly well with a Munich helles or not-too-bitter pilsner. But the beer is why we're here... 64 beers on tap (2 ciders), 2 handpumps, and 120 different bottles. And as if that was not enough, there's an impressive list of single malts and "whiskey". Finally, the service is very good and the staff works at learning about beer! Wow! It's certainly worth a stop if you're passing through town as its location makes it quite accessible from all of the normal tourist destinations.

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Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

A large place, with sofas and a huge bar. Even with loud music contained to the bar area,fortunately you can still hear yourself speak. They could use more than 2 servers as you had to wait, but David the bartender pours beautifully and is an artist to watch. This is situated close to the insane Times 50 or so taps, and even more bottles, and two on cask, and with high turnover, I am sure all is fresh. I was comfortable here. You need to order a pint of whatever, and I would have liked a couple of samples of some obscure stuff, a minor criticism.

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Photo of Gavage
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Upon entering the dark bar you see the large selection of taps just behind the bar. You feel like a kid in a candy store wondering what special drafts they have. The beer menu clearly states what is new on tap on the front page. Inside you find well over 60 drafts and 150 bottles.

The bar was fairly crowded for a late afternoon on a Friday. Some sat at the tables, but most were at the bar. A few people were sitting in the sofa room in the back. The bar is long and seats about 20 people. A collection of nice glassware adorns the top of the bar. A small open kitchen is in the back by the restrooms.

Pints are from $6 - 7.50 based on what you order. Victory, Rogue, Anchor, Stoudt's, Smuttynose, Magic Hat, Blue Point, Brooklyn, and Ommegang were some of the American offerings. Young's, Fullers, Kulmbacher, Mahrs, and Spaten Optimator were some of the international beers. Just way to many to list.

Anyone visiting NYC should make the time to visit this great bar.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

After David Copperfield’s, we recruited the services of several NYC Taxi’s (what is the collective noun - a 'Cab' of Taxis?). Tall, large windows topped by a black & gold signed frontage announced the fact that we had arrived at the 2nd of the day’s stops, The Ginger Man.

It looked upmarket from the outside, but inside it reminded me of several turn of the century bars that I visited in Brussels. A high class interior mixed with even higher ceilings which allowed the conversation of the day to rise quicker than the amassed body heat of the imbibing incumbents.

The Bar is to your right as you enter, a fancy affair that has a clean sweeping open top bar with stools. Has a clear serving area thanks to the fact that the 60+ Taps are set against the mirrored back wall. Lots of wood, glass & metal lend the air of a Metropolitan Parisian Café to this part of Manhattan.

Then as I wandered to the bar, I stumbled on fellow BA mrjimcat, who was enjoying a quiet drink, well until I interrupted him at least. He allowed me to sample & share some of his Baladin Nora, & later the Baladin Super, both exceptionally good Italian beers which were new to me. Later we hit the draft beers, a Fullers London Porter was ordered as I recall.

A stroll around, & a walk to the back of the Ginger Man saw the interior transform from that of a classy establishment to a Hotel Lobby. Soft carpets, paneled walls, some tables set amidst armchairs & sofas in an L-shaped room that adjoined the main area. More BA’s materialized, including one of my Beer Review hero’s, NeroFiddled - Sir Jim was quietly enjoying a beer & a chat before I rudely interrupted. I apologized with a Smuttynose Porter that seemed to go down well.

The interior is bright at times & could never be classed as relaxing, but it is nevertheless comfortable. The beer range of 60+ taps & ~100 bottles had something for everyone. The beers were great, but my most abiding memory of The Ginger Man was the time when I went to the bar to order the Smuttynose Porters. I stood, listened & observed a bar full of BA's, many of whom were meeting for the first time. There was no reserved behavior at all, but moreover a chitter-chatter akin to that of an old school reunion which reverberated throughout. BeerAdvocacy filled The Ginger Man between 3pm and 5:30pm that day for sure. Quite Superb.

Well Worth a Visit, if not just for the chance to try the Baladin beers. Thanks mrjimcat – the beers are on me next time!

Last Visit: 14th Nov. 03.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Had beers and food on a Saturday afternoon while visiting NYC for a concert.

Good atmosphere - a dark wood pub feed. Our group was able to claim one of the bench tables across from the bar when we arrived. Besides the tables and the bar, there is a room in the front, and a room in the back with upholstered chairs to sit in. Nice music, but not too loud. Easy to have conversations while you drink. It started to get a bit more crowded by the time we left at 6:30 pm.

If you can't find a top-notch beer that you like, then you've got a problem. The 70 beers on tap are arraigned on the beer list by style, along with ABV, serving size, and price. Most lower alcohol beers were served in 20 oz pint glasses, most higher alcohol beers in 12 oz snifters. Draft beers ranged from $7 to $12. Mix of American craft and Imports, and a fair number of limited release offerings. If you stuck with the lower ABV beers in 20oz glasses, the prices weren't too bad considering it's in Manhattan. The bottle list prices were pretty steep though, but there's no reason to order off of it.

Food is limited to "Gastropub" fare - we had fresh pretzels and chips, a charcuterie plate, and sandwiches, which were all very tasty.

Our server was very friendly, attentive, and made recommendations when we asked. Overall, I would definitely recommend!

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Photo of Rifugium
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Located at 36th and 5th. This is a place for beer drinkers. Over 60 beers on tap, and a different bottle for every day of the year, more or less. Unfortunately, not much of a food menu, and I've yet to sample it, but again, you go here to I've only been here a few times, but it's always a pleasant visit, even if the clientele is a bit on the preppy / hipster side. But my first impression was: this is where beer enthusiasts go to drink in Manhattan, and I was exposed to some of my first craft and foreign beers here many moons ago. Staff is busy, but as attentive as possible.

I also visited the Ginger Man in Dallas, which was notably and obviously more laid back.

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Photo of misternebbie
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of sholland119
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

A fine beer bar in Manhattan.

Atmosphere is good with a large bar, plenty of standing room, tables with long benches and a back room with plush chairs in which I would instantly pass out if I ever sat in one. The place has a few more after work yuppie types than I like but I am sure that is due to location.

Quality and selection are insane. 70 taps, or maybe 70,000 taps, almost all high quality craft and very diverse by style and geography. Bottle list is a bit more local but equally stupendous. If you can't find 12 things to drink here, you are far more worldly and jaded than I.

Service is prompt and moderately well informed.

My only complaint is that the kitchen closes unreasonably early for a NYC bar. Don't know if I am missing anything or not but I can spend a couple hours here (kitchen closed when we arrive), take a cab across town and get takeout delivered an hour later.

Don't go hungry, but go!


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Photo of morebeergood
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

This was stop number four and the final stop of my Wednesday NYC pub crawl. Got here around 1:00am, and there were only about three people at the bar. I found this place to be one of the more spacious bars I have been in the city, wide and very high ceilings. We sat down at the bar and were given the beer list. Quite impressive. Selection ran the gamut, so it was hard to choose. I went with The Bruery Rugbrød served in a snifter. Nice. The tap handles are all grouped behind the bar on the wall in one spot, and it's cool looking. When we finished our beers, we were not offered another but instead given the check, as we could tell it was almost closing time at 2:00 am. I'd definitely like to come back here sometime to get more of a feel for this place and enjoy more of their great beer selection.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

At one point, back about 10 years The Ginger Man was my go to place in NYC - especially after work for a couple of beers but things have since changed... Now there are a lot more craft beer places in this area of the city that also have good draft lists and the crowd after work has changed from craft beer aficionados to just an after work crowd. Actually, the last couple times I stopped in after work I saw more folks drinking wine/cocktail and Bud Lights as I saw drinking craft beers. I enjoy the fact that the music is not so loud as to discourage conversation.

The beers are well poured, served at a proper temperature, in proper glassware, and with the proper amount of head.

The servers thatI have dealt with on my visits to The Ginger Man have all been friendly, professional, and knowledgeable.

The selection at The Ginger Man is good but not exceptional - at one point they were the premiere place for craft drafts in NYC but now they have a lot more competition. There are always some beers that I have been trying to find or interested in trying but nowadays it does not blow me away.

I have personally never gotten any food here so I cannot comment.

Prices are good for Midtown NYC.

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Photo of GJ40
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I stopped in while in NYC on business based on the BA reviews. The Ginger Man is a fairly large place that's narrow but quite deep. It's got a long bar with plenty of tables and some relaxing sofas and chairs. The front has large windows that let a good amount of light into the space. The wood floors and bar are attractive and authentic. Overall, it's got a very genuine and comfortable feel to it.

Like the Dallas location I've visited, this location has lots of great beer on tap. I'd say 40+. I went with a Goose Island Pepe Nero. Our waitress was nice, attentive and knowledgeable.

The Ginger Man is a great beer bar in a very accessible area of the city. It's well worth a visit.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I stopped here after a Yankees game. It was very easy to find, approximately 7 blocks from Grand Central Terminal. This was a beautiful bar, decked out in a fashion resembling a study, den, or library. Nicely paneled walls and ceilings, lots of old beer bottles in cases, and tons of taps. The beer list was extensive and covered most styles, as can be confirmed on the website. I chose Boon #52, it was very good. The service was a OK but not overly friendly and the prices are a tad high (par for Manhattan), but the atmosphere and selection make this a worthy stop.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

My boss recommended the Ginger Man on a recent trip to New York, so I got to spend some time in this fine establishment. I was suitably impressed.

The selection and quality are fantastic. I had a cucumber saison from Cigar City and Nogne O's imperial rye porter, both of which were good choices from among their 70 or so varieties on tap.

Atmosphere was dark and homey, which of course I love. The Wednesday night that I was there, the place was packed to the gills with most patrons having standing room only. That said, my boss and I got drink service and had our glasses bussed and everything from right where we were standing; service didn't diminish simply because we were table-less. I appreciated that.

I didn't get any food on this visit, so I can't speak to that.

I will definitely be returning to the Ginger Man the next time I'm in the city. I would love to be there when it's a little bit slower so I can sit in quiet contemplation and sip some of their fantastic choices.

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Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.96/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of Yetiman420
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

The weekend of July 12 – 14 2007, my wife and I visited The Ginger Man, Rebar @ The Retreat, Blind Tiger Ale House, and Hop Devil Grill (not the Belgian side). I’ve listed them in our overall ranking. We’re in our early and mid 30’s, I travel frequently and always incorporate good beer into my journey’s be it work or pleasure.

I'll start this review by saying The Ginger Man was far and away our favorite of the Manhattan beer bars. It's mid town location made it conveninet to our hotel and away from the mindless weekend massess random hopping bars (someone say hops?). I'm giving a favorable score for quality east coast beer selection and a very nice atmosphere. Tall ceilings, nice bar, communal seating, and even sofa's and couches if you're lucky enough to get one.

The only drawback was the bartended was unable to explain a couple of the beers. Good news here was he just poured a sample when I asked about the style. I had this problem in all the other bars so it might be the standard for NYC beer bartenders.

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Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Sixpoint
5/5  rDev +17.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Wow! By far, one of the best beer bars in New York. May be even the best beer bar, all things considered. Here's why:

1) it is spacious! A lot of beer bars are crammed with low ceilings. This bar is very expansive with 20 ft ceilings with sweeping murals. It's a cathedral to beer.

2) Clean! The first thing I noticed is how impeccably clean this place is. They take immense pride in keeping this place antiseptic despite the heavy volume.

3) Friendly service! Everytime I've been here the bartenders and staff have been very cordial. Always seem to meet friendly patrons as well.

4) Selection! Very comprehensive and very organized. Never had a bad tap; everything seems clean and well-maintained.

A pretty good value, considering it's in Midtown and only blocks from Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, and close to Times Square too.

I've heard the food is good, but I have yet to try. I love this place though, and I will frequent it often.

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Photo of orangesol
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%

Stopped in here right after Rattle since it was so close by. Atmosphere was hopping. As we entered we were greeted with a mass of people four deep at the bar. I almost turned around and walked back out but I saw a small space at the end of bar to stand in so we went for it. Quality seemed pretty high. Selection was killer, I was finally able to try my first Peekskill beer so that was a big plus. Prices were high but thats the norm in this city. Service was slow but with that many people I could understand a bit. After trying to get a second beer for almost ten minutes we were over it and decided to bag it and head somewhere else. Overall I would like to return in the future and give it another go, hopefully with a lot less people around.

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Photo of papat444
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Visited Oct. 10.

After a big day of walking around NYC shopping, it felt good being able to have a beer and relax. First thing i noticed is that the place is dimly lit but not uncomfortably so. Gives an ambiance of soothing relaxation. There were no tables available but after about 5 minutes, a table opened up right by the street so we rushed to get it.

The menu is so vast and expansive that it's hard to name everything. Good NY representation with some West Coast brews and a lot of imports that were not TOO expensive given we're in New York. They had 2 cask brews but they didn't really catch my eye. I had an Elysian Avatar Jasmine and my wife a Stone Old Guardian. I ordered some Ginger Man and Chicago style hot dogs which were not bad.

I had time to look around as we waited for our food (which was fairly quick actually) and the atmosphere was quite vibrant The place was packed but the noise was just right and never cumbersome. Lots of room between tables also so we weren't squeezed in by people. There's also lots of couches in the front and at the back. The decor was quite striking with the wood paneling (which reminded me of a library) and high ceilings. Lots of breweriana strewn around.

In all, we were very comfortable in this laid back atmosphere. The beer selection is astounding and every beer lover passing through has to check this place out at least once. Strongly recommended.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Slightly more upscale craft beer bar than some of the other locations, especially in this area. Customers were dressed in smart casual clothing. This place had a very "adult" feel, and not the sort of place where 21 yr old kids go for their drunkfest on a Friday night.

Good variety of craft beer, both domestic and imported. Two cask ales were offered and one engine beer (Mahrs).

Service was very attentive and polite. Food was ok but pricey. Cheese plate did not have all of the indicated items from the menu, but was still decent. Pretzels did not seem homemade.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

After a pint at d.b.a. (see review), I did what I have always done when in Manhattan: I had to stop here. In fact, in the ten or so years that Ginger Man has sat near the corner of Madison and East 36th, I have never visited New York without failing to drop by - the best time to do so would be on an early weekday afternoon. But then no beer lover should take a bite from the Big Apple without drinking a pint or two (not to mention spending a sizable chunk of change) at Ginger Man, which is one best beer bars in the city if not on the East Coast.

The beer list has always been amazing! On tap are sixty draughts from around the world, many not being available in the US. Of course, cask-conditioned beer is always available. I appreciate the consistent freshness of the beers and the efficient, prompt and knowledgeable staff. The food ain't bad either.

On the hot July day of my visit the new beers were:

1. Aecht Schlenkerla Helles
2. Dinkle Aker Pils
3. Red Hook Sun Rye
4. Weyerbacher Muse
5. De Ranke Bitter

Of course, the heavier styles are rotated in the colder months. (What a place!)

It is a handsome bar as well: high ceiling, a very long wooden bar that is opposite several booths running along the wall towards the back. In the front, to the immediate right are scattered a few tables and a couple of coveted sofas. In the back off to the right is another lounge area complete with additional sofas and comfy chairs. Need I say more? To be here is to be in beervana.

Update - 3/16/09: Stopped by again! I tried their Ginger Man Ale, Brooklyn East IPA Cask and Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - to name a few. I love the Ginger Man. They now have growlers to go.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

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The Ginger Man in New York, NY
Place rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 325 ratings