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The Ginger Man

Your Rating: None
BA SCORE
4.23/5
Exceptional
120 Ratings
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

301 Lavaca St
Austin, Texas, 78701-3936
United States

(512) 473-8801 | map
gingermanpub.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
70
Ratings:
120
pDev:
8.98%
 
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Ratings: 120 |  Reviews: 70
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

 2,247 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 543 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place has a huge L shaped bar with a grey stone top and can easily seat about 20 or more patrons. Very dark interior as the lights are kept very low. Some dart boards line the walls, and there are a bunch of tables off the bar area. There is also an outdoor seating area where a bunch of people were taking their drinks.

They had to have about 80 beers on draft, so you will find something to your liking. I had several pints over two days, and each one was fresh as the beer seems to move here despite the large number of drafts.

The bartender was very friendly and prompt with her service. She also seemed to understand the styles she was serving. Only had an appetizer here which was good. This is a worthwhile stop in the downtown area.

 749 characters

Photo of Redrover
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 1,673 characters

Photo of StoutSnob40
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of orangesol
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 691 characters

Photo of greenspointexas
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

 587 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
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...

 721 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of SimcoeKid
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of champ103
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

 1,015 characters

Photo of mltobin
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

 796 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 863 characters

Photo of Hibernator
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

 1,443 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of 86sportster883
4.4/5  rDev +4%
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).

 2,619 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Gatordaddy
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of mig100
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of jdense
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

 1,239 characters

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The Ginger Man in Austin, TX
Place rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 120 ratings
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