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The Ginger Man
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
phone: (713) 526-2770
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$$
I stopped in here on a Thursday evening about 5:00pm. Very crowded and very loud. They have a patio which was crowded with smokers in addition to being hot and humid (this is Houston, after all). Inside is dark except for several loud TV's with football games going. I'm not sure what the decor is trying to achieve but it came across to me as a dumpy college bar (which it basically is).
Large selection of beers both on tap and in bottles. Small number of local brews (St. Arnold etc.). The beer was fresh and properly served.
Service is haphazard due to over-crowding and under-staffing. The bar was jammed with business suits so I had to take a chair and wait for a waiter to get served.
Almost nothing on the menu (like the NYC Ginger Man). Don't come here for the food.
I'm not impressed by this place. Brian O'Neill's was two doors down the block and much more my style for having a beer and a light meal.
09-28-2007 14:32:37 |
More by joedon
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by on an early Saturday afternoon just after they'd opened the doors. Only a few other patrons walked in while I was there which made for a quiet, but enjoyable, weekend afternoon. My previous visit was on a Saturday evening; understandably, the place was packed, and I'm glad this time was a little more low key.
The Ginger Man is cozy and inviting; it's got that "old pub" feel. Not a ton of bar space, but there's plenty of tables including outdoor seating in the front and back. A seemingly never-ending bottle collection lines a shelf near the ceiling.
By my rough count, they sport almost 70 taps for our disposal and exploration. No complaints there! I was surprised (or should I be??) to see Heineken and Miller Lite taking up tap space, though. I took advantage of one of the few opportunities I've had to enjoy cask beer and ordered Saint Arnold Elissa IPA...excellent. I kept the local theme going and finished with Divine Reserve #5 (outstanding RIS, but I'm not sure why they served it in a shaker pint). Two top notch beers.
Overall, this is a great place to grab a pint, and I will no doubt visit again the next time I'm in the area.
09-25-2007 02:13:05 |
More by wolffman17
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
the g-man is one of the best places to drink beer in houston, no questions asked. It has the widest draught selection for 100 miles, second only to the Flying Saucer, and the wall is nicely balanced with classic and obscure beers of nearly any hop/malt qualities you could possibly desire.
the building has a dark, woody old pub feel, so the atmosphere inside is perfect for saddling up to the bar with your favorite pint or crowding a corner with a group of your rowdiest pals. The backyard patio and the picnic tables in the front are perfect for lounging in the springtime and autumn.
few beer specials, but the prices are usually reasonable
expect to wait: the service isn't really slow, per se, it's just that it's all draught place so on a busy night there's just nothing you can do about speeding up the process.
09-06-2007 19:15:36 |
More by macbeth130
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
The third G-Man I've visited and neither Dallas nor Manhattan can hold a candle to the beauty and friendly demeanor of the barmaids at the Houston location. That alone made it worth the visit twice last week. This location is somewhat off the beaten path, particularly if you're not familiar with the Rice University area, and the parking sucks (as it does at the other locations). Business took me to Houston in August which is like travelling to Buffalo in January. The humidity in this area is nothing short of disgusting, so when I couldn't find a space and had to trek in the stifling heat from the oven that is the $10 parking garage across the street, I was none too happy. But the barmaids were so damn polite/hot, and the beer selection good (given the area), my disposition changed considerably. Typically small building, must've been a single family home at one time or another. Low ceilings and bunches of taps behind the bar. Nothing particularly extraordinary in that most of what they offered on tap is available where I'm from. I was ecstatic when the barmaid served me a Maredsous 8 in a pint glass no less and it was happy hour, so I saved 50 cents ie $4.50 which ain't all that bad. The Texas brew St. Arnold, which is actually a high quality product, was on cask with their Elissa IPA. Quite delicious though a tad lacking in hop bitterness. There actually were patrons in the beer garden in back, all of them obviously insane. The inside was quite tolerable since I parked me butt right underneath the smoke filtration system. That coupled with the ceiling fans made it quite comfortable, even when the place got somewhat busy. On my second visit a guy walks up to me and hands me a free ticket to the Astros game - box seat, 1st base side, seven rows up. Talk about friendly! Again, the tap selection is quality. Nothing terribly mind blowing, but solid nonetheless. Ditto for the bottle selection. It's a G-Man so well worth tracking the place down...just avoid it at all costs during the summer.
08-29-2007 18:02:11 |
More by jim102864
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Very rustic feel to this bar, sort of out of place if you ask me. Upon entering the space the first thing I noticed was a rather large crowd hanging out on the front porch. Inside was a bit dark, but very cozy. The have are 60? or so taps on the wall behind the bar, and I think they are all live.
They have updated draft list on the bar, everyone should find something they will enjoy. They also have their beer blends, I tried the 'Party Dog' which is half Dogfish 90 minute IPA and half Spaten Oktoberfest, it was very good.
The barmaid was very knowledgable. It was entertaining watching her try to answer questions like, 'What do you have that is like heineken?'. When you know she wanted to say, go get some beer IQ, then come back and see us.
The only food I saw was bagged chips and popcorn. Make you dinner plans elsewhere..
I will find my way back next time I am in Houston.
08-10-2007 03:35:57 |
More by gixxerman
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Best beer-bar in Houston. Period. It's got great atmosphere; nestled in The Rice Village area of Houston (a retro-trendy location close to Rice University); it's got loads of character (you walk up to the front porch; nice interior that screams out "pub"; and it has a nice outdoor patio in the back; and it's got some of the best selections in Houston. I've been going to this pub for ages... and, sadly, I think I've sorely underestimated this put for all those years; it's only been recently that I get now that a bar like this in Houston is a shrine for beer-lovers; probably why it's survived and thrived (without changing an iota) for over two decades. If you're in Houston and you want a nice beer-selection and a nice atmosphere to drink it in... this should be your first choice.
03-24-2007 22:10:23 |
More by GregMcQ
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I counted 64 taps, while visiting the Houston location. The highlights were St. Arnold Christmas on Cask, Maredsous 8, and 10, and Spaten Optimator.
The atomosphere was as expected, having visited the Dallas location in the past. Low lit bar with some dusty, old bottles surrounding the shelving above the room. The Rice University crowd packs the place in, even for a Monday, along with the upscale snobby people speaking French not allowing me to get up to the bar. The backdoor leads to an outdoor section where people can take in the weather, or music...however it was way to cold to stand out there for more than a few minutes during my visit.
The quality seemed in check. I enjoyed my Maredsous 8, which was served unexpectedly in a pint glass, while my friend had a Stella Artois, which was served in a chalice...explain that one to me.
The service was ok the night we went. Perhaps a shade less than good. The bartender seemed busy but annoyed that we tried to get her attention. My friend, who I went with, is a former bar owner and bartender in Austin. He said that she would've never made it in his bar b/c she was having trouble juggling more than one thing at a given time. We had to go to where the waitstaff of 2 orders from. There is a sign hanging above the bar that says, "Do NOT stand here!" Considering we were getting ignored and couldn't fight through the land of coeds and frogs, we decided to ignore the sign and order from there anyway.
The selection is actually quite nice with drafts and bottles. Did I mention they have 129 bottles, as well? Not bad. I liked that they featured some things from St. Arnold and Real Ale. Too bad they didn't have any Live Oak, considering one of the rival bars on the other side of Houston reportedly has it. Oh well. Overall, not a bad place to visit.
12-11-2006 22:11:25 |
More by weeare138
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Quite nice selection of 40ish beers on tap.
For local micros, they had a number of St Arnolds on including the Christmas both on cask and tap. Draft was actually sweeter and less hoppy!
Some west coast things we can't get in Chicago: Old Foghorn, New Belgium 1554, New Belgium Saison, Arrogant.
They also still had Spaten Oktoberfest, and it was malty and wonderful and good to still find on tap this late into November! (still had quite the selection of oktoberfests actually -- you could do your own tasting)
Also on draft, Mardesous 10 was AMAZING.
Strange that they list their beers by color -- we somehow did not notice the Mardesous 10 until late in the night. Probably for the best though, because if I were drinking that all night, I would not have made it to 10pm...
Great ambiance, small house with bar along one side, and dart boards and a few tables along the other, lovely back deck with picnic tables and heaters.
Both the selection and ambience had Flying Saucer beat.
No question. This is the #1 beer destination in Houston.
Accessible by train/light rail from downtown (but it only runs til 10).
A cab back to downtown was around $16.
Money well spent.
11-22-2006 00:24:12 |
More by 4thoseabout2bock
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
The Ginger Man is generally regarded as the Number 2 beer bar in Houston (behind the Flying Saucer), although I'd say each serve differing, if overlapping, purposes.
* The atmosphere is mostly comfortable. There are tables out front and on a back patio, and various table options inside. However, as with most things in the Rice Village, the G Man can and does get rather crowded at times. Also, the bar area can get rather smoky.
* There always seem to be plenty of bartenders on hand yet sometimes service can seem slow. The barmaids (it's mostly girls) for the most part friendly. They are on the whole knowledgeable and willing to make suggestions, but I personally don't put much faith in their expertise.
* The selection is large -- not the largest in town (The Saucer takes that prize), but plenty of draft and even more bottles. Some selections seem arbitrary when considered against availability. Also, the beer buyer for the G Man is reputed to be an anti-hop-head, and this has in the past limited draft offerings in the hops department. Recently this trend seems to have eased. Perhaps best of all, this is one of the only places in town to offer cask-conditioned ale, which is always a St. Arnold selection. Usually it's the Amber Ale, but some times the Elissa sneaks in. Definitely worth seeking out!
* Until recently all the G Man offered in the way of food was bags of chips and pretzels. They now offer some snack plates such as spinach dip and cheese and crackers. Given the extremely limited scope of their food offerings I've decided to rate it N/A.
The G Man is presently my beer bar of choice when I'm seeking a good selection and I don't feel like going downtown to The Saucer. The G Man's prices may be just a tad on the high side, and their happy hour really doesn't help much, but overall it's a quality establishment and more often than not it's a good place to enjoy a good beer or several.
02-24-2006 23:29:43 |
More by VoodooBrew
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I happened to be in Houston visiting a friend and everyone I met recommended this place as having one of the best selections around. It was winter break so it wasn't too crowded with students, but still plenty lively and with a very nice atmosphere. A good mix of people, very laid back, and the selection was impressive with good service to match. My favorite things here are the front porch and beer garden out back. Both make for a great place to enjoy your beer outside, something I really like to do. I will definitely make another visit if I'm ever in town again.
01-14-2006 21:10:47 |
More by HurricaneMo
The Ginger Man in Houston, TX