Do you know The Ginger Man?
Despite it being one of the largest bars I’ve ever been to in NYC–seriously, you could do cartwheels after a couple rounds (OK not really)–I ALWAYS forget about The Ginger Man until after I’ve already chosen to go to another (crappy) bar. You’d think its 66 taps and 120 bottled beers would dance in my head like yeasty sugar plums every night, but NO. I forget until I have my first sip of a $7 Budweiser (because the bar I was dragged to doesn’t even have Brooklyn Lager) that I could be delighting and drunkening my senses on a pretty reasonable dime. I also have a bad habit of calling it Gingerbread Man to the confusion of anyone I’m trying to persuade to go with me there after.
Gingerbre-er-Ginger Man is surprisingly accessable for even the novice imbiber. Their menu breaks the brews down by flavor categories as best as possible and the bartenders, in my and my friends’ experience, have always been great at helping people pick a beer without turning into “Beer Snob Who Hates You For Not Knowing What Hops Are.” There are so many beers at hand that it’s safe to say there’s something for you here, and it will be priced pretty reasonably. Wine and spirits are available too, but like, really? You can also grab a Growler or a 6-pack of their offerings to go.
The food is of the bar grub variety, but even just a hot dog (loaded with bacon, cheese and house sauce) will help soak up your indulgences for under $5, as will the cinnamon or parmesean garlic soft pretzelss. It can get a little packed in the evenings but never enough to throw some ‘bows; just a casual crowd of folks who like a quality beer as much as you.
The Ginger Man
11 East 36th Street (btn 5th and Madison Avenues)
Photo Credit: NYCBeer.org