My search for the best beer in New York continues….
I’ve been wanting to visit The Ginger Man for almost a decade now. I even tried to plan my 25th birthday there, but it didn’t work out for some reason I can’t remember (must be old age). I think I may have always been intimidated by the after work crowds and never ventured to this part of Midtown in the evening. Well, this is one of the reasons I started this blog – so I could hit those classic venues that I’m too lazy to do otherwise.
The Ginger Man is famous for its huge craft beer selection on tap (70 tap lines!?!) and notorious for its jam packed Happy Hour crowd (even though the place offers no discounts). I arrived around 4:30, just in time to find a table before the suits started descending. The place was still crowded, loud, and dark. I liked the rustic old farmhouse feel, but would have liked a bit more peace and mellowness. No such luck.
I ogled over their diverse beer list, but knew I’d be ordering their house brew. The Ginger Man Ale is made for them exclusively by Captain Lawrence’s brewmaster Scott Vaccaro. I’m a fan of their beers and I’m a fan of spicy and sweet ginger. This was a beer for me, I was sure of it.
Consistent bubbles permeated the hazy apricot colored brew with a tight puddle of foam on top. The nose smelled intensely of ginger and lemon with a hint of buttery sweetness. Think fruit candy. The fresh ginger was evident on the first sip with a dry bready, yeasty finish. The very low hop character made this a smooth and slightly sweet beer. It really did remind me of ginger ale (in beer form), which I always think could use a bit more spiciness and less sweetness.
This was still a very drinkable beer and the sweet, warming qualities were appropriate for a bar named after ginger. I was just bummed none of the waitresses had red hair (I guess that would be The Ginger Woman?)
Is Captain Lawrence’s Ginger Man Ale the best beer in NY? I like the fresh ginger flavors and the smooth yeasty finish, but I wish it had a tad more spiciness bringing it down to a still respectable 8 out of 10.
|CAPTAIN LAWRENCE BREWING COMPANY|
|THE GINGER MAN|
|11 East 36th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue)