Central Manhattan Beer Bars: Rattle n' Hum and The Ginger Man, #NewYork

It must get annoying for these two bars, constantly being referred to in the same breath, but the fact is they are two of the most well known Manhattan beer bars and just happen to be a stones throw from each other.

We actually visited The Ginger Man first out of the two but the reason it is second is because we didn't really like the place, received awful service and left pretty swiftly.

Rattle n' Hum on the other hand, we loved. We even returned after going for Thai in Hell's Kitchen so we could have another hour or so propping up the bar, hence why it's getting top billing. I'll get on to why Gingerman left a bitter taste in my mouth (and not in a good way) later on.

Rattle n' Hum is an Irish bar at it's heart and despite the awesome lineup of draft beers there's absolutely nothing pretentious about the place, with most people there for the atmosphere or chicken wings rather than the beers. It's a proper, old school, spit n sawdust, baseball on the TV type bar, and I loved that about it.

But here's the thing, the beer lineup is incredible too. I drank pretty much exclusively tasters whilst there because there was just so much good stuff to try. Here's what I had:

Avery IPA - so classic us ipa, with a floral finish that's bitter but not intense. It's a cleverly subtle beer this one. A lightness of touch. Deserves a second visit but no time! Avery white - very drinkable, like it but not making a big impression. Could drink a lot of it though. Green Port Hoppy Stout - definitely not a black ipa. More like a dry stout but with a more bitter finish. Lovely. Weyerbacher Double Simcoe - ok yes a bit of catpiss in the aromas but the taste is great. Sweet, fruity full on. Like it

Founders Cerise Ale - Aroma is light cherry and old pot purri. Flavour isn't overly sweet and it has a fresh cherry juice finish which reminds me of the Turkish cherry juice I used to love having on holiday as a kid. Smuttynose Wheat Wine - Crazy. Tastes like booze soaked vanilla fudge. It's great but a 4oz is enough. Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA - This stuff does well as an export for a reason, wow thats a lot of hop flavour! So fresh and clean with a lovely depth of flavour. Great. Troegs Pale Ale - Yes it's a quaffer, but it's not great. Tastes like a summer ale (American style, bitter, but drinkable). It's just 'ok'.

My memory / notes start to take a turn for the worst on the third set of tasters after dinner, as you might imagine. Laughing Dog Dog Father Bourbon Barrel aged - this is a great big thick imperial stout. Really full and luscious, with a great bourbon flavour. It's really pronounced but not overpowering. One of my favourites of the night. Founders Red Rye - Red fruit. Grain. Biscuit. Spicy bread. Bitter orange spice finish, really lovely. Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye (cask) - ahh warm n flat! Bugger camra! Urthel Hop It - hoppy Belgian Golden Ale. Good, but exactly as I expected. Reminded me of La Chouffe IPA.

In the interests of fairness. Here's what I drank at The Gingerman and what I thought:

Dogfish 90min - powerful but much sweeter than I expected. Very full bodied. Great divide 18th Anniversary wood aged - mental, nice well hopped underlying beer but with a great whiskey flavour in the finish. Green Flash/Founders Linchpin - delicious and very drinkable Pale Ale. Smuttynose Robust Porter - unctuous, smokey, very thick and full for a porter. Great.

Ok, so the problem with the The Gingerman. We entered and walked towards the bar before being told "no please take a seat and we'll come over to you". 15 minutes later we had finally ordered our drinks, about 35 minutes later we actually got a drink. Rather than mess around again we decided to move on and as such asked for the bill. We left enough to cover the round we had and a dollar to spare because we didn't have any more change. Like I said, the service had been awful and we only had one round.

The waitress pretty much ran over when she saw the money (the quickest she moved the whole time we were there) and then said "Were you not happy with the service? You left me a dollar."

I get that there is a tipping culture (we tipped well throughout the trip) but this is as good as begging.

So here's your tip. Get yourself over to Rattle n' Hum! http://www.rattlenhumbarnyc.com

 

 

5 comments:

  1. Some incredible sounding beers there Neil, real shame about the service & tip malarkey, I'm not sure how I'd handle that, a few home truths maybe eh?

    Hoping to get across to America for the first time next year all being well, plenty of planning required 1st...

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  2. We planned to do these two the other way round but went to Rattle n Hum first. It was so good, we didn't leave! Live music, fabulous beer selection and wings to die for made for an indulgent evening.

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  3. Rattle n hum is a bloody cracking pub. Gingerman felt a little bit too winebar for my liking. Lots of guys in suits ordering overpriced bottles of rare beer.

    The waitress was really, really rude when she said the above too. It wasn't just what she said, but how she said it. I was genuinely taken aback.

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  4. Hey man, nice round-ups and good pics! Will catch up with you soon, and we'll get on this NYC thing.

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  5. Looks like an awesome place

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