Goat Hill Tavern
Taps: 141 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
4.21/5 rDev +6.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
This is one of my old hangouts. I have always loved this place. In the mid 80's, this place introdused me to great beers beyond what you get in grocery stores. My favorites there are (since the 80's) are Murpheys irish stout and wattneys on tap.This is where I had my frist Sierra nevada winter welcome...on tap, and many other cult classics I have had on tap there. Today, there are many many ales to choose from. I think there have always been over 144 taps.
Sure, this place is a total dump! But I still love it.
On weekend nights...this place crawls with "the beautiful people" of OC. I have always enjoyed drinking my beer in this atmosphere.
I love this place! My only regret I have for it..I wish they had better glassware to drink my stouts and porters out of there.
10-17-2007 07:07:16 | More by Trueant1
2.8/5 rDev -29.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2 | $$
I stopped here before going to Hi-Time Wines today in Costa Mesa
Located right on Newport Blvd. at the end of the 55 Freeway across from the Yardhouse and a BevMo
Walked into this place and noticed sawdust all over the ground, looked around a little bit and realized this place was kind of a dive
Had over one hundred taps from what it looked like, but nothing special or really worth mentioning
Some of the harder to find beers were Fuller's London Porter, Stone 11th Anniversary, and Lost Coast Oktoberfest, but those are all easily accessible at other places right now
Pints ranged from about four to five dollars and happy hour was all day before 7 pm
This place was overrated to me with a poor selection for how many different tap handles I saw
No Belgians or anything very high in alcohol
Left this place pretty quickly because it was more of a letdown that anything, would not recommend this place over the YardHouse across the street, much better brews over there, go to Hollingshead's or Beachwood BBQ if in this general area
Hi-Times was great afterwards though, found a 2006 Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws Barleywine and a Collaboration Signature Ale featuring Port Brewing's Tomme Arthur and a Belgian brewer
10-11-2007 04:20:38 | More by Floydster
4.61/5 rDev +16.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I stopped by after visiting Hi-Times wine cellar a couple blocks away with my brother on the way back from our cousin's wedding.
Atmosphere was cool, lots of taps everywhere, shit all over the walls, sawduct on the floor, plastic(unbreakable) mugs, chained down bar stools, Raiders on tv, holes in the ceiling to facilitate cigarette smoke.
Quality was good. A shit ton of taps with some pretty good stuff on. I had a Weihenstaphaner Hefe, Anchor Old Foghorn, and a Stone Oaked Bastard at 11 in the morning.
The one bartender working was earning tips. The kid was cleaning, bussing, pulling pints, being friendly, and was extremely fast and friendly
Selection was gret. With 141 taps, you're bound to find something worthwhile, and the Goat has a lot.
I didnt see any food, except peanuts, and the prices were fair. 4.25-4.75 per pint of hard to find goodies and 16 per pitccher for craft beer, Highly, highly recommended
10-02-2007 16:36:44 | More by bradford
United Kingdom (England)
3.9/5 rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $
How could you NOT like this place?
The Goat Hill laughs in the face of those other bars that put crap up on the walls (in pathetic attempts) just to be hip. This is the real deal for sure. Peanut shells and sawdust on the floors, knick-knacks on the walls and ceilings; this place savors the heritage of SoCal through years and years of randomness as patrons have added their own flavors from near and far. One can't get bored with the sights and sounds (and smells!) of the Goat Hill.
And if that's not enough there's their 141 brews on tap. The plastic mugs are unfortunate - but befitting to the roadhouse environment - as it could easily be a venue where Jake and Elwood would perform without reservation.
05-25-2007 22:52:32 | More by janedoe
2.6/5 rDev -34.3%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
I was visitng Santa Ana for a conference and decided to head down the road for a cold one prior to checking into my hotel. The place is easy to find, just take 55 south until it turns into Newport Avenue. After you pass the first traffic light keep your eye out for the place on the left along a fairly unimpressive strip of businesses: Gas Station, Psychic, Mattress Store, Excercise Equipment Dealer, Pizza Joint. After turning around I was able to park in front. I noticed two bicycles locked to a front post (customers who lost their drivers license?), a few missing window panes in the front and loud music vibrations reverberating prior to entering. I entered the place around 11:00 PM on a Wed night. In the small vestibule in front I noticed a stack of the current issue of BA free for the taking. Upon entering the bar I noticed the place was crammed with a twenty something crowd and the music was blaring. The doorman (tattooed and pierced like a pin cushion) did not even give me a 2nd look after noticing I was probably older than his father. The bar area is off to your left from the entrance. Three young bartenders were very busy pouring from an amazing number of taps. As I was standing in front of the bar looking up at an overhead greaseboard beer menu some young punk had the audacity to request that I move because I was blocking his view of a tall blond also waiting for a brew. I felt like taking him behind the woodshed and for a thrashin but merely ignored the request while waiting behind three giggly girls with spaghetti straps showing cleavage.
The place is an absolute dump, the kind where the doormat should be on the inside in order to wipe your feet on the way out. It has the decor of a motorcycle gang clubhouse- where knives are thrown into the wall and members piss, puke, or spit anywhere. I cannot imagine that anything is sanitary in this joint. It blew my mind the place was full of women. The floor was covered with sawdust and peanut shells. The furniture looked like the type you would see inside a 12 year olds tree house (old car seats and dimensional lumber crudely nailed together). The bathroom was appalling, probably not cleaned in the last year. Lots of graffiti referencing mothers, BJ's, and orifices. And the odor singed the hairs in my nostrils- bring something to filter your intake air. Stickers and graffiti (magic marker and carved with knives) adorned the rest of the place as well. They have stashed a bunch of junk in the ceiling rafters, not sure if this was for effect or the need to get rid of old crap. Needless to say it looks horrible and is covered with dust. The place has fooseball, pool, and shuffle tables; a couple of old TV's were tuned to surfing and professional wrestling. Music was loud punk/indie.
There was a very good selection of draft beer however it is only served in plastic mugs. This must reduce the amount of medical care needed by patrons after they bash in each others heads. I requested a Stone Arrogant Bastard however the tender did not realize the keg was kicked until my mug was in position. I settled for a Stone IPA which was fresh, cold, and delicious. After seeing the rest of the place I wonder how well the beer lines are maintained.
I do not recommend this bar, despite the good beer selection it is impossible to ignore all of the bad stuff, do not waste your time- you wouldn't stop to inspect road kill by the side of the road, why stop here?
03-13-2007 15:31:03 | More by mountainbiker602
4.14/5 rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've been to the Goat Hill a number of times, usually in the early evening of a weekday. As you might expect the clientele, at that time of day, tends to be the after work, lets stop out for a beer crowd. This time, I stopped in after dinner with some co-workers and wound up staying till closing. This is a fun place with decent music, a primarily young crowd (20s 30s), lots of entertainment (pool tables, foosball tables and shuffleboard tables), and numerous flat screen TVs throughout. The selection of tap beers is expansive, although youll have to drink your beer out of a plastic beer mug. They list their beers on a large blackboard hanging over the center of the bar. On this visit they had listed Stones Oaked Bastard, but unfortunately the bar had already kicked the one keg that they had gotten. I settled for a mug of Arrogant Bastard, since I hadnt previously had this on tap. This was followed by a Stone IPA and finally a Mirror Pond Pale Ale. The beers were fresh, the bar staff was fast, and the crowd was friendly. I go here mainly because of the very large selection of good beers on tap. And, unlike other places with a large selection, Ive never gotten a beer that tasted old, or off. As for the décor, the place is pretty much a dump, but with lots of mildly interesting crap strewn about. Overall, a fine place to stop in with a some friends to have a few good drafts. Recommend you eat before you get there though, as they dont offer any real food.
12-15-2006 00:44:02 | More by 86sportster883
4.14/5 rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I dont know why i've waited so long to review this place. I've been coming here for 19 years and it smells the same, fricken awesome.
The Goat is a total dive bar with a sports bar like attitude. Dingy but full of charm. There are stickers all over the place. On the walls and ceiling are surfboards, lamps, street signs, a stuffed moose head, pictures of early orange county, xmas lights and probably the kitchen sink. It's like a garage sale was pasted up there. There is a front door and back door which once in awhile allows a breeze to flow thru the bar... if you're lucky, and the breeze flows from back to front, you get a great aroma from the infamous bathrooms. Just a solid dose of aged puke and stewed rankness... it just has to be experienced. I wont say more on the bathrooms because it looks like other post already took care of it, but damn, i'm so glad i'm a guy and dont have to sit down. Hell, i cringe when i stand in there.
There's several areas. The main bar area, behind the bar area and the patio. There are plenty of TV's with various sports on. Perfect to watch while your draining your pint.
You can smoke where the pool tables are even though it looks like a room. That's because at one time it was a patio and it's been since covered up except for a few holes... thus it's still a patio and thus outdoors. It's great when rains. Big puddles form, mix with the peanut shells and just add to the stank... AWESOME.
There's over 130 taps. I was just here with IPAviator and i had some Deschutes Inversion IPA, Arrogant Bastard, Old Rasputin, Oggi's Blond and a Stone IPA. There's a good and solid selection here. By the way, dont let the interior here fool you. They just had their beer lines and keg cooler redone. It's very orderly and clean.
What can i say. You need to get here and experience the Goat.
10-10-2006 17:23:48 | More by SwillinBrew
3.85/5 rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $
Grimy, filthy, and fantastic! From the sawdust floors to the plastic mugs and junk hanging from every possible surface of the interior, there are absolutely no frills to this establishment. It's a down and dirty dive bar with a kick ass beer selection. This is not a place for sipping beers; this is a place for throwing them back gregariously. A young beach crowd dominates the scene, which is always lively any night of the week. I don't know what the food tastes like because I can't recall ever eating anything other than peanuts. Lots of CA beers to choose from: North Coast, Lagunitas, Stone, Lost Coast, Marin, etc. Some bottled offerings but not much worth talking about. Taps are a bit unorganized and often kicked. But then again they don't offer any pretense of being a great beer bar, so expectations are kept in check. It's a decent place just as it is. Bar staff is fairly prompt despite the crowds, and serves up a bit of friendly attitude.
09-11-2006 17:11:25 | More by jmatthew
4.06/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
***THIS PLACE ROXXX!!!***
Not only is the Goat Hill Tavern easy to find for this traveling Idiot, but there is parking available right out front, or across the street in a huge lot. Why the Goat Hill Tavern gets a 4.5 is because it's a perfect DUMP! What? Yes It's a dive but in a beautiful artistic manner that must be seen to be appreciated fully. Dirty windows adorned with rustic neon welcome you into a sawdust and peanut shell laden wooden floor that unveils about 1000 tap handles on the ceiling. It's a helluva sight for a beernut! Old signs of every sort decorate the walls like a beer buddies basement. What a relaxed kicked back vibe! One of the most rustic worn 'n weathered interiors this side of Portland's Horse Brass. Enjoy two pool tables, dingy booths and smoking for all.
If this place were my bar, I'd ditch the plastic mugs in favor of glass pints. Some of us got plastic mugs. Ugh! Also, with 141 taps, as advertised, a few are kicked but still on the list. A noble feat would be to keep the eraser board updated. Just a gripe.
Service consists of flagging down a haggerd 'tender that is two feet away pouring pitchers for the 20 something crowd that swarms this place like a frat party on a Wednesday! Not that I'm complaining about an attractive crowd, but the 'tenders seemd a little ho-hum and I was UMM...thirsty.
OK, lets talk beer! 141 aps is daunting, but for even this uber beer nut, there was a tap selection to please. West Coast Nut Brown, Rogue Brutal Bitter, Lagunitas pilsner, Stone Arrogant Bastard, and there are 141 in all. Wow!
As far as the Cou;d you take your Mother here test? HELL NO! This is dick in the dirt Cadillac quality which is my favorite. The bathrooms alone would offend John Wayne Gacey. Nice!
Last call: Bring a sticker to slap anywhere. $1 or $2 peanuts are both huge. A new fave spot of mine! Thanks Ken H. Also, 5 minutes away from the BEST beer store Hi-Times.
08-18-2006 04:56:35 | More by blitheringidiot
4.14/5 rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
As down to earth as they come with sawdust on the floor...scratched up tables....warped pool tables...and all of the ambiance you would hope to find in an old fashioned neighborhood 'bar'.
For my experience the service was wonderful and the staff helpful in suggesting beers and offering tasters of beers I was unfamiliar with.
Somewhere around 145 different beers on tap with a wonderful selection from pales to porters to stouts to IPA's to belgiums.
I didn't get a chance to look at the menu but the beer selection was great and overall a great down home neighborhood 'bar' experience.
06-26-2006 04:52:04 | More by IntriqKen
Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa, CA
89 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.