Goat Hill Tavern
Taps: 141 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
4.28/5 rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $
My first words to those who have never been here. Upon walking through the door, look up. Check out the ceiling.
I finally made it here after hearing so much about this place. I was not disappointed. My kind of tavern. Get this. I got invited to a wine tasting event in Costa Mesa. It was so warm I did not try one glass of wine as I just could not stomache wine in the hot sun. I said to my girlfriend, " Let's get out of here and try the goat." She agreed.
Atmosphere is pure dingy tavern. The smell of the place is musty alcohol, and beer. My girlfriend was a bit upset about the uncleanliness of the place. Tables not wiped down, dried spilled beer on the tables and bar, dried dirty bar rags left on tables, unemptied ashtrays with cigarette and cigar butts left in them with ashes across the tables, oh, and peanut shells and dust on the floor. Plenty of knick nacks (junk) on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. I did love the old photographs from the fifties though. The walls and ceiling could be stared at all day and night.
The building looks like it used to be a fifties diner. They ripped out the middle and built a bar in its place. On one side are booths. Fifties styles and colors. On the other side are booths. Fifties styles and colors. There are also plenty of tables and chairs throughout the place. On the 'smoking side' of the tavern there are pool tables, foos ball tables and video games. The place has a small humidor with cigars to purchase.
There is a fully stocked bar for the non beer drinker. The food is peanuts and microwave hotdogs. I refused. I do not drink swill and I will not eat swill.
140 taps and a selection of bottles for the brew drinker. I wish they had a written menu. It was tough to pick looking at the taps. Some taps in the back are hidden by other taps or the taps are turned sideways to fit on the wall. Too much neck turning for me. Anyway there are brews from the worst to the best. Mostly craft brews on tap but there are a few imports and some imports in bottles.
For tavern lovers check this place out. For the swanky looking for a place to be seen type of person. Stay away. I love places like this. Just be careful where you sit, you might stick to your seat.
08-10-2003 07:54:49 | More by Rumrunner
4.25/5 rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 1.5
This place is classic, imagine the traditional bar no hip promotions or big advertising campaign. Just a bar with a slew of different beers on tap (150). Yes, that is the main reason to come here for the atmosphere, a down home (me being from WV living here) throw the peanut shells on the floor hold your pint and walk around and get to know people type place. If your not into the social scene of drinking, and you want an intimate tasting session check across the street (Yard House). When I was there this summer living and working in Newport Beach we frequented the Yardhouse across the street, didn't even now about the Goat Hill Tavern. Yes, someone had the audacity to open up a competion of beer selection like the Yard House across from this place that has been a privately owned beer emporium for years. Hell, this is authentic, they got their name from the fact that when Newport Beach closer to the ocean first became developed Costa Mesa was still a place where you could go to see a goat, therefore the sophisticated people near the ocean nicknamed Costa Mesa the Goat Hill. This place sells their beer for a much cheaper price than the Yard House, but it is a different type of place. Not a place that is modernized with real chefs, and state of the art draft system, along with the state of the art stereo bumping good ol' classic rock. They don't claim to be anything but a place where you should come to get a decently priced pint to enjoy other people's company. Should be appreciated by all people, in my opinion.
01-06-2003 21:15:20 | More by WVbeergeek
4.22/5 rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I love this place. They've got a handful of good beers, Stone, Port, Anderson Valley, Bear Republic.... nothing fancy, but better than beers that you're going to get at other "divey-type" bars. The covered patio is great, we'll meet there for cigars and a few beers every so often. I recommend weekday visits as it tends to really get crowded Friday and Saturday nights.
The real jewel here is the 50's era shuffleboard arcade game. Good beer and shuffleboard, it doesn't get much better than that.
04-23-2009 17:07:16 | More by QUERCUSAGRIFOLIA
4.21/5 rDev +5.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
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
4.2/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Came here around 1 pm on a Saturday afternoon, only a few patrons sitting around nursing their own beers and being solemn. I suggest you park in the nearby residential neighborhood to be less visible to the constant police patrolling.
I like the atmosphere, not pretentious, very down-to-earth. You got to see all the interesting things they hang on the ceiling and on the walls. The bathrooms aren't as bad as most people described, I've seen a lot worse.
By 3 pm more people showed up and there were interesting mix of clientèle. Bartenders are friendly and quick, also you can actually purchase their t-shirt.
Vast selections, but nothing that would make you go "wow". During the founder hour I had a pitcher of Racer 5 and pint of Stone RIS for $12, which was awe-inspiring. They had few seasonal stuff like SN Tumbler and Stone 14th Ann on tap.
No complain about the smoking, it's what a bar supposed to be. It's not a hospital or a church, I actually appreciate they did not succumb to the "smoking-ban" that has plagued much of the country.
If you want to sample the rare RR or Lost Abbey stuff you won't find it here. But it's a good bar for people who are looking for good old-fashioned craft beers.
10-18-2010 18:50:00 | More by vince4953529
4.2/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
The second, and last stop on the recent Southern California BA Pub Crawl. Whilst we only did two establishments, after the Costa Mesa Yard House, this was a complete 180° round-about turn. The Goat Hill Tavern is the anti-thesis of the corporate style Yard House, with its fancy façade and large range of average, sometimes over-priced, beers. It seems so ironic that this place is almost directly opposite the YH.
The GHT offers a little of all that is good. A genuine down to Earth atmosphere, which immediately welcomes all, and judges none. Festooned and decorated with a plethora of street furniture, Breweriana, stuffed and mounted animals, signs, posters and a whole host of eclectic items. The décor is well its very, erm well Goat Hill. More of a den, than a Bar, but it works for me.
A fantastic range of Taps, almost 150, lend this establishment a Permanent Beer Festival atmosphere. The bar is on your left hand side as you enter, which includes a few macros, sure, but it also hides a superb range of micros, some of which are seldom seen. I loved the Bear Republic Racer 5 excellent. The beer range is unparalleled for this area.
Entertainment includes a few Pool Tables, wearing Peanut Shell and Sawdust Chips, a Juke Box full of Golden Oldies, and balancing Growlers full of Beer on your head, or someone elses, during BA Socials. This is the sort of place (thankfully) where you have to be really bad to get thrown out! Beware of the Toilets though, they bite.
I do not really have much more to add, that has not already been eulogized about below.
A semi-dive bar, which really kicks ass. Want to drink overpriced beer and look good with your Bud drinking yuppie friends, well - stay at the Yard House. Want to drink a great range of excellent beers, at great prices, in a bar with real atmosphere with your BA buddies and end up getting rip-roaring drunk without fear of being hassled by the alcohol Nazis or Steven Segal look-a-like Bouncers at the YH then stay here. One last thing, no real food, so its advisable and best to eat before you get here for a drinking session though, a mistake I sadly made on my last visit.
As Arnie said, Ill be back. A Classic.
Last Visit: 26th July 2003
07-30-2003 05:02:58 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.2/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Goat Hill. . . definitely a hidden gem. Just off the 55, you can easily miss it if you aren't paying attention. Walking in, you are overwhelmed with the pungent smell of spilled beer and smoke--actually, pretty gross. Once you get over the smell and make your way to the bar, you realize this place has a shit load of great beer.
Literally, a ridiculous amount of beers on tap. The clientele can be a little lame at times, but it is well worth it for the quality of selection. The guys at the bar are pretty cool, and service is prompt.
Probably not the best spot for a first date, but definitely worth your time to venture out to the Goat.
03-18-2010 19:10:43 | More by WOTO97
4.18/5 rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
this is a definite must stop if you're passing through orange county.. they've got about 175 beers on tap, which is reason alone to stop. the decor is what i really love about this place; everything from the fire hazards due to the wiring hanging from every corner to the more than 500 tap handles attatched to the ceiling throughout the place.
one thing that i have to note, and a complaint about this establishment is the beer selection. while they DO have 175 beers on tap, i'd say about half those beers are what some call "fizzy clear beer", lagers take up a huge section of those 175 taps.. from every variety of budweiser to coors to miller to pabst.. there are quite a few horrid brews taking up precious space in their keg room. imagine.. you have 175 taps.. why not fill them up with great beer?
either way.. hit up the goat hill tavern..
then stumble across the street and hit up the Yard House..
which has about 200 taps. yes, i'm not joking. 200 taps across the street from 175. and the yard house actually has quite a few more rare beers on tap than the goat hill, but the ambience there leaves a lot to be desired.
06-04-2004 23:49:07 | More by kiya
4.14/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
As down to earth as they come with sawdust on the floor...scratched up tables....warped pool tables...and all of the ambiance you would hope to find in an old fashioned neighborhood 'bar'.
For my experience the service was wonderful and the staff helpful in suggesting beers and offering tasters of beers I was unfamiliar with.
Somewhere around 145 different beers on tap with a wonderful selection from pales to porters to stouts to IPA's to belgiums.
I didn't get a chance to look at the menu but the beer selection was great and overall a great down home neighborhood 'bar' experience.
06-26-2006 04:52:04 | More by IntriqKen
4.14/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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
Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa, CA
89 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.