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Goat Hill Tavern

Not Rated.
Goat Hill TavernGoat Hill Tavern
BA SCORE
89
very good

53 Ratings
Ratings: 53
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 15.78%
Taps: 141
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1830 Newport Blvd
Costa Mesa, California, 92627-2710
United States
phone: (949) 548-8428

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @goathilltavern

Notes:
Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/goathilltavern 
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/goathilltavern 

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of dagubna
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of berlinabb
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 1.5

After driving by this place a number of times (usually going to Hi-Times Wine for my lambic/gueuze fix), I finally made it last weekend to this place for Extreme Beer Fest West, a mini-BA Meeting of those us us who don't like the cold weather in Boston.

This is a place of extremes- my first experience when I walked in was to see someone smoking! In a bar!! In California!!!! This does not happen anymore- not for years! Well, it turns out that there's a "patio" full of tables and chairs and booths and foosball and pool tables, and one tree at the far end- with a hole in the "patio cover" for the tree to stick through. It looked just like another room to this rundown dive bar. Unbelievable.

So we sidle up to the biggest table (proudly wiped down to remove stickiness sometime in the last decade) and meet some other BAs to begin the day. But first--- 141 taps!!! OMG!!!! All jammed together so you can barely see one tap handle behind another, and a lot of them are craft brews, quality brews, haven't seen that before brews. Exceptional. Mostly domestic beers, with a few UK, German, and a couple of Belgians for good measure.

Service was ok, but they were understaffed (one bartender) which meant lines- no table service, you have to go to the bar.

Prices decent, but by no means cheap.

The extent of the food menu is $1 for a small bowl of peanuts in the shell, and $2 for the large. We were there 6 hours, and headed out halfway through to hit the taco place across the street. A decent break, actually.

This place is a hoot. Great selection, great place to relax and let your guard down, but not something I will frequent (it's a little too far from home).

Photo of drewbage
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

The mystical magical place that is the Goat is best summed up in every beer geeks first reaction... "Jesus.. this place is flithy.. cool stuff though.. gah.. what's that smell?.. Ohh.. beer taps.. lots of beer taps!"

For the well travelled beer drinker, the goat probably doesn't offer much in the way of exciting new discoveries, but it does offer a lot of choice in one place.

The atmosphere rolling out of this place is pure grungy din, but the atmosphere alone makes up for any ickiness you might feel.

Go.. play some foosball or shuffleboard.. drink a few brews. While this place may not hav all the spit and polish of the Yardhouse up a block, but the atmosphere in here is a lot more homedown and friendly.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of mhaugo
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

The Goat Hill Tavern opened in the 1940s, which is well before Orange County was “Orange County”. And ironically, for being one of the older establishments in Orange County, it is one of the least “Orange County” bars you’re likely to stumble into (or out of). There are no $15 martinis on the menu. They do no serve endangered dolphin sushi rolls over julienned baby seal breast. There is no glam or glitz. Its beer and peanuts. And a lot if weird shit on the walls. That’s pretty much it.

This place is the type of dive bar that relishes in being a dive bar (in fact, it is on a number of “best dive bar” lists). It’s extremely dusty, kind of smelly, and the floor is covered in peanut shells. The building is split into three nearly equal parts. The center section hosts the bar and all 141 of their tap handles. There are also a few high tables surrounded by stools. One side has additional seating, billiards, and a shuffleboard table. The other is a sort of covered patio with about a half dozen televisions, benches, more pool tables, and some foosball. It is in this area that patrons can smoke, so it gets even smellier in here.

The bartender that poured for me was extremely friendly. We talked beer for a bit and he even gave my friend and I a guided tour of their amazing keg room. He also shared a little bit of the history of the bar with us, which included an old story about them having both Budweiser and Coors on draft at the very same time. This may seem like nothing now, but it was completely unheard of a few decades ago.

The beer selection today is very respectable. A lot of the 141 handles were everyday drafts, but they had a lot of imports, a number of locals, and a few special releases. Stone’s Götterdämmerung and Valiant’s Jericho ended up in front of me.

Another interesting little piece of information is that the Goat Hill Tavern is a popular hang out spot for Angel fans. There are signed uniforms framed on the wall, and apparently some of the players are commonly seen enjoying a pint there. Jared Weaver even came here to celebrate his no-hitter last year. These are my people.

Ultimately, I don’t believe anything I write could fully describe this bar. Imagine a place that provides equal real estate for model airplanes, animal heads, street signs, brewery propaganda, and completely random light fixtures. On top of that they have great beer, friendly people, and dirty bathrooms. In a nutshell… I love it.

Photo of Myk
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

THIS PLACE RULES
the atmosphere, is my type of place, a nice saw dust on the floor bar with old classic signs everywhere. proably close to a thousand or two, old handpumps screwed into the ceiling, a giant hole in the ceiling in one room so that it can be considered a patio for smokers. an amazing amount of taps with mostly good beer. bathroom is pretty nasty. i think my shoes caught some sort of disease in there. don't touch anything, but added to the whole of the bar.

quality and selection of the beer was pretty good. lot of different stuff ranging from old rasputin to budweiser to goat hill black sheep, still not sure who brews it, forgot to ask.

service was very friendly. school teaher brought a bottle as a peace offereing between NY an SOCAL. it worked well, and the barkeep put it on ice for us. he also gave a guided tour of the keg room, which was something i would like to have in my house. they didnt mind that someone was sleeping on the table or even that i got my ass beat by two other BA's, good times.

and the best part was the food. if u are hungry u have the choice between, peanuts, hot dog or pickled eggs. WOW.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of 86sportster883
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
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, let’s 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 you’ll 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 Stone’s 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 hadn’t 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, I’ve 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 don’t offer any real food.

Photo of GoCubsMatt
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place is a dump. That being said, this is as good as a dump gets. I mean that in the most positive way. The beer selection is truly great if you are a fan of American microbrews. They have well over 100 beers on tap, and while they do waste a few taps on the typical AB/Miller/Coors beers, there is a lot of great stuff to try. I had my first experience drinking Double Bastard here and it was everything I had hoped it would be. I also tried Old Foghorn and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (it was a night in which I felt it necessary to stick to west coast brews). As far as this place being a dump, it is. The seats are sticky and the floor is covered in sawdust and peanut shells. Of course, if you are willing to overlook that (and I am), this is a great place to have a few pints. The prices are really great, as almost everything is about $4, $4.75 if you are feeling saucy. The crowd is unpretentious and the jukebox is filled with sing-a-long hits (heard during the visit were Weezer, Men Without Hats, Outkast, and G'N'R just to name a few). If you enjoy selection, you appreciate a bar where appearance is not important, and you are in the LA area, this is a great bar for you.

Photo of SwillinBrew
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I visited the Goat Hill Tavern with TheLongBeachBum who was kind enough to meet me there when I was in the area for a convention in April 2005. The bar was easy enough to find, being located on the Hwy 55 not far from the beach in Costa Mesa, though the sign above the front entrance is a bit obscured by trees on the sidewalk as you approach by car. Parking is on-street or in various parking lots nearby (I think there is even some parking in the rear of the bar).

Saying the atmosphere is casual is a bit of an understatement. The place definitely has a "lived in" ("partied in"?) feel to it, right down to the side room with a hole in the ceiling, which apparently allows the room to be classified as "outdoors" for smoking purposes. There is lots of unfinished wood, and the walls and beams are covered in beer paraphenalia, automotive signs, and odds and ends. I think I remember a bicycle hanging from the ceiling as well. There were TVs behind the bar, and there was rock music playing throughout. The main room with the bar has tables for seating, but all drinks have to be ordered at the bar. The other room, which might actually be larger, has several pool tables, and a juke box. Both rooms have windows facing the street. The floor was littered with peanut shells. We visited on a weekend night, and the place really got packed after around 10 pm. The crowd was on the younger side, though mixed, and people were friendly, even (especially?) when it got extremely crowded, and we shared half our table.

The beer selection was good. I did not note the exact number of taps, but there were many, and with a lot of good regional microbrews, among others. Prices were good, especially if you bought pitchers, as we did. The service at the bar was fine, though obviously on such a busy night there was not a lot chitchat with the bartenders. Periodically during the night, the bartender would announce some sort of drink special, typically for the ladies, and there was much rejoicing, and an even bigger crush at the bar (thank God for pitchers). I didn't sample any food other than peanuts, which you can buy at the bar. I bought a large bowl of peanuts ($2), much to the amusement of The Bum, but they came in handy when we made friends with the group that shared our table.

Overall a fun place to go with a friend and perhaps to make some new friends over some good pints of beer.

Photo of kiya
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
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.
:)

Photo of vince4953529
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
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 – it’s 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 else’s, 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 it’s 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, “I’ll be back”. A Classic.

Last Visit: 26th July 2003

Photo of WOTO97
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of Trueant1
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of QUERCUSAGRIFOLIA
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of AlexM
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of Rumrunner
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of mickeymac
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

Henry and Harry's Goat Hill Tavern is an O.C. institution. The City of Costa Mesa has been trying to shut the place down for years, citing fights, noise, and just general mayhem. The crowd gets pretty rowdy, although I'd imagine it has settled down a bit with the closure of the nearby Marine Corps base. In addition to Marines, the bar used to have a regular clientele of rugby players, who ususally stopped by in uniform after a match. Inevitably, a drunk rugby player would say the wrong thing to a drunk jarhead and all hell would break loose. The selection of beers on tap is the best I've ever seen in southern California. They're lined up all the way across the back of the lengthy bar. The prices are pretty reasonable too. This is most certainly not the place for a romantic date. It is, however, a fun place to sample a lot of beers and see a usually rowdy crowd.

Photo of rowew
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Dark, low ceilings, kind of smelly .. fantastic! Saw dust on the floor, brewerania (and other assorted crap) lining the walls, with the largest collection of tap handles I have seen in the ceiling of one room, and most importantly a wall of taps 2 deep. Apparently there are well over a hundred, with the offerings listed on a whiteboard above the bar. Also listed are pint and pitcher prices, both seemed very reasonable. Ordered up a Youngs Double Chocolate Stout, but there was a huge selection of both local offerings and imports. Glassware is a bit lacking - coming in a plastic mug. This place has a nice selection of bar games as well, with several foosball, pool, and shuffleboard tables.

All in all a great beer bar, but don't get dressed up thinking you are in for a fancy night on the town.

Photo of alexgash
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Stopped in here after handing all my money over to Hi-Times. Once I found this joint and walked in, I was pleasantly surprised to find sawdust on the floor. Low-ceilinged with dim lighting that suits the dark wood abundantly used in the fixtures. There was a decent amount of bar-clutter junk on the walls and on the support beams. Many of these items were plastic newspaper delivery boxes from various cities across the country. Cool. I mozied up to the medium-length bar and took a comfortable seat. I looked up and saw tap heaven. There must have been 125 tap handles in front of me! This was a bit overwhelming, especially since I have been living in Utah for the last 2 years. Scanning the tap handles made me giddy, but it was difficult to see all the handles as some were hidden behind others, etc. Luckily, I noticed a large wipeboard above the bar that had all their tap selections listed by style. Excellent. They also had the prices, which I thought were very reasonable (4 bucks a pint) considering I was in California. Very good selection, with most styles represented. A few macros, but lots of California micros, several Belgians, and some other good imports. I noticed there were some tap handles in front of me that were not listed on the board, one of them being Stone Imperial Stout. I dutifully ordered that and the barkeep handed me a frosty plastic mug filled with the dark nectar. I would have preferred a non-plastic snifter at room temp., but this isn't the type of place that does that I guess. A little disappointing, but the free peanuts and the fact that you can toss the shells on the floor made up for it (almost!). Bartender was friendly, and the whole place seemed down to earth. Good vibes; good beer.

Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa, CA
89 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.