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
3.28/5 rDev -17.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $
This was a tough place to review. I'm not sure how I exactly feel about this place, the truth is I'm conflicted.
The positives: They have 141 beers on tap and the prices are good. Most of them are $4-5 for a pint and ~$15 for a pitcher. It is a grungy dive bar, if that's what you're looking for. There is sawdust on the floor, tons of miscellaneous crap on the walls, and the bathrooms haven't been cleaned in months.
The negatives: The vast majority of the beers on tap are macros, there is very little on the tap list that wold excite a beer geek. I would say less than a dozen beers that would really interest me and even then none of those could be considered rare or very hard to find. The beers are served in plastic mugs. The place is an absolute dumb. It is also very smokey since they somehow get around the smoking ban by allowing smoking in a covered "patio" that is not at all separated from the main bar. I went on a Saturday night and it was absolutely packed. There was little to no "respecting beer" going on. I bet 95% of the beer being sold was Bud Light and everyone seemed like they came to get totally f---ed up. Even with 141 beers on tap I can't really call this place a "beer bar".
So I guess, I found more negatives than positives in "The Goat".
12-30-2007 18:59:18 | More by willjschmidt
3.71/5 rDev -6.8%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Ah, the Goat Hill, never been here before, but I've been meaning to try it out. Cigarette smoke is what you smell walking in. It reeks of of this shit; I don't know how they got around the CA smoking laws, but there are people clearly smoking in the tavern which sucks because I like this place a lot. Hung out with DoubleJ and played some pool on the North end where the smoke was light, but there was still a hint of it in the air. But going to buy a beer at the bar you're pretty much punched in the face with that revolting putrid stench. A 4/4.5 atmosphere score plummets because of that. I actually ended up liking the plastic mugs, made me feel strong when I picked up the beer.
The quality of the tap beer was exemplary with the consideration of how much they had on-tap. I had a #9, Murphy's and Black Butte Porter, all tasted as they should, can't really vouch for the 9 as I've never seen it before, but the other 2 I've had, and they were great.
Service is solid, quick if they were at tad slow to pick up on me, but all around nice.
Selection is good, nothing super rare, but anyone will find something here they like, even saw Chimay for $17 a pint, but the rest of the brews are much more reasonable. Tons of pints under $5, saw Racer 5 which I didn't get for $5.75 which is outstanding in Orange County.
I liked this bar a lot when I moved to the North corner and didn't have to deal with the smoke. We're not in Texas, we're in CA, it's not 1975, get the smoke out of the bar, and I'll come back. Goat Hill, I like you a lot, but there are a lot of great beer spots in Orange County, including Heroe's, which this really reminded me a lot of with the peanuts on the floor/down to Earth feel, where I don't have to deal with cigarette smoke, so they're going to get my money in the future.
02-13-2010 06:42:54 | More by Halcyondays
4.14/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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
4.3/5 rDev +8%
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.
06-08-2002 16:18:42 | More by mickeymac
4.34/5 rDev +9%
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.
11-30-2004 20:22:34 | More by alexgash
4.8/5 rDev +20.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
Ambience: Sawdust and Peanut shells on the floor, vintage tap handles hanging from the ceiling, pool tables...
Cuisine: Peanuts, Hot Dogs, Pickled Eggs
Clientele: Bikers, Businessmen, yuppies, beach bimbos, quite an eclectic mix
Beer Selections: 140 on Tap!! Most of these are west coast micros
Parking: behind the building
If you're in Orange County this is a ***must*** for any beer lover. I was there a few days ago. I had on Draught: Stone 6th Anniversary, Stone IPA & Rogue Dead Guy. How many places can top that?
06-28-2003 12:41:00 | More by jcalabre
3.86/5 rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Located right off the end of the 55 freeway in Costa Mesa, Goat Hill Tavern is place to definitely enjoy a good beer! With about 60-80 so beers on tap, a fellow BA has plenty to choose from. They even have 8 or so RIS's to pick from (Old Rasputin was my choice) and several other beer styles to go along with it. Their selection includes several quality craft brews, including: North Coast, Stone, Alesmith to name a few. The atmosphere is pretty good, but the best time to go is probably before 9pm or so on the weekends...it gets way too crowded after that time. The only thing I'll have to criticize about the place is the glassware they provide you. The beers come in chilled plastic beer mugs. I think they could do a lot better then that. Other than that, this is a place that is worth going out of your way to at least try once...maybe even more then that.
08-26-2008 00:33:56 | More by OlieIPA
Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa, CA
89 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.