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Hamiltons Tavern

Not Rated.
Hamiltons TavernHamiltons Tavern
BA SCORE
98
world-class

105 Ratings
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 8.13%
Taps: 30
Bottles: 200
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1521 30th St
San Diego, California, 92102-1503
United States
phone: (619) 238-5460

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: stoner420 on 10-09-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 79 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%

Back down from up north, pondering what to do with our day before the flight tonight. Presently mulling around San Diego suspiciously, we have options, sure. I mean, we already looked in on daytime Toronado, so what else? Well, we bagged Hamilton’s the other day having seen the event madhouse that was on the drive by, but with time on our hands now, maybe a visit weekday midafternoonness is in order...

It’s a dark room and the blinds are drawn; a safe haven for vampires, no doubt. Your eyes adjust, and your nose knows of dank beerings. We drop to the bar; a long “L” to the left, wood top, slat wood base, foot box, and seating for 2 dozen on stools of leather. A row of 24 taps on the barback, plus a kegerator to the right with 2 more handles and a pair of handpumps up front for 2 ciders (Their regular use handpumps are further down the bar and are currently off), so 28 taps in all. A mounted flatscreen sits above the tap tower on center. To the left, a large horizontal board along side with tap selections printed in alt colored chalk; beer, style, ABV & price in 2 rows, and cider flights listed below, along with wines & sake, and to the right, a specials board listing cider flights (seems there’s something cidery going on, eventswise). Clutter countered and baby sampler glasses tucked below. On the front side below the bar are the ‘faces with the double set of eyes’ bottle openers shown on the front & back covers of the Pink Floyd ‘Relics’ Album (have never seen the female one before). Instant street cred.

A pair of phat tubes run from behind the bar overhead and to the rear; the lines a glycol system, need I say more? Further down the bar, a pair of 3 door coolers split by shelvings in between. On of one of them, empties of all sizes, mugs, glassware & growlers lining above, coasters plastering the top trim, and a flatscreen atop, and the other cooler holds shirts shelved above. Blackish walls, and the rafters above lined with tap handles past. Strung sprucings, white holiday lighting, blended ductisms, and another flat in the front corner.

A slat ½ wall divider off the bar with 4 bar counter spurs offshooting, and a pair upfront, 1 to each side of the door. Slight rampings down into the other room (Ben nearly wiped) beyond the divider. 4 more counter spur shortys on the inside wall and 3 booths up front. 2 pool tables in the center and a looong table bowling game. A large Guinness mirror on the far wall lined above with bottles not so random, and the walls and ceiling plastered with neons, placards, & flaggings otherwise.

We have decided to engage in table bowling; the pieces given to us in a box, handled. I talked some smack and then got smoked, badly. The table slants to the not where I can hit, apparently, and has nothing to do with my skills or drinking.

They’ve got a killer corner juke of put together mixes. Most are by group, but some are themed. I’m angry I didn’t scope out the tune scene first and then ply the juke with music to exceed the length of time we’d be here. Any juke with the Stone’s ‘Time waits for no one’ is instantly credible.

28 taps in all, 10 of them Bear Republic offerings on the heels of that maddening event they did the other day (Hop Rod Rye, Red Rocket Ale, Double Rocket, Ryevalry Belgian IPA, Big Bear Black Stout, Sour Black Mamba Wit, Cher Ami Belgian Pale Ale, Carburetor Doppelbock, Pete’s Tribute Brown, Rebellion Delta). The remainder is a mix of mostly west coast craft (Rubicon Monkey Knife Fight, Green Flash Palate Wrecker & Imperial IPA, Port Hop 15, Stone Old Guardian, Drake’s Dry Stout, Ballast Point Sculpin, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Big Sky Heavy Horse), scattered imports (Unibroue Trois Pistoles, St Bernardus Tripel, Celis White, Guinness, Professor Fritz Briem Piwo Grodziskie – Grätzer Ale, Stiegl Paracelsus Zwickl, Staropramen Lager), and a pair of ciders (Wandering Aengus Anthem & Wanderlust). I drank the Ballast Point Sculpin & Deschuttes Black Butte Porter. Beer was clean and fresh.

Damn, it’s dark. I am writing by damn near neon light, they’re hiding something. Oh, this is the sister act to Monkey’s Paw; I see what you mean there. Some of the best bars are not so shiny, pretty, clean, neat, and new, and this is one of them. I mean that in the very very best of ways. I could do some good time here. And we stumbled back out into the light…

slander, Oct 18, 2012
More User Reviews:
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5/5  rDev +12.9%

AlexM, Sep 10, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Camjmorton, Sep 09, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Without a doubt my favorite bar in San Diego. Just great vibes all around. Respectful and attentive bartenders. The food choices/prices are reasonable being this is ass deep in hipsterville. The drink prices could be better and often times the beer selection is over the top IPAs or beers that are just plain St. Archer quality. Love the shuffleboard and pool tables. Bar is kind of small but cozy. Can get packed and for that matter real difficult to find a place to sit. Music quality is top notch and often times late at night the bartenders will throw cool movies on the tube. Kind of a pain to get to but worth it. Thumbs up also for doing a good job listing the tap lists online.

putonyourwalkingshoes, Sep 03, 2014
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FlakyBiscuit, Dec 08, 2013
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4.48/5  rDev +1.1%

Don't even read my review. If you are close enough to Hamilton's and wondering whether you should go, then get your ass over there. You will not be disappointed. After you go and get drunk and eat some tot with beer cheese soup dipping sauce, then come back and read my review.

Atmosphere- Very good. Scot Blair did a great job organizing the bar. A long bar, booths, belly bars, a pool table, shuffle-puck table, jukebox... and it all fits. Tap handles on the ceiling, dog-friendly.

Quality- This place is all about the beer. Or at least it was until they opened Hamilton's Cafe next door. Now, it's all about the beer & food. You won't find a bad beer in the place. The food is occasionally greasy (this ain't health food) and belly-ache inducing. Other than one questionable bbq sandwich late on the 4th of July, everything has been good quality.

Service- Bartenders are friendly here, just be respectful of them. They'll pour tasters, but if the place is packed (as it is most nights after 8) know what you want to order before you step up to the bar. Food service is good. Before 5, you order next door and pick it up when its done. After 5, order from the little window and they'll buzz you when it's done.

Selection- One of the best beer bars in the country. Taps, bottles, you can't go wrong here. Food selection ranges from meaty to vegetarian, but few vegan options. Sandwiches/sausages/chili type place. No salads that I remember.

Food- Comfort bar food taken to the next level.

Value- One of the best values in San Diego. Food and beer are affordable, especially given the quality.

sisterthelonious, Nov 06, 2013
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Hamiltons Tavern in San Diego, CA
98 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.