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Hamiltons Tavern

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

108 Ratings
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.11%
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: 108 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schubrews
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%

I read an article about this place in Celebrator while I was living and brewing up in Seattle for a year, and I couldn't wait to check it out as soon as I came back to San Diego... and I wasn't disappointed.

It has a great atmosphere with a great mix of people. It's not too swanky or too divey; it's just a good, all-around neighborhood kind of place that fits right into the South Park neighborhood of San Diego that it's in.

Service can leave a little to be desired on a busy Friday or Saturday night, because they usually only have one person tending the bar. But even then it isn't unreasonable. Plus, the laid back attitude of the staff and clientele make the wait seem less bad.

The beer selection is awesome. While Hamilton's doesn't have the staggering choice of 100+ taps that some places like to boast, they make up for it by always having a great sample of local and imported beers on their 24 taps, and in the wide array of bottles they also offer.

The prices are very reasonable. Actually, the prices may be outstanding if you consider how great the beers they carry tend to be.

I don't think they serve food, but I can say that I was there for a Monday night game once, and they ordered in stack of pizzas for the patrons to enjoy free during the game.

I definitely recommend checking this place out for a mellow evening of drinking exceptionally good beer.

schubrews, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of jmalex
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%

From everything I heard, the 2 places to go in San Diego are O'Brien's and Liars Club. All the advice seems to indicate this. That is, until I found out about Hamilton's. This place is absolutely a third gem in San Diego and is, in my opinion, a must stop.

ATMOSPHERE: This is exactly what I want in a beer bar. It has very inviting dim lighting and has a definite old "corner bar" charm to it. I've never seen so much beer paraphernalia, and it was all from really awesome breweries. All of their tap handles line the ceiling down the center and make for an incredible display. There are 2 pool tables, an air hockey table, a knob hockey table, and the piece de resistance... shuffleboard! And all are free to play.

QUALITY: Excellent beers and they seem like they are constantly rotated. A large chalkboard above the bar lists the tap menu, and each beer is clearly marked with a price. The chalkboard also seems to change as soon as the kegs do. Beer is, for the most part, served in proper glassware and at the right temperature. There's also a 5-7 Happy Hour every day.

SERVICE: There did not appear to be any table service, so all ordering had to take place at the bar. The bartender was excellent though, and got us our beers in a hasty fashion. Certainly no complaints.

SELECTION: An amazing array of local west coast brews including my all time favorite, AleSmith Speedway Stout. There were a few other AleSmiths, Port Brewing, Bear Republic, and some other great California breweries represented. The bottle fridge seemed equally as impressive with a more diverse selection featured. My only gripe is that I would have like to see the rest of the US represented a bit in the tap list, but being from the east coast, a tap list of west coast stuff was exactly what I wanted.

FOOD: They do not serve food at Hamilton's, but you CAN order food from the place next door and bring it over. The food is standard bar grub.

All in all, this place pretty much has everything you'd want. I can't stress enough that Hamilton's should be mentioned in the same breath as the other 2 popular San Diego beer destinations. Make sure you plan time to stop in.

jmalex, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of Stoneman78
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%

Well, I finally made it out to Hamilton's in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego. Today was their 2nd anniversary party, so it definitely was a treat. Funnily enough, there was only about a dozen people when we got there at 4:15, but this quickly ballooned to well over 100 by the time we left and hour later. The atmosphere was surprisingly open and clean, with a nice bar section, several tables, two pool tables and a 'slider' table. This bar in a fairly residential area and doesn't look like much from the outside, so I was really surprised how nice (and dark) the interior was. The bartenders were very friendly and I talked to them quite a bit before the rush, and they were still very accommodating and friendly after the rush hit. The big highlight without a doubt was the tap selection. Granted this was a bit skewed for their anniversary party, but I heard that this isn't too far from their typical offerings. I was able to try their anniversary cedar pale, a drake's triple IPA, and a cask of the Hop-pa-Potamus SD Brewing Triple IPA in the hour we were there. There were so many other great choices (cask of GF Le Freak and Moonlight Wheat among others), I wish I could have stayed longer. Hamilton's is a bit far from me, but other local beer fans say they rival O'Brien's and Liar's Club in terms of their unique tap selection. They have special celebrations every 2nd Saturday of the month which I may have to make a regular event in my schedule. Their website is also very well-done and regularly updated, definitely check out Hamilton's if you are in the SD area!!!

Stoneman78, Oct 14, 2007
Photo of kleffman
4.03/5  rDev -9.2%

Went to Hamiltons for one reason and one reason only: Cask of Alesmith Decadence 2006. I'd drive 200 miles for a cask of that beer, but luckily it was only about 10 miles this time. Interesting area for a nice beer bar, but we found it easily and immediately grabbed a couple seats at the bar, right by the beer engine. I found this to be quite a nice place, and on this certain Saturday they happened to have free food/beer pairing going on which went quite well with a cask of such a fine imperial red ale. Their tap and bottle selection is very nice, well above average. Couple pool tables, shuffleboard etc. round this out as a great spot if you live nearby. Prices seemed decent, and I would definitely go back, especially if there was another crazy beer special goin on. Go grab yourself a special belgian out of the bottle and enjoy your Saturday afternoon here.

kleffman, Oct 07, 2007
Photo of MoBitter
4.26/5  rDev -4.1%

I heard about this place through this site and decided to try it out. Had dinner nearby (Hamilton's doesn't serve food) and convinced my wife and friends to stop by this place for a beer. It was a Friday night, and there were many guys/gals hanging around outside smoking, which we didn't like. Upon entering, it was wall-to-wall people (mostly 21-30) and VERY LOUD rock music. Seating was very limited. I had to wait a few minutes at the bar to be served, which suited me fine since I had to decide from ~20 draft beers. I selected a local IIPA and tried to enjoy it while ducking pool players and trying to converse over the VERY LOUD music with my party. My wife kinda gave me the bum's rush, this wasn't her kind of place, but I still enjoyed the IIPA. I'd like to return there sometime when the place isn't overrun with young punks. Next time I'll check out the bottle list, which I hear is extensive.

Cheers!

MoBitter, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of DirtyBird
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%

Love this place! Great selection of locals and west coast beers, nice bottle list, too!


Both bartenders were attentive and knew the beer pretty well. it was slamming on a Saturday night, so we didn't expect to get into any long conversations, but they kept our glasses full and answered all of our questions.

Nice beer list. We had:

Monk's Flemish Sour (on tap!)
Russian River Dead Green Leaf English Ale
Moonlight Death & Taxes Black Lager
Green Flash Trippel
Dupont Saison (btl)
AleSmith Wee Heavy

We saw over a dozen local beers on tap and damn near no swill, only PBR.

This place is kind of out of the way. We got the impression of a neighborhod pub with locals that like good beer. It's very encouraging to see that.

DirtyBird, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of mnavarre
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%

Nice place. I'm glad there's finally a beer bar in the area

They have 24 taps, all but four of which are micros and an extensive bottle selection. Prices are reasonable, with most drafts being $4.25 and the bottle prices ranging from $2.75 for industrial swill to $11 for a 750ml of some of the Belgian beers with the average price about $4 dollars. Most of the selection is from the west coast, with a good representation of local beers.

I didn't really look at the wine list, but the Wife seemed fine with the (limited) selection they had.

I didn't check out the jukebox, but what was playing was fine. Lots of Who and 70's glam.

There's two pool tables, shuffleboard, fusball and bubble hockey. I wish they had a pinball machine, but you can't have everything. I'm just jazzed they have bubble hockey and Genesse Cream Ale.

I'll definatelty be going back. Often

mnavarre, Oct 14, 2006
Photo of stoner420
3.33/5  rDev -25%

Hamilton's is a neighborhood bar in the South Park area. The beer selection is pretty great with 24 taps, good variety and a large selection of bottles.

Also pool tables, shuffleboard, and foosball. The sound system usually blares hard rock/metal very loud so it gets hard to hold a conversation. The interior is fairly spacious, but it's not a real big space. There are flat panel TVs. They pull the shades down over the windows at all hours, so it is always dim inside. I've heard this is at the request of the clientele.

They also serve food. It is OK, but nothing special, I wouldn't go there just for the food.

As dogs have now become the trendy thing in the neighborhood, you'll see more and more people bringing their dogs with them, even holding them up on their laps at the bar. So watch out for dog hairs and be ready to hear a few yapping dogs.

stoner420, Oct 09, 2006
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Hamiltons Tavern in San Diego, CA
98 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.