Hamiltons Tavern

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

116 Ratings
Ratings: 116
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: n/a
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: 116 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of heffIPAlover
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of fito1212
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of robear
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of md655321
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of DreTheProphet
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of double2chin
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Kalenm
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of m1ked
5/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I would have to say this is my favorite beer joint of all time. The location is southpark, which to me, means near the disc golf course. I love playing a round, and swinging by for some oft rotated brews. The inside is dark, with eternal white x-mas lights on the rafters. Bubble hockey, Foozball, pool tables, and shuffleboard. The bar is dog friendly, usually with friendly dogs. Normally the crowd is full of familiar faces, frequently with local brewers. The owners are cool, and set up beer functions (bus set-ups for Stone Anniversary, Alpine grand openings, 2nd saturdays). The staff is cool and laid back. Not really a "sports bar", but definetly has sports playing on their flat screens. Their beer rotation is frequently rotated, and thoughtfully chosen. Casks every thursday, and a vast bottle selection. This is my "Cheers".

Photo of ExplosivoSR
4.95/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Hamilton's is without a doubt my favorite bar. 28 taps and the possibility of 2 casks means you're bound to find something you want. They also have a great selection of bottled beers. Prices are about what you would expect with the selection that they have, with the rarer beers they get being a bit expensive but worth it. They put on great events (Second Saturdays, Beer buses, etc...) and the staff is amazing. Coolest bartenders around. Food is great. Very good grilled cheese sandwiches and burgers, and beer cheese soup! YOU MUST GO HERE!

Photo of pinkgrenade
4.9/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

So many different ways to explain this place!

Atmosphere - I hear a lot of people liken this to an english pub. The ceiling is lined with old (and in a lot of cases resued by the bar time and time again) tap handles and lights. There are great booths/tables/ and adequate bar space. Gone is the funny football game, but now there are 2 pool tables and they have shuffleboard. Packed on weekend nights and football nights, but go on a monday night (after football!) or a thursday and you will be very happy.

Quality - They have very clean tap lines, great systems on all of them, and take very good care of ensuring you get beer the way it was meant to be served by the brewers.

Service - I am a regular now and always get amazing service, and now have a lot of friendships outside of the bar with the employees. Beyond that, everyone does know their stuff and will be happy to let you taste anything and give you good reccomendations.

Selection - Phenomenal selection of constantly rotating taps from very diverse places. I have had everything from cantillon to hard to find local beers. Many brewery centric events take place here, like every 2nd saturday its usually a brewery tap takeover with lots of free food. A lot of keep the glass nights with cheap refills (had a pliny one last week!) Bottle selection is also great, extremely varied, and they usually have specials on 10 or so bottles.

Food - Their cafe is so yummy, they have a ton of vegan/vegetarian options that are cooked on a separate grill, but also a ton of meat options. They have a few different hop sausages, tons of seriously delicious burgers. And they have about 6 different grilled cheese options that are SO good!

All in all, this place is so comfortable to walk in to, and you know every time you walk in you are going to try some new beers and hopefully make a few friends!

Photo of quinlin
4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is a great local pub in the heart of South Park, just outside of downtown.
The selection of beers here is awesome! 28 taps and over 200 bottles to choose from. They update the tap and bottle list daily via their website which is really convenient.
Hamiltons Cafe(purveyors of fine bar food) is right next door. You can order from the cafe through the shared wall and put the food on your tab. Perfect! This is probably the best bar food youre gonna find, i'd say go for a burger or one of their homemade hop-sausages.
They also always have great events happening almost ever week. One of my favs is their second saturdays where they host a brewery(have as many taps on from them as they can) and have free amazing food to go with the brew. Get there early.
There are two pool tables(which arent free), a shuffle board(is free), and a jukebox with classic blues and rock playing all night.
It doesnt get much better than hamiltons, get there!

Photo of Trappissed
4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

An awesome place in a low-key part of town. It was very crowded inside though, but it was Saturday night. Could have more seating available. Nonetheless, the selection was amazing for both on-tap and bottle selection. I wanted to get an Alesmith ESB, but the keg was tapped just before I got there.

I settled on a Green Flash Hop Red and then had a Shipyard Barley Wine. Both were great and I will come back here. Actually liked it a little more than Toronado, which is close by. They are very similar places, but the prices at Hamilton's were a little better and the bottle selection was more impressive. Not necessarily in rareness, but in overall selection. Bartenders were very attentive and cool. Will have to try the food next time.

Photo of d0ggnate
4.85/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Update 12.1408:

Living so close to Hamilton's has spoiled me. However, I am still excited to see the quality, and quantity, of great beer that makes through the doors here. The tap list always hosts crowd favorites, but also keeps beer geek's interest with new and unique offerings from many different breweries. I was excited to see the addition of the second bottle cooler, because I know Blair has many great bottles stashed away for later release. Hamilton's continues to be one of the best beer destinations in this saturated city.

I've been back, and back, and back about 20+ times. I might give them 7 out of 5 stars if I could. I've been there on every night of the week, at every time you could imagine. 3 plasmas and a beer in my hand keep my eyes glazed over and a smile on my face. The expansive selection of beer never fails to impress me. A new bottle awaits me upon each return. Second Saturday's have been permanently etched into my calendar. I couldn't ask for anymore out of any bar in SD County. If you get the chance, you have to give them a shot.

Photo of pwoods
4.84/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The atmostphere is fucking awesome. Unpretentious, laid back, local, pool tables, pub grub. The quality of the taps was good but a bit lacking on the days that I went. More smaller local stuff, which is awesome and I enjoyed it, but I was looking for some of the bigger guns that I see on their website quite often(their website is great). The service was outstanding. The first visit wasn't too crowded but Friday night was jam packed and they were definitely on top of everything. The selection is great with all the smaller locals and I frequently saw some fantastic big name brews on their website the weeks before my visit. The bottle selection looked great as well. I didn't try the food but everyone that talked about this place said it's great and it certainly looked good. Looked to be pub grub but the portions look pretty damn big and just the right stuff for a place like this. Prices seemed reasonable but the bottles were obviously more expensive.

Photo of tbase
4.83/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Awesome beer bar. Solid amount of quality taps, and a fairly extensive bottle list. Great food, I ordered while it was really busy and they asked for a phone number, 20 minutes later I got a text saying my food was ready. The atmosphere is great, lots of beautiful beer logos and the roof is filled with taps. Also I think it's on the second Saturday of every month they have a brewery come in and its 3 dollars for that breweries beer while they cook up a lot of FREE food. So if your in the area you owe it to yourself to check this place out.

Photo of gildobeer
4.83/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Hamilton's is the spot. Great beer, good people, good games, good times. Bad toilets. That should really be their slogan. I used to come here a lot when I lived less than a mile away. A great selection of rotating taps, an even better selection of all different kinds of bottle, only second in S.D. to Toronado, but in my opinion this place has way more character. Good food too, the chili burger is a can't miss but it can be inconsistent. A great place to come to for Chargers games, but the 3+ hours can lead to larger tabs than expected (like a bizarro-costco). As a bonus, they have free food on certain saturdays, you cant beat it.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.8/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Had a two day, one night trip to SD from LA. Many a people (including reviews on BA) told me to hit up Hamilton's Tavern. I am very glad I did.

I walked in with a friend and was greeted by a great looking chalk board of all the beers on tap. They had a great selection of rare, tap only Alpine beers. They had some other great beers including JP, PtE, etc. I saw on their website before coming they had Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon. This was one of the FiftyFifty stouts I was not able to obtain (have three others) and was tempted to try it. Well, I gave in. After having a few other amazing beers I had the bartender open this sucker up. The friend I was with did not drink much beer. She preferred the hard cider on tap. Anyway, I went up to a guy I was BS'ing with at the bar (about the beer while it was being opened) and asked the girl bartender for another glass because I wanted to share some with him since I didn't want hoard the whole bottle to myself. Later on when I was closing out my tab (and the beer cost a bit but honestly not as much as you'd think since I paid $35 for some of the other FiftyFifty's in LA) the girl bartender said she saw what I had done and said it was good beer advocating. She gave me the employee discount (which I immitigably made up the price difference in a tip). The whole experience was amazing. The bartenders were great, saw what I did and "rewarded" me. They most certainly did not have to do that but they did. A GREAT experience there and I will go back time and time again. Cheers!

Photo of sprucetip
4.8/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I was in San Diego recently and was lucky to be directed to this neighborhood bar that just happens to only have extremely good beer at good prices (and lots of it). It is definitely a neighborhood bar, with low key decor and a pool table. Nothing fancy. I was there twice, once was on Halloween, and it can get a bit loud, but I found the patrons and other staff there very friendly. Before my first visit I had been at the Toronado just down the street a mile or two. Without realizing it initially, I was sitting next to a brewer from Green Flash and the manager (forgetting his name) of Hamilton's. They were happy to indulge me in beer geeky conversation. When I first got to Hamilton's the manager recognized me and had a couple of brews with me (on him, even). We started with Green Flash's Hamilton's Palate Wrecker, a huge IPA. Next we moved on to Pliny the Elder, with the manager stating that there aren't too many brews where you back off a bit to Pliny. The Palate Wrecker was appropriately named, but very good if you are a hop head. On my next visit another staff (again I forget his name), who had also been at Toronado when I was there, recognized me and knocked a buck fifty off the already reasonable prices for my selections. On both visits the other patrons were very friendly and easy to talk to. The staff were more than welcoming, and the comped and discounted beers, for the out of state beer geek, were above and beyond the call of duty, though appreciated. I strongly recommend budgeting some time for this place. It was absolutely be my bar if I lived there. One night when I stayed later than the busses ran, and was too cheap for a taxi, I walked back downtown in a bout half an hour or so.

Photo of WeeObese
4.78/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have been going to Hamilton's since the second week they opened. Met the owner that first night and was made to feel extremely welcome. I go every week with a group of friends and always get to try two or three new beers (usually on draught).

I always have great service and the staff has become very knowledgable, and at a minimum will give you a honest opinion and a tatser if on draught. The atmosphere is fun and there is lots to do for the non-beer geeks as well. The only knocks I have is the music is often too loud, and it gets crowded now, just being selfish.

The selection is great, always a ton of local crafts, a few belgians, or other rares on tap. I rarely have to order the same beer. The bottle list is great as well, and always getting better. The price is pretty fair for what you get, and happy hour on locals is always nice.

Second Saturday cellebrations to highlight a craft brewery with complemtary food/cheese pairingfs is a great monthly event.

Have eaten three times at the cafe and the food has really been dialed in in the last week or so. The mussels were awesome,
burger and chicken sandwich very good, and the beer cheese soup as well.

I really love this place, a great beer bar and I am moving within three blocks of the bar. Lucky me.

Photo of DirtyBird
4.78/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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.

Photo of jedschlueter
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Soloveitchik
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of AndyGz
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Absolutely love Hamilton's. A long time ago the location was called Sparky's and offered nothing but BMC beer, so we only went there for the foosball and Pool tables. I had to drive up to O'Briens or the Liars Club for good beer back in those days. Now, it is the best beer bar I know of, and is only blocks away from my home. Hamilton's 28 taps are always filled with a mouth-watering selection of brews and I love their special events with great cask ales flowing from their 2 beer engines. They also serve awesome burgers and other good eats. It gets crowded sometimes, which really sucks, but during off-peak times the bartenders are very cool and knowledgeable.

Photo of ThePaleRider
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

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Hamiltons Tavern in San Diego, CA
98 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.