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Hamiltons Tavern

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
96
world-class

87 Reviews
Hamiltons TavernHamiltons Tavern
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

1521 30th St
San Diego, California, 92102-1503
United States

(619) 238-5460 | map
www.hamiltonstavern.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by stoner420 on 10-09-2006

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PLACE STATS
Place Score:
96
Reviews:
87
Ratings:
133
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
6.39%
 
 
Taps:
30
Bottles/Cans:
200
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 133
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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…

 4,425 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of deniserat
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.04/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Dark space and total dive bar feel, but the selection on tap and in bottles is pretty phenomenal. Lots of goodies on tap including some beers brewed just for the bar.

Reading through the bottle selection made me salivate and wish I had company to share a bottle. Very impressive.

Prices for pours weren't bad and the server was happy to let me taste a few before choosing a pour.

 383 characters

Photo of Intlpostman
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of biergeliebter
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Fortunate enough that Hammies is my neighborhood bar, a top-10 beer mecca, and within walking distance. Friendliest bunch of hop heads anywhere. A destination beer bar with nary a competitor in sight. Nice that Cosimo Sorrentino, brewer extraordinaire, is Brewing immediately nextdoor at South Park Brewing Co. Lucky me!

 320 characters

Photo of Brown120
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Brian29
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of IWannaEatFood
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of mrcraft
4.25/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

South Park was an interesting neighborhood. Some older quaint homes, restaurants, shops, and a tavern. This place had a grungy feel which probably added to a unique vibe of this place. They had tables, games, I think a few booths, and a long bar. They had lots of tap handles hanging from the ceiling.

The tap list was nice. Alpine, Pliny and the usual suspects. The server was friendly and quick to serve even though they were busy. I appreciated that.

It was crowded today, so I just ordered a goblet of flanders red and left.

I may try again when I'm in the neighborhood.

 584 characters

Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Yet another stop on my San Diego visit. Very friendly place with a pretty nice set of taps and a pretty robust bottle list. Ended up doing more bottles than taps since I found stuff that is hard to get in WI.

 210 characters

Photo of brycevolk
4.82/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Hipster, dive bar atmosphere with a large selection of quality craft beers. Little food window in the back cranks out AWESOME tater tots, good grilled cheeses and delicious burgers. Also, if you love dogs, this is the place to go.

 232 characters

Photo of JohnCassillo
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of jaydoc
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of blockdude
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Avoid this place like the plague on friday/saturday unless you like standing with your beer awkwardly with no place to sit or move around.. Seriously no room to move at all during one of these peak nights and my other complaint is their diversity of beers. One any given night, 80% of their beers are IPA or IIPA's, with very few saisons, sours, or stouts. Other than that, lighting could be better but the service is very good and the pours are legit. In terms of wings, they are definitely hit and miss and sometimes have the consistency of microwaved wings. Do yourself a favor and get one of the burgers if you want a well prepared meal. From my experience, weekdays are a much more enjoyable time to hit up Hamiltons.

 722 characters

Photo of Thepleasantimbiber
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of jooler
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of Wowcoolman
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Relaxed neighborhood hangout in South Park. Pool tables, tap handles hanging from ceiling, and you can order burgers and wings from the back. Extensive bottle selection and choice taps. Don't expect to have a conversation here, the music is pretty loud. Fortunately the music is pretty good. This is the sort of place you can bring your dog if he/she likes noise and crowds.

 374 characters

Photo of double2chin
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of ChrisISO_SJ
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Drink_LocalSD
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of atrocity
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Soloveitchik
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Taybeh
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Fairly small, dingy/divy, and when I was there on a Saturday night, it was a surprisingly mixed crowd by age, gender, ethnicity, level of hipster quality, etc. Good to very good tap lists...but they had Pliny, so....

 218 characters

Photo of Kalenm
5/5  rDev +14.2%

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Hamiltons Tavern in San Diego, CA
96 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.
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