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Chester's Beers Of The World
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
60 King St E
, L8N 1A6
phone: (905) 529-9568
Reviews by cratez:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Fifth stop on a recent trip to Cambridge, Hamilton, and Niagara Falls with mrmanning.
This place resembles a 1920s cigar bar with faded wooden tables and chairs dispersed throughout an enormous, narrow establishment. A display of dusty beer bottles greets you at the front entrance. We grabbed a booth in the back where we enjoyed a night of drinks and laughs with our new-found friends from Bar Towel.
The main attraction at Chester’s is the extensive vintage bottle list, which includes hundreds of LCBO seasonals and private imports from various Belgian, English, German, and American breweries. All of the beers are listed in a book that invites patrons to "keep any can or bottle as a souvenir." Some brews are 10-20 years old and many of them cannot be found at other beer bars in Ontario.
Len and I both started with a Theakston Old Peculier, then split a 1996 Liefmans Goudenband, a 1998 Suffolk Strong Vintage Ale, and a 2009 Vapeur Cochonne. The Goudeband tasted excellent and the Cochonne was quite good; however, the Peculier and Suffolk were past their prime. We had a feeling that the low-mid gravity stuff would be less than stellar (since it’s not meant for cellaring), but we took a gamble anyway and got burned. Hence, I would recommend sticking to the stronger (7% or higher) offerings on the menu.
Service was prompt and courteous, though our waitress didn’t know much about the beers. They were also "out" of several bottles that we ordered. Michael, the eccentric owner, did not seem to recognize Len despite having shared numerous hard-to-find Belgians with him a few years ago. But all of the drinks arrived quickly and in their proper glassware, including a dubbel that came with a wooden coaster.
Overall, we had a nice evening here helped along by locals who know the Hamilton beer scene. Chester’s is a destination for anyone seeking rare bottles, though the menu needs to be updated to reflect current inventory.
02-21-2011 22:04:31 |
More by cratez
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I finally got the chance to hit up Chester's with a buddy of mine. Certainly an old fashioned bar with older wood panelling for walls and an interesting copper fireplace. Lots of beer bottles immaculately displayed. I didn't really notice a lot of taps but it seems to have an ample selection of both single malt whisky, frozen vodka (which I had never scene before), wine and of course beer of which there is an entire menu regarding.
Most of the beer though seems to be in bottles, not that I object but some more visible taps would be good. You'd be hard pressed to find a better selection in Hamilton though. A few more wheat and local beers would have given them the perfect score.
I didn't try any of the food, having already come from a nearby restaurant/bar (The Honest Lawyer) but given I didn't get a food menu or was asked about it, I would assume it's on the back burner here. Still, they had a flyer for an upcoming high class event that looked pretty tasty.
All in all, a good place to find some beers you wouldn't normally have access to. I ended up getting Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout, but at a price tag of $9.99, I found that to be a bit high. I did find it more enjoyable then the Winking Judge though, so perhaps I will need to try that place again.
01-16-2011 06:42:54 |
More by TheHammer
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
I just came back from going here for the second time, and it's a pretty solid place.
The atmosphere is warn and dated with about %80 of this place being dark wood and the boths looking like seats from an '80's mini van, but all of it is unique and adds to the feel of an old style bar.
Our server was polite, quick, and seemed like she knew the menu well. Their bottled selection is vast and excellent with Belgium being very well represented. I ended up getting the Maredsous 8 and a Kronenbourg for my girlfriend, both of which we enjoyed. They were served in the proper glassware, but not proper temperature, especially the Mardesous which was very cold. We also ordered a plate of fries while we were there and they seemed like they were cheap and straight from the freezer. Based on their food menu, I'd say it's all standard pub fare. I gave the food a 3 just because I haven't had a chance to try any of their other food items. The prices are somewhat expensive, but that's expected at a bar like this.
Overall, a good and cozy place to stop by and have a non-mainstream/hard-to-find beer, but I'd never go here solely for the food.
01-04-2010 22:12:07 |
More by ludachris
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Considering I work across the street from this place it's only natural to visit it every now and then. The selection is unmatched to anything else in the area. The Waitress/Bartender (She was doing both that night) was relatively knowledgeable and friendly. I ordered Gulden Draak and although it was served way too cold, (The waitress had said she poured it improperly and attributed that to the lack of head on the beer but once I tried it I knew it was because the beer was too cold) It was however served in it's proper glass. Their menu has a ton of Belgians, some rare English offerings, about 300+ different bottles. Not a bad place to stop in to while passing through.
09-11-2007 19:27:09 |
More by funkengruven
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
We walked into Chester's not knowing what to expect, just that there was supposed to be some fine beer here. We were greeted by a blast from the past - the whole place looked to be straight out of the 70's, with lots of wood everywhere and many small tables and booths opposite the long bar. We seated ourselves towards the back, where there were larger tables available and started enjoying the non-stop classic rock. Clean restrooms were located downstairs.
This establishment has an excellent bottled beer list - I found plenty of interesting offerings, many from previous LCBO releases that were ancient history in my mind. Service was quite good and the staff was very helpful with choice of beers (our server was on top of which beers were currently unavailable). Beers were often poured in glassware from the brewer. There were a large number of beers from the UK and that's where we started our tasting. A number of vintage beers were also available. I thought the prices were reasonable given the rarity of these beers in Ontario.
I enjoyed my first visit and I'm sure it won't be my last.
03-29-2006 02:55:00 |
More by DrJay
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
This little known gem is in downtown Hamilton. For a place outside of Toronto or Montreal it is incredible. Not only is there a host of bottled beer second to Smokeless Joe's, but there are also many aged versions around. The manager is very dedicated to beer, and keeps the place open and staffed though it is very quiet weeknights. It is very presentable, and not to be missed if you are travelling through. Some rare finds here, such as beers from odd countries, and vintages from the LCBO 10 years ago. A bit too cold on some beers served, offset by thoughful service with the proper mugs.
01-02-2005 01:52:05 |
More by northyorksammy
Chester's Beers Of The World in Hamilton, ON, Canada