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Goat Hill Tavern
Taps: 141 / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1830 Newport Blvd
phone: (949) 548-8428
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 1.5
This place is classic, imagine the traditional bar no hip promotions or big advertising campaign. Just a bar with a slew of different beers on tap (150). Yes, that is the main reason to come here for the atmosphere, a down home (me being from WV living here) throw the peanut shells on the floor hold your pint and walk around and get to know people type place. If your not into the social scene of drinking, and you want an intimate tasting session check across the street (Yard House). When I was there this summer living and working in Newport Beach we frequented the Yardhouse across the street, didn't even now about the Goat Hill Tavern. Yes, someone had the audacity to open up a competion of beer selection like the Yard House across from this place that has been a privately owned beer emporium for years. Hell, this is authentic, they got their name from the fact that when Newport Beach closer to the ocean first became developed Costa Mesa was still a place where you could go to see a goat, therefore the sophisticated people near the ocean nicknamed Costa Mesa the Goat Hill. This place sells their beer for a much cheaper price than the Yard House, but it is a different type of place. Not a place that is modernized with real chefs, and state of the art draft system, along with the state of the art stereo bumping good ol' classic rock. They don't claim to be anything but a place where you should come to get a decently priced pint to enjoy other people's company. Should be appreciated by all people, in my opinion.
01-06-2003 21:15:20 |
More by WVbeergeek
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I love this place. They've got a handful of good beers, Stone, Port, Anderson Valley, Bear Republic.... nothing fancy, but better than beers that you're going to get at other "divey-type" bars. The covered patio is great, we'll meet there for cigars and a few beers every so often. I recommend weekday visits as it tends to really get crowded Friday and Saturday nights.
The real jewel here is the 50's era shuffleboard arcade game. Good beer and shuffleboard, it doesn't get much better than that.
04-23-2009 17:07:16 |
More by QUERCUSAGRIFOLIA
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
This is one of my old hangouts. I have always loved this place. In the mid 80's, this place introdused me to great beers beyond what you get in grocery stores. My favorites there are (since the 80's) are Murpheys irish stout and wattneys on tap.This is where I had my frist Sierra nevada winter welcome...on tap, and many other cult classics I have had on tap there. Today, there are many many ales to choose from. I think there have always been over 144 taps.
Sure, this place is a total dump! But I still love it.
On weekend nights...this place crawls with "the beautiful people" of OC. I have always enjoyed drinking my beer in this atmosphere.
I love this place! My only regret I have for it..I wish they had better glassware to drink my stouts and porters out of there.
10-17-2007 07:07:16 |
More by Trueant1
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
The second, and last stop on the recent Southern California BA Pub Crawl. Whilst we only did two establishments, after the Costa Mesa Yard House, this was a complete 180° round-about turn. The Goat Hill Tavern is the anti-thesis of the corporate style Yard House, with its fancy façade and large range of average, sometimes over-priced, beers. It seems so ironic that this place is almost directly opposite the YH.
The GHT offers a little of all that is good. A genuine down to Earth atmosphere, which immediately welcomes all, and judges none. Festooned and decorated with a plethora of street furniture, Breweriana, stuffed and mounted animals, signs, posters and a whole host of eclectic items. The décor is well its very, erm well Goat Hill. More of a den, than a Bar, but it works for me.
A fantastic range of Taps, almost 150, lend this establishment a Permanent Beer Festival atmosphere. The bar is on your left hand side as you enter, which includes a few macros, sure, but it also hides a superb range of micros, some of which are seldom seen. I loved the Bear Republic Racer 5 excellent. The beer range is unparalleled for this area.
Entertainment includes a few Pool Tables, wearing Peanut Shell and Sawdust Chips, a Juke Box full of Golden Oldies, and balancing Growlers full of Beer on your head, or someone elses, during BA Socials. This is the sort of place (thankfully) where you have to be really bad to get thrown out! Beware of the Toilets though, they bite.
I do not really have much more to add, that has not already been eulogized about below.
A semi-dive bar, which really kicks ass. Want to drink overpriced beer and look good with your Bud drinking yuppie friends, well - stay at the Yard House. Want to drink a great range of excellent beers, at great prices, in a bar with real atmosphere with your BA buddies and end up getting rip-roaring drunk without fear of being hassled by the alcohol Nazis or Steven Segal look-a-like Bouncers at the YH then stay here. One last thing, no real food, so its advisable and best to eat before you get here for a drinking session though, a mistake I sadly made on my last visit.
As Arnie said, Ill be back. A Classic.
Last Visit: 26th July 2003
07-30-2003 05:02:58 |
More by TheLongBeachBum
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Goat Hill. . . definitely a hidden gem. Just off the 55, you can easily miss it if you aren't paying attention. Walking in, you are overwhelmed with the pungent smell of spilled beer and smoke--actually, pretty gross. Once you get over the smell and make your way to the bar, you realize this place has a shit load of great beer.
Literally, a ridiculous amount of beers on tap. The clientele can be a little lame at times, but it is well worth it for the quality of selection. The guys at the bar are pretty cool, and service is prompt.
Probably not the best spot for a first date, but definitely worth your time to venture out to the Goat.
03-18-2010 19:10:43 |
More by WOTO97
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Came here around 1 pm on a Saturday afternoon, only a few patrons sitting around nursing their own beers and being solemn. I suggest you park in the nearby residential neighborhood to be less visible to the constant police patrolling.
I like the atmosphere, not pretentious, very down-to-earth. You got to see all the interesting things they hang on the ceiling and on the walls. The bathrooms aren't as bad as most people described, I've seen a lot worse.
By 3 pm more people showed up and there were interesting mix of clientèle. Bartenders are friendly and quick, also you can actually purchase their t-shirt.
Vast selections, but nothing that would make you go "wow". During the founder hour I had a pitcher of Racer 5 and pint of Stone RIS for $12, which was awe-inspiring. They had few seasonal stuff like SN Tumbler and Stone 14th Ann on tap.
No complain about the smoking, it's what a bar supposed to be. It's not a hospital or a church, I actually appreciate they did not succumb to the "smoking-ban" that has plagued much of the country.
If you want to sample the rare RR or Lost Abbey stuff you won't find it here. But it's a good bar for people who are looking for good old-fashioned craft beers.
10-18-2010 18:50:00 |
More by vince4953529
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
this is a definite must stop if you're passing through orange county.. they've got about 175 beers on tap, which is reason alone to stop. the decor is what i really love about this place; everything from the fire hazards due to the wiring hanging from every corner to the more than 500 tap handles attatched to the ceiling throughout the place.
one thing that i have to note, and a complaint about this establishment is the beer selection. while they DO have 175 beers on tap, i'd say about half those beers are what some call "fizzy clear beer", lagers take up a huge section of those 175 taps.. from every variety of budweiser to coors to miller to pabst.. there are quite a few horrid brews taking up precious space in their keg room. imagine.. you have 175 taps.. why not fill them up with great beer?
either way.. hit up the goat hill tavern..
then stumble across the street and hit up the Yard House..
which has about 200 taps. yes, i'm not joking. 200 taps across the street from 175. and the yard house actually has quite a few more rare beers on tap than the goat hill, but the ambience there leaves a lot to be desired.
06-04-2004 23:49:07 |
More by kiya
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
This place is a dump. That being said, this is as good as a dump gets. I mean that in the most positive way. The beer selection is truly great if you are a fan of American microbrews. They have well over 100 beers on tap, and while they do waste a few taps on the typical AB/Miller/Coors beers, there is a lot of great stuff to try. I had my first experience drinking Double Bastard here and it was everything I had hoped it would be. I also tried Old Foghorn and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (it was a night in which I felt it necessary to stick to west coast brews). As far as this place being a dump, it is. The seats are sticky and the floor is covered in sawdust and peanut shells. Of course, if you are willing to overlook that (and I am), this is a great place to have a few pints. The prices are really great, as almost everything is about $4, $4.75 if you are feeling saucy. The crowd is unpretentious and the jukebox is filled with sing-a-long hits (heard during the visit were Weezer, Men Without Hats, Outkast, and G'N'R just to name a few). If you enjoy selection, you appreciate a bar where appearance is not important, and you are in the LA area, this is a great bar for you.
11-08-2003 09:25:40 |
More by GoCubsMatt
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I visited the Goat Hill Tavern with TheLongBeachBum who was kind enough to meet me there when I was in the area for a convention in April 2005. The bar was easy enough to find, being located on the Hwy 55 not far from the beach in Costa Mesa, though the sign above the front entrance is a bit obscured by trees on the sidewalk as you approach by car. Parking is on-street or in various parking lots nearby (I think there is even some parking in the rear of the bar).
Saying the atmosphere is casual is a bit of an understatement. The place definitely has a "lived in" ("partied in"?) feel to it, right down to the side room with a hole in the ceiling, which apparently allows the room to be classified as "outdoors" for smoking purposes. There is lots of unfinished wood, and the walls and beams are covered in beer paraphenalia, automotive signs, and odds and ends. I think I remember a bicycle hanging from the ceiling as well. There were TVs behind the bar, and there was rock music playing throughout. The main room with the bar has tables for seating, but all drinks have to be ordered at the bar. The other room, which might actually be larger, has several pool tables, and a juke box. Both rooms have windows facing the street. The floor was littered with peanut shells. We visited on a weekend night, and the place really got packed after around 10 pm. The crowd was on the younger side, though mixed, and people were friendly, even (especially?) when it got extremely crowded, and we shared half our table.
The beer selection was good. I did not note the exact number of taps, but there were many, and with a lot of good regional microbrews, among others. Prices were good, especially if you bought pitchers, as we did. The service at the bar was fine, though obviously on such a busy night there was not a lot chitchat with the bartenders. Periodically during the night, the bartender would announce some sort of drink special, typically for the ladies, and there was much rejoicing, and an even bigger crush at the bar (thank God for pitchers). I didn't sample any food other than peanuts, which you can buy at the bar. I bought a large bowl of peanuts ($2), much to the amusement of The Bum, but they came in handy when we made friends with the group that shared our table.
Overall a fun place to go with a friend and perhaps to make some new friends over some good pints of beer.
08-16-2005 04:55:56 |
More by UncleJimbo
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
As down to earth as they come with sawdust on the floor...scratched up tables....warped pool tables...and all of the ambiance you would hope to find in an old fashioned neighborhood 'bar'.
For my experience the service was wonderful and the staff helpful in suggesting beers and offering tasters of beers I was unfamiliar with.
Somewhere around 145 different beers on tap with a wonderful selection from pales to porters to stouts to IPA's to belgiums.
I didn't get a chance to look at the menu but the beer selection was great and overall a great down home neighborhood 'bar' experience.
06-26-2006 04:52:04 |
More by IntriqKen
Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa, CA