Taps: 30 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 78 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by charlzm:
3.68/5 rDev -16.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Visited in the mid-afternoon on Sunday, May 18th.
Kind of a divey joint, somewhere between seedy bar and Irish pub. On the plus side, there was an utter lack of pretention from both the patrons and the staff.
Excellent tap list.
My friend and I grabbed the only two seats left and decided on our beers. Both of mine were awful; the first, a cask ale, tasted infected to me. The bartender did let me exchange the first one after admonishing me that I should have tried a taster first. The second had a flavor profile far, far off from what other reviewers on BA have noted.
Sorry, but I don't think I should have to try a taster of everything before I order it to see if it's in good enough condition to drink.
There were some older folks there, including a bearded pool hustler clutching a bottle of Bud who never, ever missed a shot. I'm so glad I didn't take him up on his offer of a game. I think a couple of the owner/brewmaster guys from Lightning Brewery were there also. There were lots of barely-drinking-age kids of both sexes who actually seemed to be enjoying camraderie and drinking beer. I'm more used to seeing similarly aged folks sitting all together at one table, texting people who weren't actually in front of them and ordering either bottled water or foofy mixed drinks.
So... despite Hamilton's having good atmosphere and a great tap list (as many other places in the San Diego area do), I am seriously concerned about the condition of the beer. However, the friend I was with had two or three pints, all of which he deemed to be in good condition.
Also, I was contacted by someone from the establishment and assured that the beer lines were properly maintained, so I have upped the score for "quality" from a 1.5 to a 3.
I still doubt I'll be going back there based on this experience.
05-25-2008 03:35:10 | More by charlzm
More User Reviews:
4.48/5 rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $
Don't even read my review. If you are close enough to Hamilton's and wondering whether you should go, then get your ass over there. You will not be disappointed. After you go and get drunk and eat some tot with beer cheese soup dipping sauce, then come back and read my review.
Atmosphere- Very good. Scot Blair did a great job organizing the bar. A long bar, booths, belly bars, a pool table, shuffle-puck table, jukebox... and it all fits. Tap handles on the ceiling, dog-friendly.
Quality- This place is all about the beer. Or at least it was until they opened Hamilton's Cafe next door. Now, it's all about the beer & food. You won't find a bad beer in the place. The food is occasionally greasy (this ain't health food) and belly-ache inducing. Other than one questionable bbq sandwich late on the 4th of July, everything has been good quality.
Service- Bartenders are friendly here, just be respectful of them. They'll pour tasters, but if the place is packed (as it is most nights after 8) know what you want to order before you step up to the bar. Food service is good. Before 5, you order next door and pick it up when its done. After 5, order from the little window and they'll buzz you when it's done.
Selection- One of the best beer bars in the country. Taps, bottles, you can't go wrong here. Food selection ranges from meaty to vegetarian, but few vegan options. Sandwiches/sausages/chili type place. No salads that I remember.
Food- Comfort bar food taken to the next level.
Value- One of the best values in San Diego. Food and beer are affordable, especially given the quality.
11-06-2013 20:42:20 | More by sisterthelonious
4.64/5 rDev +5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | $$
Son moves to san Diego. I get Beer Safari fever and start checking out all the top spots. Sunny San Diego right? Well I pull into Hamilton's , and find maybe the darkest bar around. Well, maybe a tie with Live Wire. This is a bar folks. Walk in and you might expect pool, darts, MNF and Bud light pitchers. But...Only fun loving serious beer heads need enter. Once in get ready for possibly the beer bar of your life. The selection is vast and is just special...gems, one offs, or one cellared treasure after another. With all the locals well featured from the classics... Alpine casks, LA, Alesmith, GF, and plenty of the great SD newbies. All matched up with North Cali esp RR, NW, Colorado,east coast, mid west, Europe, etc etc.
The crew are as friendly, helpful and knowledgeable as they come. Swapping stories, endless generous tastes, and plenty of new friends made up and down the bar.
There are so many great places in SD, but you need to check Hamilton's out. It just doesn't get any better than this.
10-04-2013 02:28:34 | More by BillRoth
4.58/5 rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25 | $$
Hamiltons is outstanding their only flaw is that so many people know it is outstanding that it is often packed. Getting a spot to sit, the bartenders attention or a clean bathroom can be difficult.
The tap list is always impressive.
A must visit for San Diego.
07-20-2013 04:23:32 | More by SAdams0192
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Hamiltons Tavern in San Diego, CA
97 out of 100 based on 84 user ratings.