Taps: 30 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 78 | Show All Ratings:
4.6/5 rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $
This is a great stop in SD. It is near the big park. Inside it is dark, the music was super loud when I walked in on a crowded Saturday afternoon. They turned it down though, maybe someone else complained.
About 30 taps and they are all pretty high quality brews. The Avery white rascal is all over town and they had it as well, and they were probably wasting a line with guiness and anchor steam but w/e. Some of the cool stuff were 2 Schlenkerla beers, PtE, ballast point oatmeal stout on nitro, Samichlaus . Nothing over the top exciting but enough to keep it real interesting. Soe unique rarer beers in the cooler.
The service was good. 2 broski bartenders but they were chill, and good guys. The one lame thing they did though was chill every glass. For being such a respected bar that seems really out of place, but then again it is rampant in SD.
07-29-2012 16:41:43 | More by crossovert
3.49/5 rDev -21%
vibe: 1 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I can't really add much to the many accurate descriptions of others, but every time I've been to Hamilton's I feel like a grumpy old fart. I hate this place.
Yes, the beer selection is among the best in San Diego. Just be warned, you have to be up for the mayhem. Besides the crowd and fragrant dogs tugging at leashes everywhere, the noise level is astounding. The sound system is like a bad muffler bolted to your skull. The seating and game tables seem to be designed for maximum confusion and elbow action.
Seems like the kind of place that should open at 6 a.m., but the bar stools would probably be full anyway. Between doing outdoor things and having to work sometimes, I haven't tried coming here in the early afternoon. So I've never been here when it wasn't filled with crowds yelling over the noise. Even on a rainy Monday night it was jammed, plus the gang of smokers lurching on the sidewalk. Enjoy!
03-22-2012 19:47:48 | More by mactrail
4.38/5 rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $
Was in the area for work T-Th and had some free time for dinner so asked BdubleEdubleRUN and Nanobrew to hang out.
Atm- It's in a somewhat old school feeling neighborhood in North Park. A little bar tucked along a residential street. Parking is a bitch without a lot but I found a spot quickly. I will say its a hipster haven and I enjoyed making fun of the cut off pants and beanies when its 80 degrees out. Guess at 30 I am just old and out of touch. A nice dark bar with a few booths to sit in and a probably 20 ft bar. Big chalkboard with all the beers on tap and on cask.
Quality- When looking around the tap list I was a bit excited to see some really great things on tap that I thought were bottle only. Deliverance. Ta Henket, Tounge Buckler amongst others. Walking down the coolers its a dream cellar to see all of them in one locations.
Service- I will say its good service. Wasnt overly talkative or exciting. The guy with the stace was much more friendly. The girl in the kitchen was pretty good. Good info on selections.
Selection- Huge tap list, a couple engines and probably 10 doors packed full of cellarable beers. I was happy to walk back to my table for 2010 Olde Bluehair. Whole reason I went! Had RR, Cantillon, Drie, Lost Abbey, Nebraska, amongst many others.
Food- I ordered a grilled cheese and subbed the bacon for vegan bacon. IT WAS AWESOME(only for ash wednesday) with garlic fries. I want to go back for more food anytime.
Value- With food and 3 beers with tip 24 bucks. Not F N bad in my book.
02-24-2012 20:43:58 | More by FosterJM
4.65/5 rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by this place a few times during a recent trip to San Diego. This is supposedly one of the oldest beer bars in the area and it has an old school European pub vibe. Pretty spacious but basically one large room with a long bar, booths for dining, two pool tables, a shuffleboard game and the ceiling covered with old tap handles. I loved the vibe of this place. Lots of locals and beer nerds but the crowd is a bit young and the place is packed on weekend nights.
There is plenty of seating at the bar and the selection is excellent. A large chalkboard displays the draft offerings and there is an extensive bottle list covering lots of styles, breweries(including Alpine!)and countries. East coast offerings are somewhat limited but it looks like they carry the most interesting options that are distributed to the area. 28 taps covering a wide range of styles and breweries but there is a nice focus on locals. On one of our visits we had a pretty nice IPA tasting including Pliny, Sculpin, AleSmith IPA, Napa Smith Hopagedon, Green Flash WCIPA and Mission Shipwrecked DIPA. Being able to drink all of these delicious hop bomb on draft at the same time was awesome. They had more on and Alpine Pure Hoppiness bottles but we skipped them because we were visiting the brewery the next day. I was very impressed with the selection and according to their site they often have cask and brewery events. Very impressive.
Another great feature of this place was the quality of the food. Considering the size of the place they have a pretty large menu with standard pub food and some more interesting options. You have to order at a separate window and you can't get soft drinks anywhere after the kitchen is closed but the food is excellent. We never had to wait long for a meal and everything was delicious.
I went to fifteen different beer related places on my trip to San Diego and Orange County and this was by far my favorite. It's just a great neighborhood bar with delicious food, an amazing beer selection, cool people and great service. If I was a local I would live in this place!
01-21-2012 03:48:21 | More by corby112
4.9/5 rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
So many different ways to explain this place!
Atmosphere - I hear a lot of people liken this to an english pub. The ceiling is lined with old (and in a lot of cases resued by the bar time and time again) tap handles and lights. There are great booths/tables/ and adequate bar space. Gone is the funny football game, but now there are 2 pool tables and they have shuffleboard. Packed on weekend nights and football nights, but go on a monday night (after football!) or a thursday and you will be very happy.
Quality - They have very clean tap lines, great systems on all of them, and take very good care of ensuring you get beer the way it was meant to be served by the brewers.
Service - I am a regular now and always get amazing service, and now have a lot of friendships outside of the bar with the employees. Beyond that, everyone does know their stuff and will be happy to let you taste anything and give you good reccomendations.
Selection - Phenomenal selection of constantly rotating taps from very diverse places. I have had everything from cantillon to hard to find local beers. Many brewery centric events take place here, like every 2nd saturday its usually a brewery tap takeover with lots of free food. A lot of keep the glass nights with cheap refills (had a pliny one last week!) Bottle selection is also great, extremely varied, and they usually have specials on 10 or so bottles.
Food - Their cafe is so yummy, they have a ton of vegan/vegetarian options that are cooked on a separate grill, but also a ton of meat options. They have a few different hop sausages, tons of seriously delicious burgers. And they have about 6 different grilled cheese options that are SO good!
All in all, this place is so comfortable to walk in to, and you know every time you walk in you are going to try some new beers and hopefully make a few friends!
01-12-2012 18:01:48 | More by pinkgrenade
4.24/5 rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I went here initially as a backup plan. Green Flash was having a holiday party and most of the brewery taprooms in San Diego closed on the early side (holiday hours). Luckily Hamilton's was on my list of places to check out, and they were open.
The crowd was mostly college kids or mid-20-somethings. Pretty lively, but tame. The space was crammed, but still cozy. The bartenders seemed pretty busy and didn't give off the vibe that they were in a rush to help you (to be fair, it was busy and they were pleasantly chatty with everyone at the bar or washing glasses, so no qualms), BUT when they did get to you they were extremely friendly.
Their tap list had a good SD representation. I had a Ballast Point Barleywine aged in Bourbon/Whiskey/Syrah barrels that was spot on, and very affordable. The bottle list was pretty good, too. Nothing too out of sight, but definitely what you'd expect at a place that takes beer very seriously.
If I lived in SD this would likely be one of my go-to bars during the week.
12-31-2011 17:53:30 | More by 100floods
4.68/5 rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $
I moved to San Diego about four months ago, and Hamilton's quickly became my favorite watering hole. I've been in here close to ten times now (including last night) and feel I can now write a complete review.
While there are many excellent beer bars in San Diego, Hamilton's stands above the rest for its deep and ever-changing selection and discounted bar tabs. The bottle list must have close to 300 entries, many of which are sour, bourbon barrel-aged, and the like. You'll still find lighter ales and lagers, but you won't see any crap. The tap list seems to evolve nightly, which forces patrons to try beers they may not order otherwise - I really like this. The tap offerings are always diverse, and you should expect to find at least one sour, two barrel-aged stouts, and multiple IIPAs, imperial reds, and barley wines on any given night.
As for those discounted bar tabs, I've received a light check on almost every visit (last night may be the lone exception). All of the bartenders are friendly, conversational, and beer-savvy, and if you chat with them for a bit, you'll usually get a beer on the house. The bartenders are also very attentive, so those that complain about slow bartenders were either there on an off night of they were doing something wrong. Ordering food, on the other hand, takes some patience, but it's always well worth the wait.
Last night I ordered the Jamilton, and it was sublime. All of the burgers, grilled cheeses, and sausages I've had were top notch, but if you're feeling adventurous (especially if it may be your only time here) order the Jamilton. Menu here: http://hamiltonstavern.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/menu.pdf
This is a must stop if you live in the United States. Make the pilgrimage to Hamilton's ASAP!
10-26-2011 04:44:31 | More by ThreeWiseMen
4.58/5 rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Hamilton's is located in an area that seems like it is purely residential and on the approach you would think you are in the wrong place.
30 or so taps, all high quality and local heavy. A fairly small place and can get pretty crowded at times. If there was a bottle list I would have like to have seen it. Lots of tap handles hanging from the ceiling, really a lot actually, and a longish bar. Tables off to the side. Plenty of hop-bombs on tap and otherwise a good mix of locals and imports. One of the barkeeps ruptured a can of beer and I got sprayed, so he comped me a draft of choice. Now that's great customer service.
I can see why it's consistantly rated as the best in SD.
10-12-2011 00:50:13 | More by brewandbbq
New Brunswick (Canada)
4.46/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Dropped by last Wednesday afternoon...
A: Very dark. Nice bar, lots of tables, and a couple of pool tables. Lots of taps on the ceiling. Quite busy for a Wed. afternoon. Overall, a very neighborhood-bar-feeling type of place; cozy.
Q + Selection: A very decent selection of taps; lots of great beers I wanted to try. Had a couple drafts (SN Schwarzbier, Drake's Denogginizer), both of which were great quality. Very impressive bottle selection as well; there were a ton there I wanted to try.
Service: Sat at a table as the bar was full, so we went to the bar to order. The bartender was very helpful with a suggestion of which IPA to try.
V: Very reasonably priced.
O: A really great homey spot that I would love to check in on again. Two beers there was not enough.
09-27-2011 21:36:05 | More by berley31
4.22/5 rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This place has got 28 taps and a fairly decent bottle list. They didn't have anything great on tap when I was there, but they have had some pretty good ones in the past. We went in on a Wednesday night and the place was completely packed. They've got several pool tables that make for a fun diversion. There are tons of tap handles hanging from the ceiling showing you all the beers they've served over the years. Didn't try the food. Great energy at this place and it's pet friendly; I almost stepped on someone's dogs and didn't realize.
06-17-2011 07:11:10 | More by mrkun
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Hamiltons Tavern in San Diego, CA
97 out of 100 based on 84 user ratings.