Taps: 30 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 78 | Show All Ratings:
4.16/5 rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Parking cannot suck enough, we all know that, but even if I had to park a few blocks down the street, Hamilton's was worth the trip.
A neighborhood pub in a middle class area of San Diego suburbia, it's no frills, and working class, with a nice mix of blue and white collar patrons all there for the comradery and good beer. Old brewana adorns the walls. The simple bar area is adjacent to a small dining room with several tables. Pool tables if you're into it though this Wednesday night in early October was all about Red Sox - Angels and the first game of the ALDS whic was on the tvs over the bar.
The selection at Hamiltons did not dissapoint. Sizeable San Diego area offerings including Green Flash, Karl Strauss, Ballast Point, Gordon Biersch, and Russian River. I had a Green Flash Double Imperial IPA to start...a lusty 9% served in a pint glass and only $5 (a snifter or tumbler for $7 in my neck of the woods). The bar was full and the service was dead on. Affable guys sitting next to me willing to talk beer, particularly Cali beer which made the visit even more enjoyable.
A no-frills working man's pub, but then again, aren't all of the BA fav's? A tad out of the way from the city proper, but worth the visit.
10-25-2008 11:10:21 | More by jim102864
4.6/5 rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Can't believe I haven't been to this place sooner (I love 1 block from Wit's End so I don't stray too far).
Loc is great- totally tucked away. You go in and it's seedy and dark. Not as seedy as Liar's Club used to be at Mission Beach (Aaaahhh the glory days... sigh)
So althought I was certain the quiet, forlorn dodger fan with his hobo jacket and "I'm gonna rape your face" glare, was going to do just that, I marveled at their selection between bottle and tap; a whole string of rarities.
What's probably most impressive were the advertisements for their special events! A boner-inspiring line-up of cask beers, aged beers, special releases and then some.
I love Wit's End and all, but these guys have some awesome connections dialed in.
The food doesn't even need to be good!
10-19-2008 19:58:12 | More by adamparker05
3.51/5 rDev -20.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This one of many stops while in San Diego last weekend. The waitress from one of the places we visited higly recommended this place, so a few of my buddies and I decided to go here to watch the USC/OhioSt. game on TV. Unofortantely, we didn't stay for very long...and its not because of the game...but because of the place. The atmosphere just wasn't my thing...extremely dark (like being trapped in a closet while playing hide-n-go-seek when you were a kid), but I did like seeing a younger crowd then I'm used to seeing in places like this. The quality and service was average to above-average...no problems here. The selection on the other hand was incredible...I was lucky enough to have Older Viscosity. Awesome!! Overall, I guess this place was okay and I probably won't visit it again.
09-18-2008 22:27:29 | More by OlieIPA
4.59/5 rDev +3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Hamilton's is a very unique place in the sense of both location and layout. The Tavern is tucked away in a neat little residential area where it seems more bars should open. The beer selections are displayed via a chalkboard above the left hand side of the bar. There are two pool tables accompanied by a large shuffleboard table. The jukebox is always loud and playing good music. Most of the locals are very welcoming which makes the location even more proper. The selection is always wonderful and paired with the atmosphere, this is a must visit when in the San Diego area.
07-04-2008 01:16:04 | More by dave12285
3.55/5 rDev -19.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
wow where do I start... Went there for the first time on their 2nd Saturday celebration and it was packed. Pretty sure fire code was being broken. Any way it is in the weirdest place too. Its like in the middle of a neighbourhood on the outskirts of downtown San diego. Their selection is top notch. Had an abyss. Bottle of jolly pumpkin. And a couple other hard to find local brews. The place was so packed it took a while to try and get your beer and it was hard to find a place to even stand and drink. And it was only like 4pm. Happy hour I guess on top of the celebration. Any way I would go again but the place is kinda dumpy looking and I would not make this my regular hang out if I lived down there.
05-26-2008 04:17:13 | More by PeprSprYoFace
3.68/5 rDev -16.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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
4.54/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Beerfly review #100, too many cool places to visit in California, would never expect this place to be in this neighborhood while driving through in on the way there, had a friend drive me here yesterday so I can try the Frankenwine from Drake's, which did not disappoint and I will post my review for that shortly, atomsphere was awesome and laid pack with some pool tables and dart boards, mellow people who seemed like regulars at the place, four different people brought in their dogs, huge fridge with over one hundred bottles with Angel's Share 750 mls just jumping out at your eye from the bottom prices from the tap ranged from four to six dollars, bottles go from four all the way up to thirty for the rare stuff, place was very clean and felt like a quality estalbishment, food looked really good but I had eaten right before going there, I will have to order a hamburger during my next visit, you order in the back at their own little cafe, pretty neat idea, only one bartender but he was really helpful and quick, he even gave a few tastes before I ordered things, poor guy was being badgered by one of the visitors about how he looked like somebody from American Idol, the place had about twenty to twenty-five taps, some of the standouts were Coronado Hoppy Daze Belgian IPA, Karl Strauss Uncle Touchy Imperial IPA, Alesmith Speedway Stout, Speakeasy Hunters Porter, and Pizza Port Carlsbad Polapa Pale Ale on cask for only four dollars, got there during happy hour and all local stuff was one dollar off, think it was between 5 and 8 p.m. but not sure, wish I can be there on the 18th of this month when they have a Drake's barrel aged cask night to along with a couple different versions of their imperial stout to go along with much hyped rye wine, will try to come back here as much as possible when in San Diego, favorite place I went to during my short stay in the area, you need to check this place out if you have not been yet, thanks to KingG for recommending me to go yesterday, going out on a limb here but this place rivals Liars Club and O'Briens in my opinion and they definitely have a better bottle list
04-03-2008 00:39:51 | More by Floydster
4.3/5 rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
Terrific bar. Great beery crowd. I was there on a Sunday night so ... I guess it's normal ... lots of the taps had kicked. There was still lots to choose from. My last brew was a cask conditioned Port Palapa Pale Ale hand pumped, very good.
KS Saison was very good.
CBC IPA was hoppy and wonderful.
You order food next door, take a buzzer with you and when the food is ready there is a pass through window where your food will be waiting.
Pool tables, flat screen tv's and a good crowd. You'll enjoy it.
Edit: Went back two nights later ... that says something in itself. All taps were flowing, grabed more pub grub (consistantly good, but pub grub) and dipped into a solid offering including Belgians.
03-31-2008 08:31:31 | More by dougnboston
4.78/5 rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I have been going to Hamilton's since the second week they opened. Met the owner that first night and was made to feel extremely welcome. I go every week with a group of friends and always get to try two or three new beers (usually on draught).
I always have great service and the staff has become very knowledgable, and at a minimum will give you a honest opinion and a tatser if on draught. The atmosphere is fun and there is lots to do for the non-beer geeks as well. The only knocks I have is the music is often too loud, and it gets crowded now, just being selfish.
The selection is great, always a ton of local crafts, a few belgians, or other rares on tap. I rarely have to order the same beer. The bottle list is great as well, and always getting better. The price is pretty fair for what you get, and happy hour on locals is always nice.
Second Saturday cellebrations to highlight a craft brewery with complemtary food/cheese pairingfs is a great monthly event.
Have eaten three times at the cafe and the food has really been dialed in in the last week or so. The mussels were awesome,
burger and chicken sandwich very good, and the beer cheese soup as well.
I really love this place, a great beer bar and I am moving within three blocks of the bar. Lucky me.
03-28-2008 05:12:09 | More by WeeObese
5/5 rDev +13.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I would have to say this is my favorite beer joint of all time. The location is southpark, which to me, means near the disc golf course. I love playing a round, and swinging by for some oft rotated brews. The inside is dark, with eternal white x-mas lights on the rafters. Bubble hockey, Foozball, pool tables, and shuffleboard. The bar is dog friendly, usually with friendly dogs. Normally the crowd is full of familiar faces, frequently with local brewers. The owners are cool, and set up beer functions (bus set-ups for Stone Anniversary, Alpine grand openings, 2nd saturdays). The staff is cool and laid back. Not really a "sports bar", but definetly has sports playing on their flat screens. Their beer rotation is frequently rotated, and thoughtfully chosen. Casks every thursday, and a vast bottle selection. This is my "Cheers".
01-21-2008 22:05:56 | More by m1ked
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Hamiltons Tavern in San Diego, CA
97 out of 100 based on 84 user ratings.