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Taps: 30 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1521 30th St
phone: (619) 238-5460
(Place added by: stoner420 on 10-09-2006)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 78 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Hamilton's was one of a few spots I wanted to check out while in San Diego for the day, and it did not disappoint.
This place has a little bit of a dive bar look and feel, with no natural light and slightly small, dingy appearance. A long bar runs all the way along the left wall starting where you walk in, with a jukebox in the back. A chalkboard on top of the bar has the taplist, and many sheets of paper in a binder represent the massive bottle list. Behind the bar are numerous coolers with bottles in them. A shuffleboard table is on the right, and some pool tables. The ceiling is lined with tap handles.
The crowd seems pretty mixed, and this place is dog friendly, because numerous dogs are hanging around and coming in and out. The bartenders have a hipster look and are polite and moderately friendly, but not in a hurry to start a conversation. When I ordered a sour off of the list that had recently sold out, the tender did suggest a few alternatives to me (which were good recommendations, but nothing new for a big sour fan).
Deciding to pass on the Firestone Anniversary beers, I ordered an Avery Sui Generis from the bottle list. This list is huge and well-stocked. Bottle specials are great prices, cheaper than I can get at bottle shops. The bottle list is on the website, so take a look if you're interested.
The tap list is awesome too. A ton of Big Sky offerings on-tap, including many barrel aged beers I've never even heard of, 2010 Ivan the terrible, 2008 Ivan the terrible for 4 bucks a tulip. 3 specials that are each 4 bucks, all sweet beer. Locals and some other interesting beers in addition to all of the Big Sky stuff.
Outstanding selection here, at a great price point. I was thrilled to see Ivan and vintage Ivan on-tap; they rocked. Overall, this is a great bar and I think it was my favorite place in San Diego.
01-20-2011 02:34:04 |
More by Hojaminbag
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Had a two day, one night trip to SD from LA. Many a people (including reviews on BA) told me to hit up Hamilton's Tavern. I am very glad I did.
I walked in with a friend and was greeted by a great looking chalk board of all the beers on tap. They had a great selection of rare, tap only Alpine beers. They had some other great beers including JP, PtE, etc. I saw on their website before coming they had Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon. This was one of the FiftyFifty stouts I was not able to obtain (have three others) and was tempted to try it. Well, I gave in. After having a few other amazing beers I had the bartender open this sucker up. The friend I was with did not drink much beer. She preferred the hard cider on tap. Anyway, I went up to a guy I was BS'ing with at the bar (about the beer while it was being opened) and asked the girl bartender for another glass because I wanted to share some with him since I didn't want hoard the whole bottle to myself. Later on when I was closing out my tab (and the beer cost a bit but honestly not as much as you'd think since I paid $35 for some of the other FiftyFifty's in LA) the girl bartender said she saw what I had done and said it was good beer advocating. She gave me the employee discount (which I immitigably made up the price difference in a tip). The whole experience was amazing. The bartenders were great, saw what I did and "rewarded" me. They most certainly did not have to do that but they did. A GREAT experience there and I will go back time and time again. Cheers!
03-19-2011 04:08:20 |
More by SpdKilz
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
The atmostphere is fucking awesome. Unpretentious, laid back, local, pool tables, pub grub. The quality of the taps was good but a bit lacking on the days that I went. More smaller local stuff, which is awesome and I enjoyed it, but I was looking for some of the bigger guns that I see on their website quite often(their website is great). The service was outstanding. The first visit wasn't too crowded but Friday night was jam packed and they were definitely on top of everything. The selection is great with all the smaller locals and I frequently saw some fantastic big name brews on their website the weeks before my visit. The bottle selection looked great as well. I didn't try the food but everyone that talked about this place said it's great and it certainly looked good. Looked to be pub grub but the portions look pretty damn big and just the right stuff for a place like this. Prices seemed reasonable but the bottles were obviously more expensive.
03-19-2010 01:05:00 |
More by pwoods
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Solid beer bar located close to downtown San Diego. Went here during SD Beer Week '09.
Hell of a solid place. Great atmosphere - lots of space with some nice bar games in the back. Shuffleboard and maybe some others that I would have remembered had I been less drunk at the time. Solid crowd too, lots of younger people. Seems they draw a good deal of business from UCSD. Being somewhat of a spring chicken myself at 26, I enjoyed this aspect. Not too many dude/bro types or "chads" (such as the guy in my avatar).
Tap selections are very good. I had a Green Flash Hamilton's 3rd Anniversary Gruit, a Ballast Point Brandy Barrel Aged Navigator Doppelbock, and an Alpine Duet. But I'm not finished yet. The bottle selections are also excellent. Had an awesome mildly infected bottle of AleSmith 2008 Decadence out of the cooler almost a year after its release.
The food is pretty much standard pub fare but is well-executed. Prices are not bad for the area. Service is great. I'll be back.
02-03-2010 01:50:24 |
More by nickd717
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Went last night for a few hours. Place was packed but we finally managed to get a spot at the bar with the aid of a nice older guy who turned out to have served on the Kitty Hawk in its earlier years. Other friendly people too. A couple of the better beers on draft and in bottles they were out of such as Alesmith and Dale's Pale. Service while friendly and helpful was a bit on the slow side. Our food was outstanding and really complemented the beer very well. Good vibe. I'd very much like to return.
10-22-2010 19:02:11 |
More by drpimento
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Top notch atmosphere here. Seems to always be crowded, but for some reason, the more crowded the better at this place. Tons of great local beer flowing, TV's with games on, pool tables, a pretty extensive beer fridge and cask options make this place a must stop when in the San Diego area. You can also bring you dog in. Usually there are 2-3 dogs in the place at any given time. Hundreds of tap handles hang from the ceiling with strands of light. Old fashioned chalkboard beer menu. Top quality in terms of the beers served.
Most popular food option seems to be the hop sausages. On the 2nd saturday of each month they also offer free food, and the spread when I was there was awesome.
02-16-2009 17:59:05 |
More by MiScusi
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $
THE best place in San Diego, for me. In South Park, very locals-friendly. Dive atmosphere, but cozy and dickhead-free. Bartenders are awesome. Quick with advice, full of knowledge as they drink what they sling. Great selection of micros and Belgians. I've had beers here that I have never seen elsewhere. Big bottle selection, only place I found the Brooklyner-Schenider. Cafe attached serves good food. TJ Dogs, Monte Cristo, Burger are all great. And its CHEAP. I've gone with my wife, had about 6-7 beers plus dinner for under $35.
12-16-2008 22:15:15 |
More by magictrokini
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$
A small neighborhood dive bar but with a really decent beer selection for IPA's and microbrews. A fun place to hang out with friends and to get rowdy in. Didn't order any food. Darts and other bar type games are around. Very local feel to the place, way off the tourist path. A little dark inside but not as bad as O'Briens. Bartender was friendly and knowledgable. Not a place to take a date or a girlfriend unless she is really into good beer. Worth a visit and located not too far from Toranado.
04-29-2009 22:14:48 |
More by bigbelcher
New Brunswick (Canada)
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Dropped by last Wednesday afternoon...
A: Very dark. Nice bar, lots of tables, and a couple of pool tables. Lots of taps on the ceiling. Quite busy for a Wed. afternoon. Overall, a very neighborhood-bar-feeling type of place; cozy.
Q + Selection: A very decent selection of taps; lots of great beers I wanted to try. Had a couple drafts (SN Schwarzbier, Drake's Denogginizer), both of which were great quality. Very impressive bottle selection as well; there were a ton there I wanted to try.
Service: Sat at a table as the bar was full, so we went to the bar to order. The bartender was very helpful with a suggestion of which IPA to try.
V: Very reasonably priced.
O: A really great homey spot that I would love to check in on again. Two beers there was not enough.
09-27-2011 21:36:05 |
More by berley31
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
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
Hamiltons Tavern in San Diego, CA
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