Didn’t have food so not sure???? wasn’t huge on the waitress she didn’t seem to know much but if you get the owner you are in for a treat. This guy is amazing, he showed me the cellar and i had some fantastic beers, that are not inanyone elses cellar. great place although i wish it did support the micro’s
mds (100) Toronto, Ontario | September 10, 2006| Updated July 7, 2007
Huge cavernous place that didn’t seem all that busy. There’s a patio up front as well but only about 10 people in the entire place on a Saturday night.
Friendly staff and especially so when you’re with the venerable Doug Shoemaker. Extensive beer menu with a few specialties not found in Toronto including some superb aged beers like the Thomas Hardy’s from 1993.
I didn’t really pay much attention to the food menu but it seemed like mostly pub fare and I ordered the onion rings shortly before the kitchen closed at 22:00. Pretty solid place that I wouldn’t hesitate to visit again if I’m in Hamilton again. There’s also a convenient Go bus stop directly across the street.
I’ve been before but not in many years. It’s your typical pub style bar, and is a little dirty to be honest. Can’t say I don’t like drinking in a good old dark shit hole from time to time. The staff is knowledgeable, and they serve you in the appropriate glassware, which is a plus. The owner is nice and is willing to impart some good information.
Nice bar, it has a nice long bar with an old time feel. to the entrance at the right there are a bunch of really old bottles that were fun to look at. Definitely this is the place to go to for bottles, sadly the only thing I saw on tap was canadian. They could sure use a few taps. I only ordered 1 beer but I struck out twice. and on my 3rd attempt to order a beer they finally had the beer I ordered. Overall, a decent place, not my favorite. But I would definitely head here again
cratez (256) Toronto, Ontario | February 21, 2011| Updated July 11, 2012
Fifth stop on a recent trip to Cambridge, Hamilton, and Niagara Falls with mrmanning.
This place resembles a 1920s cigar bar with faded wooden tables and chairs dispersed throughout an enormous, narrow establishment. A display of dusty beer bottles greets you at the front entrance. We grabbed a booth in the back where we enjoyed a night of drinks and laughs with our new-found friends from Bar Towel.
The main attraction at Chester’s is the extensive vintage bottle list, which includes hundreds of LCBO seasonals and private imports from various Belgian, English, German, and American breweries. All of the beers are listed in a book that invites patrons to "keep any can or bottle as a souvenir." Some brews are 10-20 years old and many of them cannot be found at other beer bars in Ontario.
Len and I both started with a Theakston Old Peculier, then split a 1996 Liefmans Goudenband, a 1998 Suffolk Strong Vintage Ale, and a 2009 Vapeur Cochonne. The Goudeband tasted excellent and the Cochonne was quite good; however, the Peculier and Suffolk were past their prime. We had a feeling that the low-mid gravity stuff would be less than stellar (since it’s not meant for cellaring), but we took a gamble anyway and got burned. Hence, I would recommend sticking to the stronger (7% or higher) offerings on the menu.
Service was prompt and courteous, though our waitress didn’t know much about the beers. They were also "out" of several bottles that we ordered. Michael, the eccentric owner, did not seem to recognize Len despite having shared numerous hard-to-find Belgians with him a few years ago. But all of the drinks arrived quickly and in their proper glassware, including a dubbel that came with a wooden coaster.
Overall, we had a nice evening here helped along by locals who know the Hamilton beer scene. Chester’s is a destination for anyone seeking rare bottles, though the menu needs to be updated to reflect current inventory.
This little known gem is in downtown Hamilton. For a place outside of Toronto or Montreal it is incredible. Not only is there a host of bottled beer second to Smokeless Joe’s, but there are also many aged versions around. The manager is very dedicated to beer, and keeps the place open and staffed though it is very quiet weeknights. It is very presentable, and not to be missed if you are travelling through. Some rare finds here, such as beers from odd countries, and vintages from the LCBO 10 years ago. A bit too cold on some beers served, offset by thoughful service with the proper mugs.
What an interesting funky little place. Inside in time capsule protected from the seventies with 2 Molson Canadian taps. But man, are there ever some rare finds on that bottle list. Are they is the best condition? Well, they’re old. This place has one giant cellar. The owner is very gracious when around. The food is ok. Always a good stop after the judge for a couple of neat ratings.
EDIT - I noticed that they added a new tap. Now they have TWO Molson Canadian taps!
Pretty good. Great variety of bottles. I continue to go to Chester’s because there are only a couple of good beer places in Hamilton. if you are ever here, make the trip to Chester’s. There is one tap in the place that serves Molson Canadian
Loved the atmosphere and the decoration. Service was friendly and nice, but didn’t seem to know much about beer. The selection was great for foreign/belgian/british bottles. Local micros underrepresented. No taps, which is a shame. Would be back again.
Like walking back in time. This bar could definitely use a bit of spit and polish. Very long bar up the side and a whole room full of very dank, very dirty carpet. That’s the bad - now the good. You won’t find a better bottle selection in Hamilton. I thought the prices were pretty fair - had a Lindeman’s Cuvee Rene. Friendly staff who seem to care about the beer. I’d love to see a few taps in here in addition to the bottles, but you can definitely find something you’ll like here.