We visited Hamiltonís on a recent beer-focused visit to San Diego. We had been to about 12 different breweries and several different bars, and everywhere we went people told us to make sure we visited Hamiltonís. We were extremely happy we ended our last night in town here.
There are hundreds if not a couple thousand tap handles adorning the ceiling. They have a perfectly curated beer list that is 95% comprised of beer from San Diego, the Bay area, and Oregon. Itís a bit dive-y with pool tables, and they were literally playing Sharknado 2 on the televisions. We ordered a couple of local rarities to start, but after getting completely sucked into Sharknado 2, me and my SO split a 750 of Cascade. Besides the great atmosphere and beer, the staff was spot on. They were laid back, not pretentious, and very knowledgable about the beer.
This is an unassuming place from the outside and even once inside, and then you peek at the bottle list and stumble backwards into a chair. It was a hard decision as to where I should start, but I made a first choice and stuck with it. The service is good and the food ordering is self ordering/pickup. A few pool tables segregate the two rooms in this small dive bar, but a dive bar that I highly recommend.
Une taverne avec tout ce que Áa comporte, les tables de billards sont encore en place. La liste de fŻt est massive et celle des bouteilles tout aussi ťtourdissante. Difficile d"aller ailleurs quand on consulte la taplist en ligne avant de partir. Pour la bouffe de pub plus quíadťquate, on commande dans une petite fenÍtre ŗ líopposť du bar. Une lťgende bien huilťe.
Visited Hamiltonís a few times on my trips to San Diego. Great beer bar with rotating beer selection and decent selection of bottles. Carry primarily San Diego locals (how can you go wrong). Will some more limited items at times. Great place to visit for the beer geek.
Visited Sep 18, 2014. Dark, dingy dive bar vibes, quite a rocker/biker crowd, forest of taphandles from the ceiling. Music not too loud. Service was ok, was pretty busy so didnít really get much attention. Good draft selection, some treats from Alpine, Societe, DFH and some others I wasnít so familiar with, plus amazing bottle list - pretty pricey bottles though. Have to reiterate a complaint made by others, whatís with only serving pints?! Nice enough, but didnít blow me away, think this place might be better for locals/regulars.
Visited on Wednesday 12/11/14 around 5pm, the place was pretty busy. We took a cab from Toronado which was about $12.
Upscale dive bar feel, pretty dark, we just squeezed into a small table by the side of the bar. The roof was adorned with tap handles, there was a pool table and shuffle board also in the venue.
Tap list was solid if not necessarily blowing me away. Being SD beer week Iím guessing theyíd had some kind of Green Flash takeover event as almost half the beers on tap were Green Flash.
Unlike Toronoado and Coin Op we werenít treated to wall to wall shit loud music, think it was a juke box here.
Service was fine. Again, full pints only as per Toronado and Coin Op, whatís wrong with the fucken option for a 10 or 12 oz pour?
Decent place overall, I preffered this to Toronado.
Went here last night. Iíll admit that my expectations were pretty high as one of the highest rated places in SD. But I was very, very disappointed. The only flights were CA meads, which Iím not really interested in. And they only serve pints - not even half pints. So if you want to sample several youíll either leave totally drunk or only drink half of them. Very disappointing. And much of what was on their list was good, but available at lots of other places in town. The vibe was cool, but donít really plan on food. It seemed like an afterthought. So if you want to go get drunk with a bunch of hipsters and the college crowd, this is your place. If you are a beer geek, go for the tick, but not much else. Oh, and they list lots of good things on their bottle list, but all three that I wanted were "out." I specifically wanted Beer Geek Breakfast which they list online and in their "notebook." But alas, it was not to be had. I was told that the inventory goes in and out really quickly. Well, that is what computers are for. Easy to maintain inventory with one of them new-fangled things. Oh well. A very disappointing visit. Had a pint of PTE and left.
Fun place...great character...must stop when in SD. They obviously have a great beer selection...but youíre here as much for the selection as the atmosphere and the vibe...which seems to change by the minute as it gets more crowded. If you just want to enjoy the beer...come early. Later it becomes a really loud, crowded, and fun beer bar. Not everyoneís place...but obviously a lot of people love it. If youíre alone...come early...with 4 or more...perfect when itís crowded. Love the tap handles on the ceiling with the small white lights like stars! A must visit in SD!
Rowdy, loud bar with mix of students/hipsters beer geeks. Real dive bar atmosphere which seems intimidating at first but then you realise how friendly everyone is. We visited on an extremely busy saturday so I can understand the bar tenders didnít have time to recommend and suggest, but the service was friendly and swift. Selection is amazing withs loads of interesting on draft and a whole bunch of bottles and very good prices. I really enjoyed this place and if you are interested in visiting great bars this is a must visit. It is what it is. no flashy modern design and etc. But this seems like a real hardened bar with character and amazing beer. Must visit if you are doing san diego beer circuit!
chibuck (555) Chicago, Illinois | July 2, 2014| Updated July 3, 2014
You donít expect much when walking in, it looks old and beat up with cracked vinyl stools. After a couple minutes you feel right at home and glad you stayed. A chalk board with about 20 taps of mostly locals with a couple Beligumís adds to the charm. The focus is on local beers, but more renowned beers. There was roughly 4 beers that I would consider new, from a small brewery or not known. Iíd like to see a few more about 25% but I canít complain too much. They offer cheap full pours but will give you a couple tastes to find what you like. The bottle list is quite impressive with not only rarer beers like plenty of Cantillon, but vintage American beers like 2012 Parabola and Framboise de Amarosa among plenty others. They offer food, ignore the sticky gross menus and try some hush puppies. The service was top notch. Usually bartenders are a bit stand offish, but our server was not only nice but knew a ton about beer. This is a place Iíd frequent and call home. A must visit.