Hamilton's Tavern

1521 30th St, San Diego, CA, 92102, United States
(619) 238-5460
Latitude: 32.72159, Longitude: -117.13004


  • Monday: 3:00 PM 2:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 3:00 PM 2:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 3:00 PM 2:00 AM
  • Thursday: 3:00 PM 2:00 AM
  • Friday: 3:00 PM 2:00 AM
  • Saturday: 1:00 PM 2:00 AM
  • Sunday: 1:00 PM 2:00 AM
Wifi Available
Cask Beer
Indoor Smoking
Available Parking
Beer Pricing: $$
Public Transit
Proper Glassware
Outdoor Seating
Family Friendly
Selection: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 1.75 | Service: 1.75
out of 100
Overall Beer Mapping Score
Based on 1 reviews.
Score from Google Reviews:
out of 5
View Google reviews
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Curmudgeon (255)
Monday 14th of July 2014 01:32:36 PM
A recent poll appeared on Huffington Post -- the 33 Best Beer Bars in America.

Well, this kind of challenge can't go un-answered so wife Persimmon and I ventured thirty miles south of our beach town (traveling on the treacherous I-5...on a weekend no less...something we locals know should NEVER be attempted even with tourist-hungry relatives!) into an area called South Park, situated on the south east portion of San Diego's famous Balboa Park. Makes sense doesn't it?

There was Best Beer Bar number 14 - or not. The list was actually in alphabetically order so....

Hamilton's Tavern can lay claim to being the very first beer licensed bar in San Diego, grabbing that honor 76 years ago. Although they've only been slinging craft beer since 2006. Before it was a dive bar called Sparky's 'til the owners made the change over.

But new name, new product or not....we can assume not much has changed. With hundreds of tap handles hanging from the ceiling to the pool and shuffleboard table, to the guy leaning from the window in the back wall that connects to the burger joint next door, this is the very definition of a dive.

Several TV's scream out sports of some sort. On our day, it was the final game of the 2014 World Cup and judging from the reaction, there must have been a lot of Germans there!

Their tap list is 20+...everything from Pale Ales to Russian Imperials. The bartender that I happened on however, needed some expert help. I had asked if a Scotch Ale was available (knowing it was since I had done a bit of research online that very morning and their tap list was, according to their website, up to date) and he said, "Yeah I got....."at which point he turned his bushy beard, pushed his glasses up from his nose and pointed to the blackboard. "OK," I responded, "let me have one of those." What I got was an English ale. My fellow craft beer drinkers know that a Scotch & and English are nothing alike...but I guess he figured the beers were from basically the same geographical area so, what the hell.

The Bacchus we tried was a serious Russian Imperial so the afternoon wasn't a complete waste of time but certainly not worth the time, trouble and money for a visit.

Whoever put Hamilton's on the list apparently never visited. With the plethora of other beer bars populating San Diego County, this is a poor example of "the best." For the residents who live in South Park, I'm very glad you've got your own neighborhood pub.

But I've got mine as well...with over 20 taps...and my bartender not only knows the difference between English and Scotch ales, she's cuter!

Selection: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 1.75 | Service: 1.75 | Food: N/A

sdbeerman (1)
Sunday 2nd of September 2007 02:34:10 PM

This person needs 3 or more reviews on the site for their scores to start counting.

One of the top beer destinations in San Diego. 25 handles rotating weekly, 140 bottles. Cask Ale weekly and a great monthly celebration with BBQ and brewery nights on the 2nd saturday of every month. It can be a bit busy on weekend nights. Tons of Belgian ales, pool tables, shuffleboard, foosball, bubblehockey or games. They have flatscreens on the wall with movies and/or sports in HD. They dont serve food but they have a relationship with the restaraunt next door so you can buy from the cafe and they'll either deliver it or you can bring it in. Same with ordering pizza from one of the great local pizzeria so pretty much you can get food. They also do free food on Sunday NFL football stuff like braut's, italian beef sandwich, BBQ beef etc. The prices are fair, they have wifi people with laptops hanging about.
Selection: 5 | Atmosphere: 5 | Service: 5 | Food: N/A
Image credit: Curmudgeon
Uploaded: July 14, 2014 01:41 PM

Image credit: Curmudgeon
Uploaded: July 14, 2014 01:40 PM
Tap Handles
Tap Handles
Image credit: Curmudgeon
Uploaded: July 14, 2014 01:40 PM

Image credit: Curmudgeon
Uploaded: July 14, 2014 01:40 PM
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