Hamilton’s Tavern: Seeking Craft Beer in South Park [CLOSED]

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Bar Sign San Diego

Hamilton's Tavern has a neighborhood feel and a top-notch beer program.

San Diego’s 30th Street might as well be paved with gold considering its rep with SoCal beer drinkers. Still, the hoppy focus is normally on the stretch that flanks University Avenue in North Park. The final stop on our San Diego beer tour was due south, at Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park, yet another beer lover’s haven that’s worth a detour.

We already made five beer-driven stops in San Diego and were nearing capacity. Given that, it came down to a single pint.

Hamilton’s Tavern replaced a neighborhood dive bar called Sparky’s in 2006. Owner Scot Blair named his bar for longtime South Park resident, who ironically doesn’t drink beer. Blair retained the bar’s neighborhood feel, featuring a curved wooden bar, an always-changing blackboard menu, 25 taps, pool table and shuffleboard.

Bar San Diego

Blair strung Hamilton’s ceiling with Christmas lights and bygone tap handles.

Craft Beer San Diego

We tasted Coronado Brewing Company’s Idiot, a highly hoppy double IPA, but opted for a $4.50 pint of AleSmith Anvil, a malty, drinkable ESB that was the brewery’s first beer in 1995.

Hamilton’s Tavern was a totally accessible, relaxed pub that deserves more attention on my next drive south.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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