Saturday, February 21, 2009

Am I Missing Something?

I went to Hamilton's for the first time last week (sorry, I forgot my camera). I was underwhelmed. A good friend raves about it, Steve from Summer of Beer ranks it as his second favorite beer bar, and BeerAdvocate rates it an A (Outstanding) with thirty-two reviews. There is no question the tap list is good, but I think I was anticipating more. It is a joint, a neighborhood bar, and kind of a dive bar at that, although the clientele seems more upscale than the bar. There is nothing wrong Hamilton's being a dive bar, but with all the raves, I had pictured it different.

We were hit with the whiff of disinfectant as we walked through the front door. It was very dark, too, even during the late afternoon with the sun hitting the west facing wall where Hamilton's windows are located. It's one of San Diego's oldest bars and feels it. The speakeasy food ordering process is pretty cool.

The tap list is excellent, which is why you come to Hamilton's in the first place. It is locally focused, and included some Belgian's and a few ciders. Like all good beer bars, listing Hamilton's offering's is futile because of the constant turnover, it is better to check its website for its current tap list. In addition to the tap list, it had a couple of cask handles and two fully stocked fridges of bottled beers. Now that my perceptions have been adjusted, I'd like to go back to Hamilton's.

1 comment:

Steve said...

I like it better in the evening/night than in the afternoon. There's more energy running through the place at night. Like you said, in the afternoon the sun is out but it's very dark in there, makes it feel kinda weird.