Hamilton’s Tavern is tucked away in a small residential area in the historic South Park area of San Diego. Although Hamilton’s has only been around since 2006, this traditional neighborhood alehouse has been serving beer and wine for some 75 years, making it the oldest licensed liquor establishment in San Diego. Prior to it’s conversion into a world-class beer bar it used to be Sparky’s, a “beloved dive bar.”
The tavern is named after Herman Hamilton, a long time South Park resident and ex-Marine. He’s so well known and well respected within the community the new owner’s decided to name it after him. Ironically, Mr. Hamilton doesn’t drink alcohol, but he can be found almost every day regaling customers with his wit and stories.
Hamilton’s has over 130 bottled beers with an emphasis on traditional Belgian craft beers. They also carry an extensive range of brews from around the world that gets updated frequently. Twenty-five beers are available on tap ranging from local craft beer makers (i.e., Stone Brewing, Karl Strauss) and other carefully selected microbrews, cask ales, and imports. Beer selections are written on a huge chalk board above the bar for easy viewing.
Be sure to check out their website, it’s diligently maintained (bottle listing was updated 8/25/08 while the tap menu was updated 8/24/08) and incredibly informative. The site includes newly added beers as well as descriptions of each beer’s style, alcohol by volume (ABV), and origin. It’s easily one of, if not, the best kept website of any Beer Bucket List member.