Hamilton’s Tavern: A South Park Beacon

This is the place!

The story of Hamilton’s namesake is as follows:

“Our tavern was named after Mr. Herman Hamilton, a South Park resident for over 35 years and an American patriot, having served his country as a member of the storied Montford Point Marines. Although he does not drink, you can find Mr. Hamilton at the Tavern nearly every day and he always has a kind word or classic story to share! Herman is our dear friend and we could not think of a better person as the namesake to our treasured alehouse then this remarkable man.” đŸ™‚

For most craft beer loving San Diegans, Hamilton’s Tavern is that nice little place in South Park at which all the locals can hang out and not have to worry about tourists finding them. As I walked in for the first time, I felt very comfortable; the bar is a nice, antique looking wood with no taps to interrupt eye contact between the bartenders and their customers.

If you raise your eyes to the ceiling, you’ll find twinkle lights and tap handles … at least a hundred, all retired and many from local breweries. To the right, there are two pool tables and booth seating, and the window to order food from the restaurant next door is tucked into the far corner, out of the way of everything.

The bartender was very helpful when I asked questions about the different styles. I noticed that others who didn’t have quite as much of an understanding about craft beer could be educated and helped to find the style that was right for them in a two minute conversation. How’s that for service?

To start off, I ordered an Edgar Ale from Craftsman Brewing Co. in Pasadena. It is a Russian Imperial Stout ringing in at 8.2% ABV and has a nice, heavily malted flavoring with toffee and coffee notes coming through on the front. Mix that together with an overall smokiness and you have yourself a pretty complex brew. A chewy thickness gives the beer a heavy mouthfeel, which matches its black pour. Definitely a good choice! Next, I went with a White Rascal from Avery Brewing Co. which is quite a contrast to the Edgar Ale. If you like Belgian Witbiers, you’ll love this one: very nice and light with barely noticeable citrus and coriander tastes on the finish. The yeast, citrus and spice qualities are all supported by a nice pale malt base. There is lots of character and it is very drinkable.
My final choice of the evening was the Barbar Winterbok Belgian Strong Ale from Brassiere Lefebvre in Belgium. It’s a dark amber pour and a honey aroma is evident, but doesn’t contribute to too much sweetness, with orange there, too, and a nice drizzling of coriander. If you like any belgian strong ale, you will appreciate this 8% ABV winter warmer from our Belgian brothers.

Look for our next post about Irish New Year at The Field Irish Pub in the Gaslamp Quarter!

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