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Blackback Pub & Flyshop
Taps: 9 / Bottles: 10
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1 Stowe St
phone: (802) 505-5115
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Reviews by cbeer88:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I love this little bar. It's a little out of the way for non-locals, particularly with the Alchemist no longer in town. But, the drive to Waterbury is still well worth it to drown yourself in Hill Farmstead taps.
The beer: Like I said, you go here for HF beers if you are an out of towner. He tries to keep 6 on tap. The selection closely mirrors what they have on for growlers at the brewery, but not precisely the same. He aso has a couple of other high-end/rare locals like Lawson's Double Sunshine and Lawson's Maple Imperial Stout. A few non-local but interesting taps round out the list (Dogfish Head Jiahu, Life and Limb, Starrapoman, Leipzeiger Gose, etc)
Atmosphere: The place is small and the bar takes up the majority of it. There are probably 20 bar seats, and then another 8-10 against the wall. That's about it. Very little standing room. Nice wooden look, breweriana and fishing "stuff" dot the walls. Very earth smelling bathroom, which I liked.
Service: Owner/bartender is very friendly, welcoming, and chatty. Happy to throw samples at you and very attentive to an empty glass.
Food: Didn't try anything - had dinner across the street, as the menu here is very minimal.
Value: Coming from Boston I didn't really blink at the prices, but it was a smidge on the high side for the area. Beers were a bit cheaper elsewhere, and the food looked pricey.
It's definitely a locals pub, but the bartender and a few of the patrons that were there did their best to make us feel welcome. If you're in Waterbury picking up some Heady Topper, stop by here for a beer.
11-27-2011 21:06:45 |
More by cbeer88
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I live in New Hampshire and travel up to Waterbury for cases of Heady Topper. The best thing about the trip is the ability to drive 2 miles from the Alchemist brewery and be in the middle of three bars stocked with the absolute best VT microbrews available. Blackback is the small place, but always(usually) has the some of the most interesting offerings from Lawson's and Hill Farmstead. If you are in the downtown area and don't stop in to see what they are offering on tap, poo on you. The bartenders are super nice and its just a really chill place to stop for a great beer. Highly recommended, not sure about food quality because it seems like an afterthought for them.
UPDATE: Mad Taco is there and it's great. The pork taco with kimchi was delicious. Great pairings to absorb some of the high abv DIPAs you are sure to swill.
05-11-2013 23:00:14 |
More by NHbeerfishing
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
If you're visiting the area, this is where you come for your Hill Farmstead and Lawson's fix. There is nowhere in the state where you'll find more taps from those two breweries.
Atmosphere is that of a dive bar, so if you like that - which I do - Blackback is an amazing bar. It's the bottom floor of the building at Stowe & Main - you have to step down when you walk in the door. It's a dark space with a couple of TV's - the walls are decorated with fishing gear. The bar wraps around between two rooms with about 20-25 seats, and there are some tables along the walls.
Despite its outward appearance, this is truly a quality establishment. The owner cares about craft beer, only serves the best, and a proper pour of each offering comes in the appropriate glassware.
Service is excellent. If the owner, Ricky, is in he loves to talk beer. I've had great experiences with any of the other bartenders as well. They're attentive and friendly.
Selection is obviously why you come to the Blackback. At any given time there will be 6-10 Hill Farmstead drafts and 2-4 Lawson's drafts. Nowhere else in Vermont can offer that. In addition, there could be other locals like Zero Gravity, other domestic crafts like Bear Republic or Cigar City, and some interesting imports.
Food is excellent now that the Mad Taco has moved in. For a while, you'd stop into Blackback for beers and eat across the street at Reservoir or the Pig. Now you can settle in for the night at Blackback. Between the excellent Mad Taco food and the beer selection, there's no need to go anywhere else.
04-16-2013 16:42:59 |
More by MThiele360
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Nice underground pub. Not huge, but comfortable; definitely more of a bar vibe than a restaurant, but they make outstanding tacos and other Mexican food. The on-tap lineup is world-&^%ing- class! The first thing I noticed when I walked in was 4 Hill Farmstead taps all lined up, next to a Lawsons, next to a Ballast Point, next to a Bear Republic, next to a... While the atmosphere isn't perfect, it's just fine and the food is great, beer is simply spectacular!
03-17-2013 13:26:14 |
More by dougfur
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
As previous reviews have indicated, this place is WAY into flyfishing; however, it is also into providing patrons with a hearty supply of Vermont craft beer.
The Blackback Pub and Flyshop is one of several excellent venues along the Main Street of Waterbury – see my review for Prohibition Pig, which is across the street. The décor is that your grandfather’s country lodge: heather green walls and vey heavy on the fishing paraphernalia, which is scattered throughout this small bar. What I liked was the availability of several Farmstead beers; this in itself makes for a worthy trip. The service was friendly and efficient. No food is served, but then you’ll probably pig out at the aforementioned Prohibition Pig prior to your visit here.
A leisurely quaff at the Blackback Pub brings to mind an old, and appropriate, adage:
“Give a Man a fish and he’ll eat for the day; teach him to fish and he’ll sit in a boat and drink beer all day.” Wise.
12-27-2012 20:08:51 |
More by jjboesen
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5 | $$$$
My friend and I Stopped in and was surprised that the pub was dead on a Saturday night, the selection was horrible, very limited craft beers, nothing that could not be had at the corner bar, our beer was served in Brandy glasses the Barmaid was rude and very terse and we spent almost forty dollars for three beers. I had heard very good things about this pub but was very let down...the kicker was the rude comments about our accents as we were leaving, didn't think I would see that kind of small mindedness in Waterbury.
11-12-2012 01:29:45 |
More by billfaulkner73
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75 | $$
Stopped in here after my dinner at the Pig. Atmosphere was nice, it is not the biggest place in the world but I easily got a seat at the bar and was greeted by a very nice bartender. She ran me through the tap list and offered a few thoughts on some of the ones I had not tried yet which was awesome. They had a bunch of Hill Farmsteads on as well as a few Lawson's so I stuck with those. I went with the HF Simcoe single hop and the Lawson's Hunger Mountain 40th and they were both excellent and sever in the correct glasses.
My food score is not indicative of how it tasted, rather how much they offer. Food was sparse upon my visit but I hear they are upgrading the kitchen very soon so I look forward to seeing what they come up with in the future. I got the cheese plate and it was very good and totally worth the money. Overall a really awesome beer bar that I will definitely return to when I am in the area.
10-23-2012 20:47:05 |
More by orangesol
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Exceptional place to have a beer. Smallish in size, but big in quality, with top notch HF and Lawson Liquid offerings. People were friendly and relaxed, its a go-to place for knowledgeable beer drinkers from the region and from Montreal. Knowledgeable includes staff. Monday nights are the new arrivals. Prices reasonable, but not cheap for HF. Only high quality offerings here.Worth going out of your way for, i.e. if you re only planning to visit Burlington.Up there as a destination, so don't miss it.
08-16-2012 18:51:51 |
More by northyorksammy
District of Columbia
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped here on my recent trip to Vermont. I'm so glad I did.
Available on draft were pretty much all the beers on my Vermont beer wish list. Heady Topper, Double Sunshine, and nine Hill Farmstead brews, including Abner, Society and Solitude #3 and #4, Everett, Florence, Edward, What is Enlightenment?, and Harlan. Wow.
Service was excellent, as was the vibe. A small, cozy place with only a few regulars chatting and watching the Red Sox game. The bartender offered half pours, allowing me the opportunity to enjoy a few more rounds.
Overall, this was a fabulous little place. I will absolutely return here first on my next trip to the lovely state of Vermont.
07-26-2012 16:20:41 |
More by Huhzubendah
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Wow, what a selection. Hit all three of the nearby watering holes on the main drag of Waterbury, and I'd give Blackback the beer nod. They had five Hill-Farmstead taps (Abner, Society and Solitude 3, Florence, Edward, and Everett) and four Lawson's taps (including Double Sunshine, Knockout Blonde, Big Hapi, and Permagrin) when I stopped in today, with a bit of something for everyone. The bartender was also incredibly nice and friendly. Very much worth making your first stop if you're in the area, although it's a bummer they don't have more food.
06-08-2012 01:29:04 |
More by whartontallboy
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Blackback Pub & Flyshop in Waterbury, VT