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Blackback Pub & Flyshop
Taps: 9 / Bottles: 10
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1 Stowe St
phone: (802) 505-5115
(Place added by: mariano42 on 05-20-2010)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 48 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
A great selection of about 30 taps. Locals were featured prominently, including 3 from Lawson and 5 from Hill. However, the Hill Galaxy was last brewed 3 months ago, so I am not sure how (or if) they manage to keep the stock fresh. There were a lot of imports - many of which I was not familiar with. I would love to try a lot of them. I tried a few of the Lawson's selections, which were quite tasty but served very cold for the style of beer that they were.
Unfortunately the blackboards were situated where there were only a few seats in the house where you didn't have to get up to read all the choices. Beers were listed by name, style, abv and price. The brewery or state/country of origin was mostly not listed; nor was the pour size.
Service was a little stand-offish. Questions about the offerings were referred to the blackboards. Further information or samples were not offered. It was difficult to get the barkeep's attention. Food choices were limited to calzones, sushi and a cheese plate. Other offerings were not delivered or had sold out (as I overheard from other patrons requesting food options). We showed up fairly hungry for a late lunch, which turned out to be a mistake!
Prices are a little steep, especially for the pour sizes. Overall, a pleasant and unusual pub (local craft brew and fishing - what could be more Vermont than that?). I would visit again, but I would probably prioritize on one of the other great craft pubs in northern Vermont if I had a choice.
01-15-2012 15:33:08 |
More by CliffBrake
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Luckily the guys at the Alchemist sent us here, before we were going to leave town. There are a lot of cool things to do in Waterbury and we thought we were done, but we ended up spending another 2 hrs before our 6-7 hr trip back to NY. Those 2 hrs were spent feasting on HF taps (7 on tap). We had found the spot to get all the HF we wanted even going to the brewery the day before. They had other good locals and a great tap selection otherwise. Seemed like more of a locals hangout and a very friendly bartender. Glad we were pointed in this direction. Reservoir was awesome with a great local selection as well which is what we were looking for, but if you want to have some glasses of HF without the growler nonsense, come here. Only weird thing was a guy with a Bears jersey and Yankees hat on in the middle of New England [who may have been the owner/manager]
12-09-2011 15:25:18 |
More by Takeanotherswing
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
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
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2 | $$$
For such a small place they certainly are expensive. I saw what looked like a good pizza special on the wall (apples, balsamic reduction, carmelized onions, cheddar cheese, and bacon). Didn't see a price until I looked at the menu on the other side of the restaurant where a price was listed there. $16?! Wow, it better be good. Pizza was maybe 10"-12" and served to me on a big awkward wooden pizza peel. WTF?! Not sure where they found the inspiration for that presentation. Toppings were sparse and pizza was overcooked so I'm not really sure what I was paying for.
Pours aren't cheap. The upside is that there are usually at least 5 Hill Farmstead taps on. Even though I don't mind having the selection, it seems like a slap in the face of all the other Vermont craft brewers. Downside is the good chance of getting it through a dirty tap line. I had an Ephraim that I'm pretty sure had about half a glass of Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale in it. I got to try another sample (given to me by the bartender after hearing it didn't taste right) after a bunch more glasses had been poured and the difference between what I got earlier and that was not even arguable, but it still didn't taste right. I just had that batch of Ephraim at the brewery the week before. Edward also seemed a little off. Earl and Abner tasted right.
Service otherwise was good. Atmosphere was the best thing about this place. Probably won't go here again.
11-02-2011 19:57:13 |
More by Bueuze
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in here back in mid-July 2011 while we were exploring central Vermont. I believe we showed up shortly after it opened in the early afternoon (we were quite eager to quench our thirst).
Real interesting cozy (incredibly small but in a good way) brick-walled pub with a fly-fishing theme. This is honestly the tiniest pub I've ever been in, with the pub immediately in front of you as you enter, but it's a wonderfully curious place.
The atmosphere was definitely small-town-pub-feel, with just the two of us talking with the owner (who was very friendly and easy-going) while a Rob Schneider masterpiece played on the flatscreen. A small town moment occurred when the kegs arrived and the owner had to run to the bank so asked us to watch the place for a minute. Eventually, a couple more people started to trickle in, and everyone was sharing in the casual conversation. Real cool vibe and incredible atmosphere- and this was at 3pm on a weekday- can only imagine what this place is like at night.
As most have mentioned, one of the best qualities of Blackback is the availability and variety of Hill Farmstead. Also had on-tap a couple of Allagash offerings, one or two Belgians, and a collaboration sour ale that was delicious (can't remember name). Quality over quantity- I loved it.
This place is a must-visit if you're in the area, and the town of Waterbury is certainly worth the drive from Burlington considering the quality establishments this small town offers.
10-25-2011 01:01:09 |
More by Digimaika2
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
In town for work and made it a point to come to Blackback after not being able to make it out to Hill Farmstead. To be completely honest, I LOVE this place.
General: Stopped by on a Monday night and they still had a decent little crowd. Service was friendly and concientious but not overbearing. Don't remember her name, but bartender was great.
Beer: Wow... Just missed the Ephraim but a day but still worth the trip. Five Hill Farmstead on draft - all better than the last. Several Allagash taps and many others including other lesser known Belgians.
Food: Limited menu but what I had was great - Portabella and 3 cheese panini sandwich with fresh marinara. Wish they would have had more options - the only reason they're not getting a 5 here - but otherwise great.
Beers - great.
Service - great.
Prices - reasonable.
Food - quality.
Even the bathrooms reminded me of my dad's old hunting cabin in northern PA - all damp and musty, it smelled EXACTLY the same as I remember my dad's cabin.
Love this place and wished it was in my neighborhood.
10-18-2011 01:18:22 |
More by Double06
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This place was a great spot for us to visit on a rainy evening in Waterbury. The atmosphere was great, very homey and relaxing.
We sat at the bar and the bartender provided good service and was knowledgable about the beers. I tried a couple of Hill Farmstead beers including my favorite of the night which was the Everett Porter.
The beer selection was great and the food was good as well. We split an all root pizza which had beets, squash, etc on it which was good. It was a rare place that offers both sushi and pizza in the same spot. They had cards to play so we had a relaxing time playing cards and drinking great Hill Farmstead beers.
I would definitely check this place out if you're in the Waterbury area.
10-04-2011 10:03:05 |
More by Chincino
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
I stopped here with my girlfriend before we hit The Alchemist. We got in and there was a bartender and 1 patron sitting at the bar wearing shades and looked like one of my friends. Off the bat i saw 5 Hill Farmstead brews on tap Abner, Double Galaxy, Earl are all i can remember along with DFH Burton Baton. Small selection but very nice. We watched some Mel Gibson movie and all laughed at the recent mishaps he has had. Excellent time talking to them about the HF Farmhouse Ale event along with other beer and random things. Beer was fresh and delicious along with the fun atmosphere. Great place with great beers, perfect beofre or after the Alchemist.
08-18-2011 02:15:21 |
More by Gushue3
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
This place is a little different then your normal pub. Very very small. The decor is pretty bad in my opinion. They advertise what beers they had by ripping a piece of the box it came in an writing the price on it with a sharpie. Did I mention how small this place is? The beer selection is very small but very very good. If you don't mind a dingy small atmosphere and are just looking for great beer or scoth this is the place for you.
For the fisherman among us. There was some fishing stuff around but not a ton. The owner was not there and I understand he is the fisherman, but if your going to have a fishing themed pub the bartender should know something about fishing.
Overall I would go back if in the area just to see what they hvae to offer on the draft menu other then that really no reason to visit.
08-16-2011 18:57:22 |
More by nopucophop
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
This place, in a word, awesome. Actually make that fucking awesome, so two words. If you like random bars, pubs, watering-holes and the like, this place is surely worth a visit in that it is one of the oddest establishments I have been to. On top of that, if you like great beer, this place is a must visit at some point in your life.
Upon entering down a couple steps, you see that the entire place is merely the bar (10 seats or so), a few benches just set back from the bar stools, a little corridor where the bathrooms are and a few walls. Pretty simple. I actually overheard the bartender mentioning to some other folks that they plan to knock out a wall and expand the place, and combine it with the sushi place next door, which sounds cool in theory, but honestly I like the charm of this little hole in the wall. The decor is of course fly-fishing themed, featuring river maps, pictures of fish and such, and handmade fly lures that are apparently available for purchase (?).
Anyway, I loved the quirkiness of this place, and would go there even to drink crappy beer. Luckily, though, they have delicious beer. About 8-10 draughts maybe, mostly VT locals. Plenty of Hill Farmstead on tap - when we were there I think they had the Edward, Galaxy, Abner, and the Everett. So, if you are in VT but can't quite make the haul up to Hill, try this place. They also had some other classic craft beers on tap such as Anchor Liberty, some Dogfish, and I think a random Allagash - the standbys. I do not remember if they had bottles - they might have a few, because I remember seeing an impressive array of rare and interesting empties lining the walls, but I only drank the draughts. Fine wines, scotch / whiskey, and meats / cheese / sandwiches also available, made right behind the bar (didn't try but looked good).
Bartender was friendly as were the rest of the patrons, pretty much all of whom we got to know due to the size of the place. There was an awesome old guy who was clearly there for the whiskey and fly-fishing aspect of the bar - gotta love it. This was all at like 4pm on a Wednesday or something. Would love to see this place on a hoppin' night.
Definitely well worth the visit - perhaps the coolest bar on our awesome trip through VT, NH, and ME, and we stopped at a lot of places. A true original, and plenty of great beer.
07-24-2011 03:42:02 |
More by twelvsies
Blackback Pub & Flyshop in Waterbury, VT
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