The Alchemist Pub & Brewery
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Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 108
4.5/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
My friend and I went here on our way from upstate New York to Boston, so I had a two-beer limit going in. I am glad we went here. The atmosphere was unique--funky without being trendy, and friendly without being cloying. We spoke with a "regular" at the bar, and he had a lot of enthusiasm for the place. He knew that Waterbury is indeed blessed with The Alchemist.
I realize that everyone has raved about the service, but it is with good reason. We sat at the bar, and told the bartender it was our first time there, and we wanted to try a sample of everything they offered. She poured the samples, two at a time, and talked about each group of two as she served them. While the bar was not packed, it was busy enough so that this extra effort was noticeable. She was very knowledgeable about the beer, the history of the pub, and the draft rotation. She was quite possibly the best bartender I have ever had at a brewpub, with the possible exception of Sean Q. from the late Back Bay Brewing Company.
The beer selection was good. There were 7 of theirs on tap, plus Guinness. The cask beer was out, which was the only disappointment. To the best of my memory, they had the Light Weight, Broken Spoke, Donovan's Red, IPA, Porter, Grote Bruin, and another Belgian (that tasted halfway b/w a White Ale and Trippel--a One-and-a-Halfel?). We didn't want to sample the Light Weight, but she convinced us to try it, and it was pretty decent! I thoroughly enjoyed the Porter and the Red, and was especially impressed with the latter. So many times I've tried an amber or red ale to basically get a darker-colored pale ale or a flavorless malty-looking beer. The Donovan Red may have been amber in color, but it tasted "red"! To me, a red ale should taste similar to a strawberry minus most of the sweetness, and this beer nailed it. Probably the best red I had since Legacy Red in the early 90's (I think) or the Boston Red at the Boston Beer Works circa 1994. My friend got the IPA and Broken Spoke. He enjoyed the Spoke so much, he got two pints of it. It was a truly well-balanced, delicious beer--one that you truly notice all of the malt and all of the hops. A wonderful beer.
We were going to have dinner back in Boston, so we just got apps. We each got a pretzel, and split the sausage plate. The pretzels were warm and tasty, maybe a bit too mush Kosher salt, but better to have too much than too little. The sausage plate had two locally-made sausages, some spongy bread, with some cut up scallions on top. Both the pretzels and sausages came with some good hot mustard, which when used conservatively heightened the flavor of each (without overpowering it). The scallions were a great touch. Next time, I'll have dinner here.
I consider this place a must-stop, and my friend and I agreed that it is in the top five brewpubs either of us have been to. Of the three brewpubs just off Route 89 I have visited (the other two being the Seven Barrel and the Flying Goose), this one was the best.
05-18-2005 01:51:21 | More by Tchuck
4.6/5 rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
Stopped in at the Alchemist on a recent visit to Burlington and was quite impressed. It's located in Water-barre, which is a quaint little town twenty miles south of Burlington. The set up is what you would expect from a modern brewpub minus the televisions. On our visit, the offering was about eight brews; and judging from the three that I tried, were very impressive. On tap at the time was: a double IPA, a double wit, American Porter, IPA, a blonde, and a few others. There's also one hand pump on at all times that is constantly changing. The bartender was polite, prompt, and was quite knowledgeable about beer in general. (I knew I found a nice brewpub when I noticed that underneath the description for their Wit was a statement suggesting a lemon in a beer was for little girls; or something to that effect). We were only able to try the cheese-beer dip with pretzels as we had arrived a bit early on a Saturday afternoon, so I don't feel it would be right to rate the quality of their food. The Alchemist will without doubt become a staple on our visits to the Northern corner of Vermont.
03-29-2005 03:32:10 | More by NEhophead
4.8/5 rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Was able to stop into the Alchemist yesterday for a bit on our way snowshoeing. We lucked out as we got there right at three and luckily they opened at three! You walk in and see a nice dark colored bar with a very cool looking top. The walls are painted a earthy brown/red color that goes prefect with the darker colored furniture. The place is very inviting, clean and has a warm feeling. The walls are all adorned with local artists pieces of work, which really added to the place. Looks like they had at least 8 of their brews on tap plus a tap of Guinness. The bartender, John, who I believe was the owner/brewer was extremely friendly and was able to tell us about a nice spot to run out and get about 90 minutes of snowshoeing in. I wish that we could have spent some more time at the Alchemist, as I must say I was blown away by its appearance, service and menus. We did not get a chance to eat there as we had just gone to the Ben & Jerrys tour about an hour before and where full of ice cream but the menu looked real good. Looks like they have food for really anyone that would be visiting, lots of local foods used as well. If you have the chance, stop in, this place is a must!
02-14-2005 13:21:46 | More by Stimack
4.5/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Read the other reviews. Go ahead. Yes, this place IS that good.
Located in a cool old building on Rt 2 in downtown Waterbury. Head south on Rte 100, left on Rte 2, about a half a mile or so down on the right. Parking is available on street and in the municipal lot behind the building.
Great atmosphere - a darkish space (lots of black and deep earthy reds) that draws attention to the artwork. Bar on the right, seating area to the left, pool table straight back. A place that highlights the work of local artists scores points in my book, and they name the artists and their work right on the menu. Very cool. The crowd seemed laid back and friendly. The beer menu describes each of the beers, along with a quick blurb about what is coming up soon. Eight taps when I was there, but owner/brewmaster John (a really cool guy who was wandering around with his young son in a baby carrier during the time I was there) says that they sometimes have as many as 11 during certain weekends. All four of the beers I tried were excellent by any standards (see the reviews) - great mouthfeel, excellent flavor, just solid, solid brews. The Sterk Wit was insane. They always have a cask on - how sweet is that?
The food was really, really tasty - they try to use local products where possible (again, major points with me) and everything we tried was yummy - the chicken basil panini was great, the salad had really fresh greens, and the burger was big enough that my two kids split one and weren't hungry afterwards. Tasted like some seriously good quality beef as well. The garlic mayo that came with the fries was nirvana. Service was friendly, attentive, and prompt, and the prices were very reasonable for the amount and quality of the food.
10-12-2004 01:30:55 | More by sponberg
4.53/5 rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
It was quite a surprise to find a very clean, bright, and newish looking brewpub in VT - especially in a town as small as Waterbury. But the atmosphere is not the only thing I was surprised by, the beers were some of the best I've ever had at a brewpub. Each one was full of malty flavor, balanced with the right amount of hops, and not all thin in body like some other VT brews. They had a Double Wit that was just tapped when I arrived. It was like a cross between a triple and a wit. At over 7% alcohol (which was not noticeable at all) the big glasses it was served in made it dangerous. So tasty that I could drink one after another until I fall down. The Holy Cow IPA was outstanding and very hoppy at 75 IBUs and less than 6 % ABV. Only dissapointment was the Heady Topper 120 IBU imperial IPA that was well balanced but not much hoppy flavor - but it was still a great after dinner beer. I will go out of my way whenever I'm in VT - I may even switch my preferred ski area to Stowe - to taste the best beers in the state.
06-01-2004 22:55:57 | More by Longstaff
4.7/5 rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Recommended to me by BA Scottum as an easy-on/easy-off from I-89 through Vermont. A scant mile or less from the highway. And a great beer store almost across the street, how can we go wrong?
Our travels brought us to the door of the Alchemist Pub and Brewery at 2:30PM today (Saturday). Unfortunately, they don't open until 3PM on Saturdays, so we cooled our heels at the store across the street, and then chilled in the car until opening. Were further disappointed to find out that the kitchen doesn't open until 4PM, but that was our fault, not being the know, so I didn't let it affect my ratings negatively.
Kind of modernistic high-ceilinged place, with a lonely pool table in the back, and spacious bar and dining areas, with lots of standing room, as I assume is necessary on weekend nights at a place like this. Beerlist had most of the major styles covered, with 7 on tap including their Imperial IPA, which was excellent. Porter hit the spot as well.
Waitstaff was quick to inform us that the menu was severely limited until 4PM, but they had some munchies available. We did impose and ask if a 1/2 salad could be prepared (Venom, you were right, the 1/2 salad is huge!), and they were kind enough to humor our request. Cool for my wife.
Was nice to see another pub that is quite supportive of their local industries, which was obvious in the menu offerings, such as ice cream from a local creamery, and the vanilla was mouth-watering, to say the least.
All in all, a great stop when passing through, just check the hours to make sure they will be open when you're in the area.
04-25-2004 01:15:12 | More by ppoitras
4.3/5 rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
A relative newcomer to the VT brewing scene, but this place is great. Open and inviting, very clean, casual chic, smartly decorated, high ceilings, lots of wood, a long bar with lots of seats and a long counter running parallel for people to stand comfortably, lots of tables, plus a pool table. Good mix of different ages, everyone seems really cool, no attitude. I don't see any brewing tanks, or bags of barley, so not sure where they brew. They serve their own brews, and every one that I tried was a great representation of the style, plus they serve Guinness draught, and a local cider. The Heady Topper, their Imperial IPA was outstanding, as was the Irish red, the brown ale, and the porter. This place is a great beer destination.
04-01-2004 00:26:10 | More by far333
4.47/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Nice environment. The layout is well done. The bar has a nice colored tile inlay. As you round the corner to the dining room you pass the peach felt pool table. The beers are very good. Very very good! Something for everyone, and if not, they also have Guinness on tap and Grand View Mac Jack Cider. Located in downtown Waterbury, this brewpub is in a perfect after ski location. Be your area Bolton, Sugarbush, or Stowe, The Alchemist can fit into your route home. A great new brewpub which I plan on visiting quite often.
No growler fills though. VT state law says you can't fill a growler from a tap at the bar during business hours and they don't have plans to pour them beforehand.
12-24-2003 00:30:48 | More by scottum
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The Alchemist Pub & Brewery in Waterbury, VT
98 out of 100 based on 108 user ratings.