The Reservoir Restaurant & Tap Room
Taps: 38 / Bottles: 27
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 29 | Show All Ratings:
4.4/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Pouring effin’ rain; has been all day, but they’ve seen worse and in the not so distant ago. This was an easy enough ride from the local cannery, but then Ben got me spinning hunting out parking that wasn’t, even though I was already settles in at the bank (that’s where you go). And set out walking. Atop the hill; the Resevoir...
In, and through to the rear; I’m sure we can land some bar space or something as such. Varnished “L” shaped wood bar on the inside wall, seating 9 on stools affixed and piping footrails below. Fenced overhang tracing the bar all around shows caged booze within. Mirrored panel on the barback with stacked glassware fronting it and stems dangling. A single flatscreen above with shelved booze to both sides. Upright bottle cooler behind the bar with a blackboard listing some but not all of the tap selections.
Wall of blue & red over slat wood lowers adorned with ski signs, brewery placards, and Vermonty things. Random art, chalkboard drawings, and sticker corner. Slat wood floors, and white painted ceiling with infrequent cross beams pasted with VT license plates. Drop lamp chandeliers with $1 bills stapled to the ceiling extending out like the fan threw them there. Hey, popcorn machine! Hey, popcorn machine! and a pair of hightop roundies off the bar along the windows overlooking a small exterior deck with 9 baby tables, some of which got themselves umbrella’d up. To the rear, a few tables high & low, a cushy couch, pool table, Phil’s golf game (live), & Big Buck Hunter. Some bar counter space around the pool table corner, and flat screens mounted above.
And the front room; a mirror image of the rear bar, just shorter, with seating for four, and trophies lining the overhang above. Raised perch in the front corner with a few tables, 7 hightops on the near wall front to back adjacent to the bar, and a few low recs out over the floor pushed together for larger parties. Ski lift & trail signage, a snowshoe here, a sled there, a Reservoir Dogs movie poster, you know, the usual. And the quintessential ‘A Christmas Story’ leg lamp (it’s a major award!)
37 taps in all, handles everywhere pointing every which way. 12 tap tower on the end of the bar, a single next to it, a pair of threesies on the barback, another pair of threesies sunken off the stretch of the bar, and another row of 12 in the front room on a smaller piece of bar. Roughly ½ of them are VT offerings (Hill Farmstead Rakau Single Hop APA & Edward Pale Ale, Trapp Family Lodge Vienna Lager, Magic Hat Single Chair Ale, Long Trail Harvest & Truck Driver, McNeill’s Extra Special Bitter, Otter Creek 20th Anniversary Ale & The Rez, Wolavers Oatmeal Stout, IPA & Pumpkin Ale, Rock Art Stock Ale, Shed Mountain Ale, Switchback Ale & Slow Fermented Brown Ale, Trout River Red, Harpoon UFO Pumpkin). The other ½ are a mix of craft east coast (Smutty IPA & Greg Noonan Tribute Black IPA, Clown Shows Hoppy Feet Black IPA, Blue Point Hoptical Illusion IPA, Brooklyn Lager, Ommegang BPA, Victory Hop Devil, DogFishHead 60 Minute IPA & Chateau Jiahu), and west coast (North Coast Old Rasputin, Sierra Nevada/DogFishHead collaboration Life & Limb), a few imports (Duvel Single, Stella, Weihenstephaner Hefe, Guinness, Labatt Blue), a localish cider (Woodchuck Pear Cider), a retro (PBR), and a macro (Bud Light).
They do a sampler of 4 VT beers in 5oz glasses for $6. I had at that, opting for the Hill Farmstead Edward (very good), Trapp Family Lodge Vienna Lager (excellent), and the Long Trail Harvest (tasty) & Truck Driver (butter). I guess I went 3 for 4. And then a pint of that Trapp Family Lodge Vienna Lager’ cause it was that good. Ben went with Smuttynose Greg Noonan Tribute Black IPA of roasty awesome. I will be drinking that around many towns, yes. Good bottle list, too. Somewhere in the range of 2-3 dozen offerings. Nearly 20 craft cans and bottles, including bombers. The remaining dozen are a mix of Belgians, a few meh imports, a pair of ciders, and a single each gluten free & N/A.
Sure, a snack, ‘cause the beef jerky I’ve had is not sustaining. Started with the soup of jour; a beef stew with portabella and turnips. It was excellent. Had a bowl, which is cup goodness X2. And then the dry rub wings, which were sufficient. Ben also started with the soup and then his cheddar fries arrived sans the cheddar. Um, where’s ma’ cheese? Do over. And now the cheddar extreme version; so much for a light snack before flatbread action, but we have some time yet.
Server Chelsea was playful and fun and wasn’t shy about sharing her beer likes & dislikes. Food was good, nothing crazy. The beer selection is solid, and they were in (mostly) fine shape. Good house, we got in at the right time as it’s filled in nicely thankfully behind us.
02-21-2012 19:04:19 | More by slander
4.14/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Waterbury, VT what a town for good beer enthusiasts! This is probably beer destination number 3 in town, well worth checking em all out. Larger place with large open area as you enter and towards the rear, multiple bar areas, in the warmer weather you can enjoy a nice outside deck/bar/eating area. Plenty of quality locals on tap, long Trail, Otter creek, Rock Art, Switchback, Trout River, Trapp, mixed in with BA worthy nationals, regionals DFH, Brooklyn, Ommegang, Sierra, Southern Tier,Victory and others,. About 35 high quality bottles also offered. Strong selections all over the place. Nice, comfortable and friendly spot for a visit. Well worth giving this place a try.
10-20-2010 01:30:22 | More by Billolick
3.64/5 rDev -15.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
This was more restaurant than bar. Smaller bar upping the ante for the eatery. Yes, some very good local selections including just the one HF that day. Cannot compare to the Blackfly or the Probition P. within a two-minute walk, but if they have something left that the other places ran out of, then why not. As very buzy eatery, I didn't feel as comfortable sitting around, and the kitchen added to the already humid air.If you are staying in the area multiple nights, this would be on your list as a choice.
08-16-2012 19:04:29 | More by Sammy
4.14/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
After visiting all three of the Waterbury triad--also including the blue-collar Blackback and the shmoo-shmoo Prohibition Pig--I can pretty much aver that this place is the better of the three. It has the selection of the Pig (much more so, actually) without the annoying/snobby crowd, and the more wallet-friendly prices of the Blackback. All three are worth a visit, I'd say, but only the Reservoir and the Blackback are true beer destinations...the Pig is more of a tourist trap.
Atmosphere here is semi-oceanic/nautical, with a nice relaxed front section including a small bar that seats about 5 people, and a more "sporty" room in the back, with a larger bar, and dimmer lights. Easily the larger of the triad, and easily the best beer selection as well, with a heavy bias toward local VT goodies, including Lawson's and Hill Farmstead. Sampler flights are also available, but there are so many provisos to getting a flight that you might as well just stick to full pours. Servers were friendly, crowd was laid-back (at least in the front sections, where we sat), and prices were just fine. Food menu looked simple but interesting, though we did not sample anything.
Definitely worth a stop-in if you find yourself in town. And if you're staying in Burlington or any nearby area, you should eventually make the 30-45 minute trip to Waterbury, for this little cluster of pubs as well as the nearby Alchemist.
04-24-2012 07:20:44 | More by Rifugium
4.1/5 rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I had originally intended to go to The Alchemist for a beer and lunch, but they didn't open until 3 PM. My Plan B was The Reservoir, which I knew was right down the street.
This place is located in the center of town. The inside is a big open space filled with tables and chairs. Nice dark wood with a simple modern decor. The bar area is pretty limited with seating. They may have live music, I did notice a PA system set up.
The Reservoir has a really good selection of beer. You can expect about 30 diverse drafts. They offer an organized beer list with information on the beers as well as BA ratings, which I thought was pretty cool. They also feature the 'Vermont Sampler' which is four 5 oz. samples from any Vermont based breweries. You gotta appreciate the allegiance to the plentiful VT beer scene.
Draft highlights included Allagash White, Delerium Tremens, Dogfish Head Red & White, Hill Farmstead Abner, North Coast Old Rasputin, Ommegang Hennepin, Shed Mountain Ale, Smuttynose IPA, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (2008), Victory Hop Devil and Southern Tier 2X IPA. They also offer about 30 or so bottles with some desirable speciality imports.
Food was really good and we're talking super fresh food, which simply tastes so much better. I would say one of the best features of this place is the emphasis on quality. The beer I had was fresh and served in appropriate glassware.
This place is solid and certainly worth checking out of the in area.
06-25-2011 19:47:53 | More by Hibernator
3.99/5 rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Made a quick stop here for a couple of pints after dinner at the Prohibition Pig. Must larger tap last than the Pig with some great quality and all of the regular VT locals that you'd expect.
The atmosphere was very much akin to an Irish Pub - nothing special at all. Service wasn't great but was passable. Didn't have any food to comment on the kitchen.
07-02-2013 18:57:57 | More by TheSevenDuffs
4.35/5 rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$
My favorite places are the ones where when I first go in it seems like the people don't like me but then after a few minutes they figure out I'm cool and treat me real good. This was one of those places, but my enjoyment of it was very particular to me. If you are a not an abrasive, "love him or hate him"-style weirdo like myself, then this joint might not work for you. If you are, well, welcome to a real nice joint, friend.
The tap selection was limited, but everything was Capital-G good, and frankly I'd prefer that to 25 taps where everything is just lower-g good.
The vibe was an entrancing mix of the vibrant and the dingy. The walls were green. Lots of bottles and piping and old plastic buckets all covered in dust with basement cobwebs clumped in the uppermost corners of walls. The dude behind the bar had a conversation with us about god remembers what. It was a very nice place and I hope someday to go back there again.
11-13-2013 04:01:45 | More by mynie
4/5 rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I visited this place the other weekend while I came to VT to try Heady Topper at the Alchemist. While drinking Heady Topper I started talking to a nice girl named Lucia who was sitting next to me and filling out a job application. She asked me if I knew about "The Res" and I told her that I walked past it on the way to the Alchemist but that was about it. She told me that she worked there and that they had 37 tap lines! I agreed to stop in the next night to check it out and say hello to her while she was working. The bar is very sports bar like but with really good beer available. The locals are plenty friendly and I had a good time. The wings were pretty tasty and they had 4x beer samplers. Caroline was a really nice and attentive barkeep. They also had an outdoor terrace area which seemed nice. Worth a stop if you have time but I'd recommend the Alchemist and the Black Back over the Reservoir.
08-15-2010 02:50:58 | More by koopa
4.3/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in here for the first time with my wife this past Wednesday for a night cap. We sat at the bar and didn't have any food, but the trays floating by looked and smelled great. Walk through the front door into a smallish dining area. There is a bar midway across the room that straddles the right side of the building and encompasses the kitchen behind it. 20 to 30 seats at the bar and maybe twice as many tables for dining. The beer selection is great and lengthy with a focus on VT Breweries. They've even got a mix and match VT sampler; 4 - 5oz VT brews for like 6 bucks if you are so inclined. Tap list when I was there included: Brooklyn Lager, DFH 90min, Namaste, Guinness, Harpoon Rye IPA 100bbl, Hill Galaxy, Edward, Longtrail Belgian White, Magic Hat Wacko, Mcneils Dead Horse, Old Rasputin, Hennepin, Otter Creek Copper, Rock Art IPA, Saison Dupont, Sam Summer, Shed MT Ale, SN Harvest, Ovila, Smutty IPA, Southern Tier 2xIPA, Stella, Stone Ruination, Switchback, Switchback Roasted Red,The Rez, Trout River Red, Trapp Helles, Long Trail Truck Driver, Weihenstephan, Wolavers wildflower wheat, Wolavers IPA, Woodchuck Pear Cider. And they have a good bottle list too. Ill go back again, and maybe eat there too.
07-14-2011 23:43:47 | More by johnnnniee
4.69/5 rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Another of the trifecta of great beer bars in Waterbury.
Great food, typical bar food with good twists. Had an awesome burger- when paired with Double Sunshine, I was in heaven for about 15 minutes.
The tap list is unreal, all of the typical Vermont goodies, plus a ton of other great international and US craft selections. You can't come in and not find something that'll make you happy.
The service was great, very friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable bartender.
Gets a bit crowded at times- the front part is the restaurant and is nice, but there's a divey back section to the bar that can get a little crowded, especially since were there a little bit past happy hour time.
Worth the stop a million times over.
01-24-2014 20:58:50 | More by GreesyFizeek
The Reservoir Restaurant & Tap Room in Waterbury, VT
95 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.