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Blackback Pub

Not Rated.
Blackback PubBlackback Pub

73 Reviews
Reviews: 73
Visits: 202
Avg: 4.45
pDev: n/a
Taps: 22
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1 Stowe St
Waterbury, Vermont, 05676-1820
United States
phone: (802) 505-5115

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: mariano42 on 05-20-2010

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Visits: 202
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.45/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Let’s see. Drove a few hundred miles on up, and then started with growler fills and bottles well out, and worked my way back in for necessary Heady procurement. That’ll see you to mid to late afternoon with no foreseeable plan. So then you Waterbury, ‘cause you’re there, and that’s what you do. Start by parking the corner. ‘The’ corner...

I parked just out front, shocker. Step down step down step down! If you didn’t step down, you fell down. If you fell down, then get up; seriously, you’re embarrassing yourself. Small room with a wide plank laminated topped ‘L’ shaped bar with a ‘step on it’ break, dark wide wood plank base, and brass foot rail; seating for a half dozen +. Shiny brass copper bar tower on the bar holds 8 taps (half of them on nondescript handles), a handpump on the end, unused, and a vintage cash register in between.

The outer wall is stone & brick, not surprisingly for this ground floor, and swirly, a shade of green painted pieces in white trim; the sills of which hold empty bottles of beer, bourbon, & wine. More green painted inners with a single flat on the back barback wall, over a shelf of bourbon and sinkage. The décor of plates, trays, fish prints, & mounted pieces. Worn plank floors and creeky rafter ceilings holding a pair of glassware racks full of Hill Farm stemware, and whiskey boxes & tubes, license plates, and keg collars on the beams above. Bottles clustered on both ends of the bar and riddled about. Some track spots, and good light through the panel door & windows over Main Street. Drafts printed on corner black board pieces.

And through to the side room with some more bar space; a ‘U’ seating nearly a dozen, mostly on hightop wooden chairs, but some on squared stools. The bar top here is old bowling lane action, I do dig it. Another tower of 8 back there and a pair of threesies. Plank back wall and blackboard end wall; the taps listed in alt colored chalk with pricing. Coasters plastered to the ceiling back there, and a gaggle of Cantillon bottles (hey, you want to hear a crazy story?) Another flat back here for the looking at, and seating on church pew bench and stadium seating attached.

Looks like space for 22 taps in all, but a few are off, only a dozen and a half up just now; nearly ½ are Vermont offerings (Lost Nation Gose, Hill Farmstead Edward & What Is Enlightenment?, Jacks Abby/Lawson’s Smoked Maple Lager, Lawson’s Spring Fever Session IPA & Paradise Pale Ale, Zero Gravity R. Prime IPA & Conehead), and the remainder a mix of craft beyond borders (Stoudts Kolsch, Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial, Bear Republic Racer 5, Ten Barrel Apocalypse IPA), imports (Djaevlebryg Gudelos, Mikkeller Black Hole Stout, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Hofbrau Hefe), and a pair of ciders (Citizen Cider Unified Press & Witness). I drank the Lawson’s Spring Fever Session IPA (comes in at 3.8%, was really goddamn nice), Lawson’s Paradise Pale Ale (the goods), and Zero Gravity Conehead (solid wheat IPA). And as Mad Tacos happen here, I went with a pair of the Carnitas (onion, cilantro, dealt with mole sauce sided, tasty, with a bit of heat), they were mad excellent.

Revisited a few months later with Dev & Adisa on the heels of a day like every other one I do in Vermont. Started with the Lawson’s Big Hoppy Black IPA (awesomesauce), and followed up with Hill Farmstead Life Without Principle (a 2 hop blend with hibiscus, Did. Not. Suck). And there will be tacos, yo. I split my pair between the Chile Colorado (avocado, onion, & cilantro in a mole sauce), and the Al Pastor (onion & cilantro in a verdi sauce). Both very good but the latter of the two was champion, true. Adisa disrespected our local Brooklyn taco joint by stating that these were the best tacos he’s ever had. I have suggested doing more tacos here and bagging the work dinner, but there’ll surely be trouble for it.

They do have a small bottle list, notables including Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze Golden Blend, Rodenbach Vintage Oak Aged Ale 2009, Mikkeller It’s Alive). Tunes have been excellent (Stones, Pink Floyd, Kinks, Pearl Jam, Santana, Van Morrison, Talking Heads, Beatles); soundtrack of my life. Servicewise, both times out the Mattender started on and passed things off to Lauren, all good. A fine group of locals, here. We’re talking mead and Weihenstephaner, and all sorts of stuff. Great rotating tap list Vermont local goods heavy and mad, mad tacos.

 4,458 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of dljames10
4.33/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of rodmanfor3
3/5  rDev -32.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Photo of indianabeerman
4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of sunofneurot
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of blisscent
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of BranfordBound
4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

Went here on Saturday night, 9/26 after having dinner at Proh Pig. Just stopped by for drinks so no food rating there. Bartender and patrons were super friendly and everyone was having a good time. Beer list was solid, not as many as Proh Pig, but I think greater diversity than them when it comes to the local stuff. Had Hill Farmstead Mutual Admiration on tap since they kicked the Focal cans. Overall a cool place to stop for a drink, makes me think every place in VT serves top level beer!

 493 characters

Photo of SDRedDevil
4.64/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of OnryAndMean
4.16/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of LostHighway
4.15/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Small but nice place! Please note that I'm apparently an atypically hard grader, most of my scores for both beers and places skew negative, but this is a very good pub and I'd happily return.
The tap list isn't exceptionally long but they did have more than half-a-dozen Hill Farmstead & Grassroots offerings along with a good selection of other beers. My only criticism, and this is far from unique to the Blackback, is that the tap list was too IPA and DIPA heavy. As much as I like these styles IMO they aren't great food beers and the Blackback has a very good kitchen. There were no saisons on the tap list when I was there and few lagers and true pale ales. Weihenstephaner Vitus was as close as they came to a hefeweizen. I know the public clamors for IPA, DIPAs and Imperial Stouts but great tap list diversity is good thing as far as I'm concerned.
The food I tasted was considerably above average for pub fare.
As noted Blackback is small so it can get both crowded and noisy but it has a good convivial feel.
I've had excellent service there - knowledgeable, attentive without being obtrusive and friendly without being smarmy or overly familiar.

 1,168 characters

Photo of Sweeneydawg
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.14/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Ajlvt
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of fredmugs
4.8/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of bostonbeans
4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of snansel
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of SRBush1974
5/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Had a great lunch here this weekend. With 4 kids, it was no problem to sit at the bar area. Owner was our waitress/bartender. Great beer list, great food and very friendly. Would go back here in a second. Need to with the great VT beers offered.

 245 characters

Photo of JArt
4.98/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Kegatron
4.29/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of winningwes91
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of RichD
4.66/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Doug537
4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of Mikeynas
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Really cool spot in downtown Waterbury. Draft list is second to none and staff was friendly, attentive, and knowledgable. Nice spot to sit back relax and enjoy some world class beer with friends. Highly recommend!

 213 characters

Photo of ShanePB
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of esmithvt
4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

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Blackback Pub in Waterbury, VT
98 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.