Blackback Pub & Flyshop

Not Rated.
Blackback Pub & FlyshopBlackback Pub & Flyshop
BA SCORE
97
world-class

150 Ratings
Ratings: 150
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: n/a
Taps: 9
Bottles: 10
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: mariano42 on 05-20-2010)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 150 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hash_tagger
1/5  rDev -77.3%

Photo of chippo33
2/5  rDev -54.6%

Photo of billfaulkner73
2.31/5  rDev -47.6%
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.

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
2.78/5  rDev -37%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 2 | selection: 3

First time visiting during the HF anniversary. Chose this place over the other 2 bars because their website and numerous other places said they open at 11am, and the other 2 bars were opening at 11:30. Turns out, they decided to open at 11:30 also. Off to a bad start. Wait in line about 2 hours, and I'm not very far back so I know I'll get a seat at the bar. Finally the doors open (last of the 3 bars to actually open the doors) and as we start moving in, they decide to throw open another door behind me so that a bunch of people I was in front of get in first. Needless to say, I did not get a seat at the bar. We are told they have 22 lines pouring, and I see 22 beers listed on the board. Can i have an Abner? Not on yet. Damon? Nope. Edward cask? Not yet. So of course, after hanging out and drinking everything else, I still never got these beers. The other really awesome thing was that none of the prices on the board were correct. I order 2 beers that should be $13... they charge me $18. 2 that should have been $15, they charge me $17. Or I was getting half pours for 50 cents less than the full pour that the menu said I would get. Overall just really unhappy with the experience at this place.

Photo of Bueuze
2.83/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

Photo of Cascade77
2.98/5  rDev -32.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

EDIT
Stopped in after the expansion with some friends. Prices for both beer and food have gone through the roof. Really dissappointing.
Paid $8 for a 8oz pour of Petrus Aged Pale. Mahrs Pils was $7 for a 10oz pour in a wine glass. Really?? A 10oz pilsner in a wine glass? Didn't see anything bigger than a 12oz pour.

Service was slow and pours were often foamy.

At lesat have one or two reasonably priced beers that come in a pint so locals can enjoy it. Might as well go to the wine bar upstairs.

---

Stopped in last week for a couple beers with friends.

Small, dark, underground bar with just a few bar stools. Lots of fishing paraphernalia and beer trays on the walls. There should be more to cover the ugly green paint.

Beer list is small but very good. All quality. A few Hill Farmstead and some Belgian imports. Service was good. Talkative owner.

Prices are steep with small pours. A 10oz pour of a double IPA came to I think $6.50. I don't think anything came in a pint, not even the Edward.

Not a bad place to hang out and a nice addition to the Waterbury beer scene. Will definitely stop in for a beer from time to time.

Photo of nopucophop
3.43/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

Photo of OtisCampbell
3.5/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of beerbully
3.61/5  rDev -18.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.25

A-Visited on a Sunday afternoon for beers and a sandwich...place was fairly dead with a few people at the bar.

Q-beers were served in proper glassware

S-took a while to pour the beers as it seemed the bartender didn't have the taps set right. One beer that was served took at least 5 minutes to arrive from the time it was ordered. Beer was foaming into glass and bartender poured into another glass and finally serve an $8 dollar beer that was half beer and half foam. As she served it she said, "that's the best I could do"...she still charged full price despite recognizing the inferior pour. This was the first beer ordered and set the tone for the visit.

S-Beer selection was clearly written on a big chalkboard on the wall. Great selection of beers including Lawsons, Heady, and Hillstead.

F-ordered the Cuban sandwich tasted good but a bit slim. Not much meat in the sammy ...one slice of pork and one slice of ham

V-considering the service, the poor pours, and the size of the sandwich, there are better places nearby...that offer the same beers

Photo of polloenfuego
3.75/5  rDev -15%

Photo of CliffBrake
3.78/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Hit this place up after the suggestion of bobv.

It took a little bit to find this place .. based on my GPS, they essentially have the same address as the wine bar that on the same corner but upstairs. Finally found it..what an odd little set up. Extended bar and almost nothing but bar that's square (though the back is against the wall). You can definitely tell where the extension was put in - it almost seems like two seperate places. All wooden bar, roughly three crammed tables that are underneath a blackboard at the far end listing their food and beer offerings. Nice selection of local beers - plenty of Lawson and Hill Farmstead which is exactly what I was looking for!
We went in hungry and ready to eat and drink... however, not a great food selection. Pizza, calzone and sushi. I don't like sushi, and the size of the bar..wasn't all that condusive to grabbing a pizza and such.
Bartender was pretty on top of things and seemed pleasant enough. We didn't spend much time interacting but our order was taken and served promptly.
The prices here are extremely high and based on the food selection, not worth it for the food. The beer is steep in price based on the pour size, however what they offering somewhat makes up for it.
My partner and I stayed for a drink, and then walked across the street to grab food. This is a place for sitting and drinking - so hit somewhere else first for food, but get there relatively early as there isn't much space and seems like it could fill up quickly.

Photo of Dicers
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of TheAnk
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of vtbeerandbud
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Robo123
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of bobv
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of hockeypuck
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Rifugium
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

Great bar in Waterbury, and part of an easy 3-part pub-crawl, also including the Reservoir and Prohibition Pig. The Blackback is in the basement of a building, rafters in plain sight, and gives off the vibe of, well, pretty much drinking in your best friend's basement, assuming your best friend keeps a bunch of great local VT beers on tap. The bar is on the smaller side, and split between two small rooms, with seats for about 15 people or so, and tables lining the walls. Not a lot of room, but that just means more intimacy. Decor includes breweriana, lots of beer trays, with somewhat of a hunter-fisher lodge feel going on.

Again, 9 beers on tap (this has increased lately), mostly good local selections (including Lawson's and Hill Farmstead), with a small but decent bottle selection as well, and you might find a viciously priced HF bottle on the list at any given time. The bartenders are typically friendly, attentive and knowledgeable; 3 for 3 there. Prices were quite reasonable...if you consider a 10-12oz. HF pour for $7-8 reasonable.

There is now a small food menu, with south-of-the-border type offerings supplied by Mad Taco. I've had three different things from them at this point, and so far...they've all been pretty lousy. Like really bad. Like Taco Bell is much better.

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. Highly recommended for the taplist, not so much for the food.

Photo of easong
4.1/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Went here looking for what everybody is looking for: Alchemist, Hill-Farmstead, and Lawson's. Found all were recently here but gone. If I lived in town I'd be here every day checking for the latest. Good fresh-Mex food options, and plenty of decent VT taps. Of the 3 or 4 destination pubs in Waterbury this one is the diveiest in the best sense -- nice staff, good folks hanging around. A classic beer destination in one of America's best beer states.

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Place is tiny, in a BA quality beer rich little town. Fishing stuff all over the ceiling and scattered around the place. When you go to the Alchemist, this spot is just about a block away and well worth stopping in for a visit.

We were treated to several quality tap selections from places like Trapp, Hill Farmstead, DFH and high quality others. Quality is the operative word here. Boutigue beers in a tiny bar setting. Toss in an outgoing and entertaining, bartender/owner and you have a highly enjoyable and worthy place for a beer or two, either before or after the Alchemist.

Photo of coachdonovan
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in here around 6 or 7 after eating early at the Alchemist. As others have mentioned, this place is very small but that gives it a very friendly vibe. I counted exactly eight barstools as the only places to sit. There is one large TV behind the bar. Lots of fishing apparati mixed in with whiskey boxes attached to the ceiling beams.

We didn't eat, but there isn't much to choose from. I did notice a panini press behind the bar and the website says they have a cheese plate. Tap list included Earl, Edward and Anna from Hill Farmstead. Also Old Stock North Coast, SN 30th anniversary barleywine, DFH My Antonia (a rare find), Rogue Wet Hop and a lambic. I saw something on the whiteboard about a "flight of barleywines" that had recently been offered; never seen that before. Everything was served in proper glassware.

We had good conversation with the bartender and owner, who stopped in for a few minutes with his wife and son. (As an aside, I liked the fact that the owner of this place was having dinner at the Alchemist. Theoretically the two bars are competitors but it's nice to see they're not only friendly but patronize each other's places.) The size of Blackback is such that it's hard not to strike up conversation with any other customers, so don't go here if you're looking to drink alone. There was a rustic feel to the place despite being on Main Street, and I would definitely stop by again before and/or after the Alchemist.

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Blackback Pub & Flyshop in Waterbury, VT
97 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.