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Blackback Pub & Flyshop

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

142 Ratings
Ratings: 142
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 13.38%
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: 142 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of slander
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

slander, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

Billolick, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Sammy
4.24/5  rDev -3.9%

Exceptional place to have a beer. Smallish in size, but big in quality, with top notch HF and Lawson Liquid offerings. People were friendly and relaxed, its a go-to place for knowledgeable beer drinkers from the region and from Montreal. Knowledgeable includes staff. Monday nights are the new arrivals. Prices reasonable, but not cheap for HF. Only high quality offerings here.Worth going out of your way for, i.e. if you re only planning to visit Burlington.Up there as a destination, so don't miss it.

Sammy, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of sholland119
4.36/5  rDev -1.1%

Visited on 1/20/11.

9 bar stools, 9 beer taps. What could be more perfect?

We stopped in here for a couple of beers after dinner and beers across the street at the Alchemist. Blackback is located in the basement of the building at the corner of Stowe and Main. Bright paint (green!) and lots of flyfishing paraphernalia (and taxidermied fish) give the place a unique look among bars I have been to.

All taps were high quality stuff, with about 6 Hill Farmstead beers, Hoptimum and 2 old ales (Old Stock and Bigfoot, which were also being presented side by side in a mini-flight; nice touch). The bartender/owner was companionable and easy to hang out with. Like you were in a friend's basement, shooting the breeze and drinking good beer.

We did not eat, though there was a rumor that paninis were available. Loved this place.

HV

sholland119, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

InspectorBob, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of Rifugium
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%

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.

Rifugium, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Slatetank, May 30, 2014
Photo of orangesol
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%

Stopped in here after my dinner at the Pig. Atmosphere was nice, it is not the biggest place in the world but I easily got a seat at the bar and was greeted by a very nice bartender. She ran me through the tap list and offered a few thoughts on some of the ones I had not tried yet which was awesome. They had a bunch of Hill Farmsteads on as well as a few Lawson's so I stuck with those. I went with the HF Simcoe single hop and the Lawson's Hunger Mountain 40th and they were both excellent and sever in the correct glasses.

My food score is not indicative of how it tasted, rather how much they offer. Food was sparse upon my visit but I hear they are upgrading the kitchen very soon so I look forward to seeing what they come up with in the future. I got the cheese plate and it was very good and totally worth the money. Overall a really awesome beer bar that I will definitely return to when I am in the area.

orangesol, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of jjboesen
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%

As previous reviews have indicated, this place is WAY into flyfishing; however, it is also into providing patrons with a hearty supply of Vermont craft beer.

The Blackback Pub and Flyshop is one of several excellent venues along the Main Street of Waterbury – see my review for Prohibition Pig, which is across the street. The décor is that your grandfather’s country lodge: heather green walls and vey heavy on the fishing paraphernalia, which is scattered throughout this small bar. What I liked was the availability of several Farmstead beers; this in itself makes for a worthy trip. The service was friendly and efficient. No food is served, but then you’ll probably pig out at the aforementioned Prohibition Pig prior to your visit here.

A leisurely quaff at the Blackback Pub brings to mind an old, and appropriate, adage:

“Give a Man a fish and he’ll eat for the day; teach him to fish and he’ll sit in a boat and drink beer all day.” Wise.

jjboesen, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%

This quickly became my favourite beer spot in Waterbury after my first visit. Great low-key atmosphere, which is a big contrast to the other spots in Waterbury. The tap list wasn't huge but was full of great stuff, including a few from HF (Abner, Edward, Everett, George), Sip of Sunshine and Beer Geek Brunch Weasel. Service was excellent as well. Did not have any food here. The perfect place to go for pints after dinner at Pro Pig.

TheSevenDuffs, May 11, 2014
Photo of Goldorak
4.36/5  rDev -1.1%

Even though I've had a stellar time during my weekend in Vermont, I can't help but be a little pissed that a town as small as Waterbury not only has a world-class brewpub, but now they have a killer Beer bar as well.

So after an incredible meal and Beers at the Alchemist, where I got to meet YouBrewIDrink, we hopped across the street at the Blackback. Tiny place, as in less than a dozen seats, all bellied up to the Bar. What makes this place out of the ordinary is the fact that they also sell fly fishing equipment. Kick ass.

Selection was small, but very well picked. Bavik Pils, a single hop IPA from Mikkeler, three (!) from Hill Farmstead, something from Belgium, etc. I think the only thing missing to make it the perfect Beer bar tap list would have been a sour ale.

Service was great, both Dana and Ricky were super nice, were really knowlegable about Beer, never hesitated to hand over tasters, and made you feel right at home the moment you walked in.

This place is the perfect compliment to the Alchemist, and I liked it a lot. Damn you Waterbury!!

Goldorak, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

acurtis, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.5/5  rDev +2%

DrunkinYogi, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of Resuin
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Resuin, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of mattmarka1
4.5/5  rDev +2%

mattmarka1, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of ZEB89
4.5/5  rDev +2%

ZEB89, May 23, 2014
Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev -9.3%

ColForbinBC, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of williamjbauer
4.5/5  rDev +2%

williamjbauer, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of markgugs
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

markgugs, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of Dicers
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Dicers, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of Stevedore
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Stevedore, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of tkdchampxi
5/5  rDev +13.4%

tkdchampxi, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%

I went here for the first time with my wife this past Wednesday. Curious little hole in the wall this place is. We were staying in Waterbury and had a little time to kill before supper so since this place opens at 3pm we gave it a shot. You walk in a door take two step down and you are standing in front of a bar that has maybe 10 stools in front of it. There are a couple of long benches off to the left and that's really the extent of the place. It's tiny, but they are expanding into the storefront to their left which will more than double the size of the place. So the reason we were here, the beer. They have quite a tap list really. Three Hill Farmstead beers, two Sierra Nevada, two DFH, one Allagash. And probably something I'm forgetting. We had a cheese plate and that was really good and they have some sandwiches as well. We were the only ones in the bar and the guy behind the bar was knowledgeable and friendly. I'd definitely go back when in the area.

johnnnniee, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of yourefragile
4.5/5  rDev +2%

yourefragile, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of chippo33
1.25/5  rDev -71.7%

chippo33, Dec 04, 2013
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Blackback Pub & Flyshop in Waterbury, VT
97 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.