1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

The Alchemist Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
The Alchemist Pub & BreweryThe Alchemist Pub & Brewery

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 0
Beer Ratings: 0
Beer Avg: 0

Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N

108 Ratings
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 6.94%
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

23 S Main St
Waterbury, Vermont, 05676-9003
United States
phone: (802) 244-7744
// CLOSED //

The brewpub at 23 S Main St has closed permanently. All beers are now brewed at the cannery, now called "The Alchemist."  http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/27039 

(Place added by: scottum)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30  | next › last »
Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Tchuck:
Photo of Tchuck


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
More User Reviews:
Photo of UncleJimbo


3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$

I visited The Alchemist brewpub over Memorial Day weekend in May 2011. A very nice, comfortable pub in a small Vermont town. There is a long bar on the right as you enter from the street, and a dining area to the left, separated by a half height divider, and also some dining in the rear. The beer selection was good with beers averaging in quality from average to very good. The food selection was typical pub fare with some good and a lot average. The prices were very good, especially compared to Boston. Overall a very nice place.

11-19-2011 10:44:18 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of Digimaika2

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

We've stopped in here a fair number of times and haven't been disappointed yet- stellar beer and good food.

Atmosphere has always been lively with a tightly-packed long bar along one side of the establishment, and the open dining area on the other. Great vibe going on inside with young, middle-aged, and older crowds all exchanging in lively conversations.

I won't go into the beer in too much detail here as other BA's have rightly pointed out it is simply fantastic. Luckily for us, most times we've visited our favourite offering, Wild Child, has been on-tap. We've always had food when visiting and the menu is typical Vermont, with local and in-season ingredients used in delicious fashion. Prices are very fair for both beer and food.

Service has always been very friendly and prompt from the waitstaff. It can take a little while to order beer at the bar, but simply because it can be so busy at times.

Waterbury is definitely a beer-geek destination with a number of exceptional establishments, let alone The Alchemist, that'll satisfy anyone. Plus, it's really quite a beautiful town to walk around and explore afterwards.

10-17-2011 01:56:59 | More by Digimaika2
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$

Came here for the bottle release on Oct. 8. Arrived at around 8AM and was surprised that no one except one person was there and he arrived at the same time as me. Spoke with him (Dan) throughout the morning.

Jen arrived not too long after and she showed us around a bit inside. We helped her load her car with stuff. It's really barebones with some small holes in the floor. Some of the decoration was still up as was a brew tank. Rebuilding is under way and Dan was telling me what the place looked like before.

At around 10 or so, people started lining up. John came out and told us how it would work. Many volunteers were on hand to help sell t-shirts, pint glasses (1$!) and of course, the beer.

There was a very strong community feel as i observed many people helping Jen and John. I regret not being able to make it before now but resolve to remedy that once they are up and running.

10-09-2011 18:17:26 | More by papat444
Photo of brewdan


4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

Let's start by saying that after tasting Heady Topper last year and looking at the menu online I had very high hopes for this place.

Atmosphere was fun, laid back, and perhaps a bit quirky- at least judging by the artwork in the place.

Quality was very high. The food was good and the beers were outstanding.

Service was good. The staff were all very friendly and they got us served rather quickly for a busy Saturday night.

Selection was excellent. The food was a tad upscale for a brewpub (a good thing!) and they have a well-rounded selection of beers- even a wild ale. And while most places are happy to have one or two bottles of Scotch, the Alchemist had 6 or 7 to represent all the different styles- nice!

The food is quite good but I don't think it's on par with the quality of the beers. Of course the beers are truly outstanding. I like that it isn't typical "pub fare" but I think they have some work to do here to get to the level of the beers.

As I said I had high hopes for the Alchemist. More and more I am finding that when I have such high hopes, rarely do I end up being delighted. This time I was delighted; so much so that I can't wait to make the 14 hour drive back- and I hate long drives!

08-27-2011 13:33:55 | More by brewdan
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

I've been to the Alchemist a couple of times now and I really enjoy this place. The place is really small which can be kind of a problem if its a busy night. You walk in the door and the bar is off to the right against the wall. There's maybe 20 seats at the bar and a couple of tables towards the front of the right side of the building. There's a half wall on your right that serves to kind of separate the dining area from the bar area. There are maybe 20 tables tops in the dining area. The food as always been good for me and my wife concurs. This is a brewpub so they have about 7 of their beers on tap and I haven't found a bad one yet. Hell I enjoyed the gluten free beer I tried once. Service is good, I will be back next time I'm up that way.

07-14-2011 23:17:33 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of steelerguy

New York

4/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$

I really dug the atmosphere of this place. A bit hipster, cool art on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Plus a Steelers pennant on the wall!

Good quality beer from a small place. The Sass Mouth saison was excellent and the best beer I had there, although all were good.

Service was good, nothing special but certainly adequate.

Good selection of beers, a couple special ones on tap, but out of the cask. They do warn you it goes on tap Friday and will be there until gone...didn't make it till Sunday.

I was expecting some really good food considering how much they talk about their chef but was disappointed. It wasn't bad, just far from special.

Would love to go back and try some more beer, try another dish or two, and just hang.

07-12-2011 23:57:10 | More by steelerguy
Photo of TangTKE402

New York

4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Taken from notes on a late-February post-snowshoe visit.

A: Clean, spacious enough with a different feel than one might expect from a VT brewpub. Less woody and stuffy than one might suspect, and more spacey with a tall-ish, cleanly-lined bar (complete with coat hook at your knees) with a gentle arc at the far end (where I sat, happily.) The place opened up around 3:00pm on a Saturday, and shortly after it opened it became hopping with all manner of individuals. Lots of ski bums in designer outerwear mixed with wool-and-denim folk. Many just came in from a windy, cloudy, snowy day at Stowe, and were happy for a conversation with anybody and a fresh pint. People who come here seem to be extremely approachable, happy, friendly, and looking for a beer of high quality.

Q: Speaking of quality, there are few brewpubs I've been to that had as many fantastic-tasting beers as this one. Every beer I had was top-notch, the bartender poured it just right, and in the appropriate glassware to boot. These people care about beer.

S: The bartender was attentive, knowledgeable, friendly, funny, and genuinely seemed to take pride and enjoyment in his chosen profession. He was also being kept exceptionally busy, but I never had to wait long with an empty glass in front of me.

S: I couldn't drink everything they had to offer while I was there. I may have been able to given two full days, but they have a lot of beers available. There was even a cask-version of their popular "Farmer's Daughter" which was a rare treat.

F: I didn't have any food, so I will not comment on it.

V: I've had much worse beers for more money in my day, and I personally don't think one can put a price on such a tremendous experience. But, needless to say, if I were a local, price would definitely not keep me from being a regular here.

06-24-2011 19:08:35 | More by TangTKE402
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

I stopped here with some other BAs the day before Hill Farmstead's first anniversary party. My only prior experience with the Alchemist being Heady Topper (which was excellent), I was very happy to take a deeper dive into their offerings.

Nicely appointed, enough tables for maybe 100 people, also roughly 15 seats along the bar. The food is on the upscale side for a brewpub, with plenty of options for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. I'm more of an omnivarian, but I still went with the tofu & red beans as it looked so good (and was!).

You can get reasonably priced samplers of anything, I tried a few before identifying my pint selection. A wide variety of styles, all seemingly well crafted, excellent.

06-19-2011 01:55:05 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of Reagan1984


4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

After making the trip to Vermont to pick up some Lawson’s Finest Liquids, my wife and I needed a place for an early dinner and a revitalizing brew. Twenty minutes up the road is The Alchemist. It was an easy decision to make the trip.

Very cool and inviting atmosphere with high ceilings, brick walls, big windows and neat art hanging on the walls. Split about 60% restaurant/tables and 40% bar the place seems to serve both some locals on stools and a mixed crowd looking for food. The table area seemed a little sparse with tables, so they seem to want to maintain a lot of open space.

Service was excellent. Knowledgeable, friendly and always available.

The food menu provided many options for all types of customers. Lot’s of healthy and even vegan choices including tempeh etc. But lot’s of hearty upscale pub food as well. In fact, Pub food is probably not the right term. This food is better than that. My wife and I split a salad and sandwich and both were VERY solid. The bread on the sandwich was particularly spectacular. They take pride in their ingredients.

I think we all know the reputation of the beer here, but let me say it is excellent. Very reasonably priced. If it was closer to where I lived or visited, I’d be there often.

I will be back. Great Place.

06-07-2011 19:19:51 | More by Reagan1984
« first ‹ prev | 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30  | next › last »
The Alchemist Pub & Brewery in Waterbury, VT
98 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.