The Reservoir / Big Tree Brewing Company

BEER AVG
3.62/5
The Reservoir / Big Tree Brewing CompanyThe Reservoir / Big Tree Brewing Company
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1 S Main St
Waterbury, Vermont, 05676-1856
United States

(802) 244-7827 | map
waterburyreservoir.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottum

BEER STATS
Beers:
6
Ratings:
15
Reviews:
8
PLACE STATS
Score:
96
Ratings:
188
Reviews:
51
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
3.94%
 
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 51
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 4,813 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

As far as beer bars in Waterbury, it's this place, Blackback or the BlueStone are usually my 3 recommendations. Their beers are pretty good, the guest taps they get are pretty legit. Yes, to Heady, Focal, S.O.S. and Super Session, but be warned that they don't always keep a whole lot of it and will run out on those 4 beers I just mentioned. They do get a fair amount of rotating HF in here. Bands will come in and play in the evenings which make it a bit louder. I go back when I can when I'm in Waterbury.

 508 characters

Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Stopped by for dinner after a long drive over from Portland Maine today.

The Reservoir seems like a fairly small location, especially when you walk in and see the small front area and small bar. However, the back dining area and back bar is sizeable, which was a very good thing on the Saturday we stopped in (as the place was pretty much packed the entire time I/we was there). There's a nice informal, relaxed vibe to this place, with a couple of large, flat screen TV's over the bar area. This is great place to hang out with a couple of beer and a snack.

In terms of beer, the pub advertises 39 beers on tap, and based on what I saw on the menu, that seemed about right. the flip side also lists a number of bottle selections as well, but given what I saw on the taplsit, I gave it no more than passing glance. Selection was excellent, mostly focused on local breweries, and including multiple selections from HF and Lawson's. There was also the excellent bone-a-fide pale ale from Boneyard in Bend, which came as a complete shock to me. In any event, that gives you an idea how good the tap list is here. Luckily, there are all kinds of great places to grab a beer in Waterbury, or I'd likely spend all my time here.

In terms of service and food, both were also excellent. Our server was outstanding; she was quick, knowledgeable and engaging. When my wife asked for assistance in making a dinner choice (lot of excellent food options on the menu), she was quick and decisive, with no wish-washy vacillating. She recommended the house meatloaf, which as it turned out, was indeed excellent. I got the venison hunter's pie, which was also quite good. Portions were sizeable (my wife will be eating meatloaf for lunch again tomorrow), and the quality was across the board quite good (got the truffle fries as an appetizer, which were also very good).

This place was great. I only wish we had more time so we could stop by again (but alas, we're leaving after tomorrow). This place is recommended.

 2,018 characters

Photo of StoutLover14
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of smartassboiler
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of coz
3.91/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Photo of Abbbp
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Of the big 3 must to do bars, i'd say this is the newest looking one, proper spacing, and a notable location. Easy to get to once you park somewhere, but the selection wasn't quite as strong as i'd liked.

 204 characters

Photo of GreenMind
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of puftdank
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of SweetChicken
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of jhavs
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A good place, the vibe is a bit boisterous when crowded. A little run-down and dusty due to constant crowds. Mix of beer tourists and locals. Food is pub style menu. Decent burgers, pretty varied selection. You should be able to find something you will like.

Beer list is good. Their house beers are decent, but with many other great selections its hard to order them first.

They offer flights of selected brews. Some of the best options are not part of the flight options. They update their taplist online pretty regularly.

Lots of options in the area for good beer and good food. This one is decent, but my choice only if I can't get a seat at BB, PP, etc.

 671 characters

Photo of MilaMila
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of ScottP
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of JMUbrewz
4.58/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of SpoiledInVT
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

An ENORMOUS tap list of Hill, Lawsons, Fiddlehead, Lost Nation, Zero Gravity, and all things Vermont. Constantly rotating through, along with a pretty sizeable bottle/can list including the ever sought after, highly overrated Heady and Focal. The back bar is a great place to kick back and unwind, while rubbing elbows with beer elitists, beercationers, locals, and VT hill-folk. Eclectic. Sometimes some live music, otherwise great tunes playing always. This is the place you want to go in Waterbury. Oh, and the bartenders are quite rude, and seem to hate the fact that you're there.

 585 characters

Photo of Yetiman420
4.87/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Had Sunday lunch next door at the (crowded) Pig. They were out of Focal Banger so we stopped in here. Boy, what a surprise. Not only do they have the most taps (38) in the state, they had the best tap list of the beer bars we visited on our two day beer/brewery tour (Mule, Farmhouse, Pig).

I liked the fact that it was mostly locals including a huge group of families headed off to a girls soccer game. They had all the great VT beers plus bottles of Crooked Stave (CO) which could have kept me here for hours had I not had to drive back to Killington.

Sat at the bar and chatted up a local who entertained us with "back in the day" stories of VT beer and The Alchemist.
Make sure to go to the back of the bar to check out the Heady Topper pool table light. Only in Waterbury.

 782 characters

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of WesM63
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of zotzot
3.89/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of IckyT2012
4.69/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

My favorite of the Waterbury bars. This place as big and lively. The beer menu is outstanding, with all of the big names you come to the area looking to try. I met several very friendly bartenders and customers here. If you want an active spot in the town, this is your place.

 276 characters

Photo of Brian29
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of indianabeerman
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of scxcrunner
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of sunofneurot
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of coldriver
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Went here on night one of our two night stay at the Old Stagecoach Inn. Despite being Saturday night the place wasn't particularly crowded, perhaps because of the September tourist lull between summer and leaf season. Fantastic tap list of course - Hill Farmstead, Lawsons, and a host of other Vermont selections, but we loved the food as well. The poutine in particular was awesome, as was the salmon. We went to Prohibition Pig the next night which was wonderful as well, but overall we preferred Reservoir as Pig was crowded with spotty service.

 552 characters

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The Reservoir / Big Tree Brewing Company in Waterbury, VT
3.62 out of 5 based on 15 ratings.
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