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The Reservoir / Big Tree Brewing Company

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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
www.waterburyreservoir.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottum

BEER STATS
Beers:
6
Reviews:
3
Ratings:
7
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
95
Reviews:
46
Ratings:
182
Avg:
4.31
pDev:
7.89%
 
 
Taps:
38
Bottles/Cans:
27
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Beers | Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 182
Photo of jhavs
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A good place, the vibe is a bit boisterous when crowded. 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 third choice.

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Photo of SpoiledInVT
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.87/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of coldriver
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of marcfromphilly
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Arrived for VT beer and coincidentally the 5 year anniversary for Hill Farmstead and their tap takeover. It was heaven. Would easily drive there again solely for beer and a hotel room from philly.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

The place was packed when we arrived on a Friday afternoon. We were told it would be a 30 minute wait for a table, and that we could head back to the bar. The bar was crowded and loud, but the folks were friendly. We looked over the tap list, which was amazing, before squeezing up to the bar to order. The bartender was friendly, but rushed and served us quickly, politely and then moved on to the next.

After about only 15 minutes we were seated, again in the bar, for our meal. The menu is nice, a good selection. I was really in the mood for a burger, so I went for the Vermonter. I was asked how I wanted the burger, and I said "a little pink in the middle" (I was told the meat was ground on site...safe to leave it a little pink). When we got the food, I found my burger was perhaps more pink than not, but damn it was tasty.

The food went down pretty fast, and when we were finished, we felt eyes on us. The staff were looking at us. It was obvious they wanted us to move away from the table so they could seat someone else. So, we settled the bill.

The noise, the crowd and the rush...those are the downsides. The beer and the food, those are the upsides. All in all, I liked it, but would prefer to go at a quieter time.

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Photo of cptbenjamin
4.89/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Very unassuming from outside and the bar extends very far. Place was packed while we were there. Just there for drinks but the selection was incredible.

 152 characters

Photo of woodchip
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

This was the first stop on my VT trip back in Dec 2014. Everything was pretty decent with the exception of the service. I was too damn excited to get my hands on my first Lawson's beer (SoS) to care much. Overall, the experience was good.

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Photo of jvodom
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

My brother and I ate there on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014. We were promptly seated. The service was a little slow all night. We didn't mind it except for when were waiting on beer refills. I ordered the burrito with chicken. It tasted good, but the chicken was fried. I am unsure if the menu said it was fried, but where I am from, that is not normal.
The beer selection was excellent. We did the VT beers flight. Lots to choose from. Just check their website for their tap list if you are looking for something specific.

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Photo of Robo123
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

The poutine was killer!!! Such a huge portion we couldn't finish. Had a Fiddlehead IPA to go wtih it, and my husband had Lawson's Sip of Sunshine. One of the biggest and best OT lineups I've seen anywhere. Staff is friendly and it's a place where I feel right at home, not pretentious and not over-the-top. My favorite place for a meal and a few brews in the area, hands down!

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Oh, my. What can I say? They offer a flight of four 5-oz VT samplers. I picked Heady Topper, Lawson's Sip of Sunshine, Hill's Edward, and Zero Gravity Conehead. I wanted to spend the rest of my life there.

I don't even remember the food, but it musta been good too.

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Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
5/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I had, hands down, the best veggie burger I've ever had here. Wow, it was so good. They have an amazing beer selection. They had Lawson's Sunshine IPA on tap! Unreal. That beer seriously competes with Heady Topper. This place is heaven on earth. So good.

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Photo of amano_h
4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The Reservoir is 1/3 of the reason why I wished I live in Waterbury. If their amazing beer selection (including the VT trifecta of Alchemist, Hill Farmstead, and Lawson's Finest Liquids on tap) isn't enough to chide you over, the fact that all the ingredients used in this establishment are fresh and bought locally from farmers and merchants in the Green Mountain State should be able to assuage any non-beer enthusiast to this restaurant as well.

I ordered the Shed Burger and asked my server how else I could make my burger a little more Vermontoise. She then pointed out that despite the fact that they have a burger named the 1/2lb Vermont Burger, the Shed Burger is probably as VT as it gets: The beef is from grass-fed Vermont-raised cows, which is flavored with Shed Brewing Company's Mountain Ale; sitting atop the beef patty is molten cheddar cheese from Cabot Creamery down the street; the leaf lettuce, onion, and pickles are all local-farm produced and picked; the English Muffin was apparently the way this burger was originally served by the chef at Shed Brewing Co.'s Brewpub (also made locally); and to top it off, she told me I could even go a step further and add Vermont Smoke & Cure Bacon for good measure.

I am proud to say that I have tasted Vermont at the Reservoir and it is delicious. The slogan on their website says it all -- Fresh Eats, Craft Beer. If eating an affordable world-class meal paired with some of the best brews America has to offer is your thing, then the Reservoir will definitely not disappoint. If good food and good beer isn't quite your thing, then you might as well go jump off a cliff because it appears that you hate life.

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Photo of scotorum
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Had dinner here twice on our April 19-21 Lawson's 4th Anniversary trip.

First floor of the multiple-story early 19th century brick facade right in the center of the beer-famous town's small downtown area. Great old wide set of granite steps lead up to the entrance.

Dark inside, reminiscent of a 19th century tavern. L-shaped bar is in the back center, about a dozen tables and chairs in the main dining area filling the rest of the room. There is also a large back room and a smallish outdoor seating area but we did not venture there.

Menu is good if a little pricey, service ok to fun. We enjoyed the darkish atmosphere in the nearly full dining room on weekend nights. My wife preferred it to the Pig, which she had found a bit too noisy with a relatively unappealing (to her) menu last August when we ate there.

Beer selection is studded with brews from the Big Three local breweries: Alchemist, Hill Farmstead and Lawson's, plus other up and comers such as Fiddlehead.

This is probably the best choice in Waterbury for a beer geek's relatively "normal" dinner meal.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

My go-to Waterbury local for draft list. I like the roominess, I love the draft list and the food is good too! The most expansive draft list around IMO with the most amount of local beers from The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead, Lawsons and others. I've always found the wait staff to be warm and welcoming as well.

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Photo of shehateme
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Had to stand in line for a while to get through the door for the hill farmstead fourth anniversary but well worth the wait . The wait staff was super attentive considering just how crazy busy the place was that day . I didn't see any of these girls stop moving all day , the kegs were staggered and they did a great job letting us know what was kicked and what was on deck. It's hard to judge an ordinary days tap list would be compare to this, it is the most ridiculous list I have ever seen , the hill brews are everything from Edward cask with Amarillo ,Arthur,Florence, society and solitude 5 ,what is enlightenment ,ephraim ,to civil disobedience 6 , genealogy of morals and fear and trembling .Plus heady , focal banger beezulbub , and Lawson's sip of sunshine . Clearly this place is efficient and well run , to be able to handle a day like this is remarkable .Great job by all the staff to make this such a wonderful event.

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Photo of WWJPD
4.76/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

We visited 3 times in 2 days... Day 1 in the afternoon we stopped in at all 3 of the "tri-fecta" and split a beer in each to see where we might go for dinner later that evening. We enjoyed a HF Citra on tap. We went back later that Sat night around 8:30. We were told there'd be a short wait to get a table, so we headed to the bar in back. My wife ordered HF Edward and before I got a chance to order anything, our table was ready. I settled up at the bar and we got a table in the back near the pool table. I was already giddy at the tap selection with Hill, Lawson's and Heady Topper on draft that I really didn't see past that. Our server, Chelsea, got us some HF Citra and I was already happy as a clam. Then we ordered the food. I got the fish tacos and my wife got the flank steak. My tacos were very good, but Christine was just in love with the flank steak. It was cooked perfect and she told Chelsea to march into the kitchen and tell the line, "This steak is f***ing incredible", which she promptly did. They jokingly replied back that they didn't appreciate such vulgarity in their establishment ;)

We both got another beer with dinner - Lawson's for me. We struck up a conversation with Chelsea as she was a beer person too, and we relayed our brewery adventures in Burlington to her and she relayed stories of Hill Farmstead(Chelsea is the "phone girl" that had Sean and his mother looking for her lost phone in the snow at HF.)

We could not have been happier with our dinner and beers.

We went back the next day to visit Chelsea again and get some baked mac & cheese to go. I enjoyed what I'd say was one of the best beer flights I'll ever have in my life - HF Edward, HF Citra, Lawson's Sip of Sunshine and Heady Topper.

This place was our kind of spot with a SUPER high quality beer list and high quality bar food at reasonable prices. Besides the heavy hitters of HF, Lawson's and Alchemist on tap, they also had Fiddlehead, Zero Gravity, Switchback, Lagunitas, Allagash, The Bruery(Humulas Lager), Brasserie Dieu du Ciel(Peche Mortel) and Jack's Abbey. I believe they had something like 38 taps online.

This will be our dinner stop(and probably more) for sure next time we are in town.

 2,210 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Another of the trifecta of great beer bars in Waterbury.

Great food, typical bar food with good twists. Had an awesome burger- when paired with Double Sunshine, I was in heaven for about 15 minutes.

The tap list is unreal, all of the typical Vermont goodies, plus a ton of other great international and US craft selections. You can't come in and not find something that'll make you happy.

The service was great, very friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable bartender.

Gets a bit crowded at times- the front part is the restaurant and is nice, but there's a divey back section to the bar that can get a little crowded, especially since were there a little bit past happy hour time.

Worth the stop a million times over.

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Photo of maltman24
3.89/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Amazing selection of beers both on tap and bottles. Litteraly something for everyone (except the Bud fans maybe)! Seriously, I was tempted to go through the style guidelines only to try and see what they didn't have. Everything from double IPAs to sours. And quite a few sours at that (gueze, flanders red, oud bruin and even gose)! Our waitress was extremely helpful and knowledgable on the beers. Food was good. Not as outstanding as the beers, but good. The beer menu was the big draw for me.

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Photo of mynie
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

(I had reviewed this place a while ago, but that was a mistake--I had confused it with the Blackback).

This is a straight-up medium fancy New England eating establishment that happens to have excellent beer on tap. The vibe is warm and gorgeous and Caucasian, like nearly everything else in Waterbury. The cuisine is comfort food, and it is excellent: easily the best poutine I've had outside of Quebec, and fried chicken that rivaled the best of the Midwest.

Lots of taps, nearly all of which were New England. Three dedicated Hill Farmstead lines, as well.

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Photo of rikatine
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

We ended up visiting the Reservoir three time on our three night stay in Waterbury. Twice to have a beer, and a third time to have a bite to eat. The tap list here is awesome.

On our first two visits we headed straight to the back bar and grabbed seats at the bar. We were served immediately both times even though it was a little busy. We had the Lawson's Triple Play, what else do you need. The bartenders were efficient and attentive. Gave us a taste of a couple of other local beers that we were considering. They offered food, and were right on our refills of beer. Asked for water, and got a nice mason jar that was kept full without asking. Love it!

On our last night, we had not tried the food yet, so we decided to go in and get a table. We got a cute little table upstairs in front of the window. Perfect. We ordered the cold meatloaf sandwich with a side of mac n cheese, and the poutine and another Lawson's. All the food was very good. The service was very good and friendly.

Would not miss going here on a future visit. Service, food, beer. Nothing lacking.

 1,076 characters

Photo of MTfish
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Great atmosphere and a huge selection of rotating beers on tap, bottles and cans. Food was good but my burger was over done. Not to expensive and they feature tons of local ingredients beers and spirits. Great place to stop in for a quick drink and hang with good people. Plus they serve their beer in ball jars which i thought was cool.

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Photo of easong
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

This is where I found the Hill-Farmstead on tap in Waterbury. Coming from CA, I wasn't looking for Green Flash or Bear Republic, but there it was, which is testament to the management's intention to be the number one craft beer pub in Waterbury. Broadest tap list in town. I will be back looking for Lawson's some day.

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Photo of sirsteve42
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

The final bar of the must try trifecta in waterbury. This joint is a restaurant/bar and is family friendly. I have never eaten here as I always just make my way to the back and find a barstool and see what hf and lawsons are on! Oh and if that isn't your thing they usually have a few cantillons on hand as well.
Was here on a busy Saturday night and the bartender took care of me in a timely fashion considering how busy the place was that night. Definitely the loudest bar of the three but hey I like that!
The bartenders were knowledgable and incredibly friendly. Stop into the rez when in town you won't regret it

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Photo of tbeckett
3.96/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Visited Reservoir a few times over a weekend in Waterbury.

Atmospherically, this place is much more a restaurant than a bar. Lot's of tables in the front and a few stools at the bar that wraps around to a much more rowdy back room that seemed to be filled with people I wouldn't normally associate with. Lot's of families visiting for dinner in the front room and some very drunk people in the back. Odd mix. Annoyingly loud and not very good band later in the night. We were hastled by a drunk guy for a while. Odd mix in this place.

I still can't figure out what this 'quality' department is looking at. Nothing was 'bad'.

Service was good as we sat at the bar every time we visited. Bartenders knew a decent amount about the beers but often seemed rushed. Friendly and helpful staff though and chatty when the opportunity arose. Once again, they put on the hockey games we wanted to watch.

Good selection on tap and in bottle with a good number of styles covered. Limited Hill Farmstead and Lawson's, but what they had was good. Some other Vermont goodies around too, and the bottle selection was fairly impressive for a Canadian visiting the town.

Food was OK. I had a polenta dish one night that I didn't really enjoy, but we split truffle fries which were pretty fantastic. At the very least, I learned that I don't really like polenta.

For all the drawbacks, I enjoyed Reservoir. The selection was more diverse than Blackback, which is always a plus in my books.

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The Reservoir / Big Tree Brewing Company in Waterbury, VT
95 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.
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