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The Reservoir / Big Tree Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
The Reservoir / Big Tree Brewing CompanyThe Reservoir / Big Tree Brewing Company
BA SCORE
3.66/5
Good
15 Ratings
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
Reviews:
8
Ratings:
15
PLACE STATS
BA Score:
4.4/5
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
192
pDev:
8.41%
 
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Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of slander
4.4/5  rDev 0%
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

Photo of Billolick
4.14/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Waterbury, VT what a town for good beer enthusiasts! This is probably beer destination number 3 in town, well worth checking em all out. Larger place with large open area as you enter and towards the rear, multiple bar areas, in the warmer weather you can enjoy a nice outside deck/bar/eating area. Plenty of quality locals on tap, long Trail, Otter creek, Rock Art, Switchback, Trout River, Trapp, mixed in with BA worthy nationals, regionals DFH, Brooklyn, Ommegang, Sierra, Southern Tier,Victory and others,. About 35 high quality bottles also offered. Strong selections all over the place. Nice, comfortable and friendly spot for a visit. Well worth giving this place a try.

 678 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.64/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

This was more restaurant than bar. Smaller bar upping the ante for the eatery. Yes, some very good local selections including just the one HF that day. Cannot compare to the Blackfly or the Probition P. within a two-minute walk, but if they have something left that the other places ran out of, then why not. As very buzy eatery, I didn't feel as comfortable sitting around, and the kitchen added to the already humid air.If you are staying in the area multiple nights, this would be on your list as a choice.

 509 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

After visiting all three of the Waterbury triad--also including the blue-collar Blackback and the shmoo-shmoo Prohibition Pig--I can pretty much aver that this place is the better of the three. It has the selection of the Pig (much more so, actually) without the annoying/snobby crowd, and the more wallet-friendly prices of the Blackback. All three are worth a visit, I'd say, but only the Reservoir and the Blackback are true beer destinations...the Pig is more of a tourist trap.

Atmosphere here is semi-oceanic/nautical, with a nice relaxed front section including a small bar that seats about 5 people, and a more "sporty" room in the back, with a larger bar, and dimmer lights. Easily the larger of the triad, and easily the best beer selection as well, with a heavy bias toward local VT goodies, including Lawson's and Hill Farmstead. Sampler flights are also available, but there are so many provisos to getting a flight that you might as well just stick to full pours. Servers were friendly, crowd was laid-back (at least in the front sections, where we sat), and prices were just fine. Food menu is pretty simple, with pub grub and good grill selections. Everything I've ever had here was good, as opposed to the other two bars...ProPig food is lousy, and Mad Taco (served at Blackback) is pretty bad as well. If you want food with your beer, the Reservoir is the place to go.

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 as well as the nearby Alchemist.

 1,629 characters

Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
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 WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Yetiman420
4.87/5  rDev +10.7%
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 Knapp85
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Was told to check this place out while in Waterbury because they usually have a pretty sick tap list. Needless to say they do have a great list. The place is overly bright on the inside. There is a lot of space for seating . I wouldn't mind going back here in the future.

 271 characters

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.23/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.99/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Made a quick stop here for a couple of pints after dinner at the Prohibition Pig. Must larger tap last than the Pig with some great quality and all of the regular VT locals that you'd expect.

The atmosphere was very much akin to an Irish Pub - nothing special at all. Service wasn't great but was passable. Didn't have any food to comment on the kitchen.

 356 characters

Photo of mynie
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 565 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Slatetank
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

I really enjoyed the two occasions I was here -I only drank so no food to mention but the place is spacious with a long bar and the selection is great including some things you might not expect I had a cellared barleywine from Sierra Nevada that was smooth. The service is friendly and attentive and quality is great with all the beer I tasted fresh and well cared for.

 369 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of mattmarka1
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of mklisz
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Hibernator
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I had originally intended to go to The Alchemist for a beer and lunch, but they didn't open until 3 PM. My Plan B was The Reservoir, which I knew was right down the street.

This place is located in the center of town. The inside is a big open space filled with tables and chairs. Nice dark wood with a simple modern decor. The bar area is pretty limited with seating. They may have live music, I did notice a PA system set up.

The Reservoir has a really good selection of beer. You can expect about 30 diverse drafts. They offer an organized beer list with information on the beers as well as BA ratings, which I thought was pretty cool. They also feature the 'Vermont Sampler' which is four 5 oz. samples from any Vermont based breweries. You gotta appreciate the allegiance to the plentiful VT beer scene.

Draft highlights included Allagash White, Delerium Tremens, Dogfish Head Red & White, Hill Farmstead Abner, North Coast Old Rasputin, Ommegang Hennepin, Shed Mountain Ale, Smuttynose IPA, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (2008), Victory Hop Devil and Southern Tier 2X IPA. They also offer about 30 or so bottles with some desirable speciality imports.

Food was really good and we're talking super fresh food, which simply tastes so much better. I would say one of the best features of this place is the emphasis on quality. The beer I had was fresh and served in appropriate glassware.

This place is solid and certainly worth checking out of the in area.

 1,458 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
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 Gkruszewski
4.56/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Stevedore
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of puftdank
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.69/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 721 characters

Photo of mecmd
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

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The Reservoir / Big Tree Brewing Company in Waterbury, VT
Brewery rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 15 ratings
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