Blackback Pub

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

79 Reviews
Blackback PubBlackback Pub
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

1 Stowe St
Waterbury, Vermont, 05676-1820
United States

(802) 505-5115 | map
www.theblackbackpub.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by mariano42 on 05-20-2010

Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Reviews:
79
Ratings:
221
Avg:
4.49
pDev:
6.68%
 
 
Taps:
22
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 221
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

 4,458 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Abbbp
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Their food is farm to table fare, and seemed to be on the steep side, so I avoided it. But it's a must stop in this legendary beer town, the selection is sick, and true to form that what the warren store is for Lawson's, this Bar is certainly the same for Hill Farmstead. Very small, but not crowded at lumchish.

 312 characters

Photo of MerkinMan
4.66/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Comfortable beer bar in the heart of Waterbury. Great draft selection and a very helpful bartender. I would make this my first stop for beers next time in Waterbury. A much more easy-going spot than some of the others on the same street.

 237 characters

Photo of bruceb
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Great beer list and amazing food.

33 characters

Photo of CityofWind_brew
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of PHBoiler
4.58/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Well located property with a old world feel in downtown Waterbury. The taplist was impressive and diverse from difficult to find Vermont beers to Rodenbach Alexander on draft. The staff was very personable and knowledgeable. Relatively busy bar but conversation was available without screaming. Vibe was heavy with craft beer drinkers and tourists during June. Locals added to the vibe with warm conversation. Definitely a must stop.

 439 characters

Photo of lochraneg
4.58/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of reds2harleys
4.89/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Excellent place in every way. A must stop if your in VT for a Beercation. Superb beer list. Friendly staff. Tasty food. I go on one or two beer runs to VT a year and this ( along with the Pro Pig ) are must stop.

 216 characters

Photo of ScottP
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of SweetChicken
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of SpoiledInVT
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place has really turned itself around from the olden days of "drink whiskey, watch Yankees, and shut up". Beer selection features many local and delicious offerings (Hill, Lawsons, blah blah blah) as well as some great out-of-state goodies such as Almanac, Base Camp, Rodenbach, etc. Vibe is fun, tunes are great, and the décor is just wonderful. Great place to kick back and enjoy a few pints and make new friends.

 421 characters

Photo of DLSheidy
5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of jcoleMA66
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Rubin90
4.98/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Great atmosphere! Small but cozy and comfortable. The bartenders were awesome, very attentive and knowledgeable about the beer they serve. They were very generous with allowing samples. Their beer list is amazing! The best I have ever seen! I highly recommend this place to anyone visiting Waterbury.

 300 characters

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.61/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of fastestmanalive
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of AMCimpi
4.91/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Photo of junkman1
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of IckyT2012
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of Brian29
4.73/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of dljames10
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of rodmanfor3
3/5  rDev -33.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Photo of indianabeerman
4.31/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of sunofneurot
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of blisscent
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Blackback Pub in Waterbury, VT
98 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe