The Alchemist Pub & Brewery

The Alchemist Pub & BreweryThe Alchemist Pub & Brewery
The Alchemist Pub & BreweryThe Alchemist Pub & Brewery
Brewery, Bar, Eatery

23 S Main St
Waterbury, Vermont, 05676-9003
United States

// CLOSED //

Notes: The brewpub at 23 S Main St has closed permanently. All beers are now brewed at the cannery, now called "The Alchemist."
View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews by Brad007:
Photo of Brad007
5/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I was very happy with the service at the Alchemist. The guy behind the bar was very helpful and even asked me what my favorite type of beer was before recommending their Heathen IPA. The beer was excellent and because the service and atmosphere were so good, I stayed longer than I had planned. Appetizer was a cheese dip made with their Lightweight ale, reduced with cheddar cheese and served with pretzel bits. Delicious and I ended up ordered more of the pretzel bits so the cheese would not go to waste. Spotted both John and Jennifer Kimmich along with their young child. I almost shook John's hand but opted not to be a fanboy here.

Still, a fantastic experience coupled with great beer, a great appetizer and friendly service. Not to mention, a Red Sox-Orioles game in which the Sox won 13-4.

I'll definitely be coming back to the Alchemist for sure. Well worth the drive.

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Brad007 from Vermont, May 12, 2007
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.

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UncleJimbo from Massachusetts, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Digimaika2
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.

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Digimaika2 from Ontario (Canada), Oct 17, 2011
Photo of papat444
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.

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papat444 from Quebec (Canada), Oct 09, 2011
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!

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brewdan from Michigan, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
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.

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johnnnniee from New Hampshire, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of steelerguy
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.

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steelerguy from New York, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of FeloniousDrunk
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.

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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.

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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.

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Reagan1984 from Massachusetts, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of jale
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped by here while on an awesome road trip with my greatest of friends(Eric).
Service was perfect from the minute we walked in. Great selection of well crafted beers really hit the spot after a long day of driving. Hats off to John for these fine brews. People in Vermont take the quality of food serious and this place is no different. Some of the best food I have enjoyed at any brewery. If you like dill pickles, these are a must have. Prepared in a special way I have not tasted anything like this. Red beans and rice with tofu was simply amazing. Then there is Jen. What a wonderful host she was making this stop a place I will return whenever I'm in the area.

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jale from Michigan, May 31, 2011
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Final stop in the Hill Farmstead, Warren Store (Lawsons), and Alchemist trip, and definitely a great way to end it. Aside from waiting much longer than initially quoted (we think they forgot about us), the rest of the experience was excellent.
The atmosphere was way cool, with tons of interesting local artwork surrounding the place, cool lighting, and cool color scheme.
The overall quality of everything was excellent. The waitstaff was pretty knowledgeable of specials and the origin of where all of the local ingredients came from. Everything on the menu is sourced from local farms so its as fresh as you could possibly ask for.
The beer selection was great, covering most bases you may want including a wild, several reds, an ipa, pale, wit, and a porter. Aside from the much anticipated hoppy brews, the Petit Mutant was phenomenal, and a much appreciated surprise. The food menu was fairly simple, but what we ordered was excellent. The burger on foccacia with spicy ketchup was cooked perfectly (with local beef), and my girlfriend got the pulled pork sandwich which was also very nice, tender and spicy.
To top it all off, most pints were $4, which you cant beat. The only one that topped that was the Petit @ $5, which i didnt argue about at all.
Overall the experience was great, and couldnt have asked for much more. Great job guys!

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Kkottonmouthkngz from Massachusetts, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of ElGallo
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I have been to The Alchemist three times and have thoroughly enjoyed every experience. The bartenders are friendly, funny, knowledgeable, and sometimes run for political office :)

The food is excellent for a brewpub, with lots of local, organic flavor in every dish. I highly recommend whatever the daily special is, because I've had great luck with them.

While John has become famous for Heady Topper, his overall beer portfolio is very good, with faves like Farmer's Daughter Saison, Petit Mutant (an American wild ale with cherries) and Holy Cow IPA keeping me satisfied. Lots of solid, safe options for noobs, but always one high-end offering for the geeks, which is a great model.

Overall, it's the people that make this place great. Locals and tourists who come here are chill, smart, friendly, and make the experience memorable. There's often a wait for a dinner table, but you've got great beer to drink while waiting, so there's no hassle. Can't wait for Heady Topper in cans - a brilliant business move in my opinion.

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ElGallo from New Hampshire, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of greenmonstah
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

What a treat. Decided to take a day trip to Waterbury to visit the pub and taste the glory of Heady Topper. It was well worth it. And on top of that, I got to try the also-brilliant Beelzebub and a very tasty cask-conditioned Farmer's Daughter Saison. What an exceptional selection of beers. In addition to the awesome beer there was some really delicious food. Pretzel fondue that was devoured in seconds by the table. Then of course I had my customary burger, which was amazing. My second favorite brew-pub burger, second only to the Deschutes Elk burger. The pub is in a cute little building on the main drag in the tiny Waterbury town center. We arrived about 10 minutes before open, only to find a line was forming outside, which was surprising to see (but less so when you consider the HT was tapped just a few days before and was very fresh). Heading inside we found the building to be pretty darn cool inside. A pool table is present in one corner. The pub filled up within 15 minutes, and every table was taken within 5. Skiers from nearby mountains were coming in, still partially decked out in their gear. Service was good, and the server was friendly. Overall one of the best brewery restaurants around, and a real can't miss.

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greenmonstah from New Hampshire, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of hoponit
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited here as part of recent ski trip. Truth be told, the ski trip was partly built around the greater Waterbury beer scene!
Was very impressed with all aspects of The Alchemist, but first and foremost with the beer. All of the sampled styles were well executed. The knowledgeable and enthusiastic bartender was a wonderful guide to the beers (as well as the food).

As a hophead I was more than impressed that there were 3 different IPAs available. Holy Cow, the closest to a session beer of the 3, was my favorite. The others, Focal Banger and Heady Topper were close behind but didn't have the aggressive floral nose of the Holy Cow. That said, I eagerly await the arrival of the HT in cans.

As one hopes and often expects with a good brewpub the food was excellent. The sausage plate, the pickle plate, and a roasted red pepper soup were standouts.

I do want to comment on the decor: It was refreshing to be in a place that is tv-free. Instead there is a large selection of works by local artists on display.

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hoponit from New York, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of gtn80
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ate dinner and had some beers here on Saturday night, March 26.

We planned on eating dinner at the Alchemist because I really wanted to try Heady Topper. Upon arriving at seven pm we checked in with the hostess who told us it would be an hour and a half for a table. While longer than we wanted to wait, it is a small place, and very busy, so we put our name on the list and took a spot at the bar.

The beer list was around eight or nine beers deep that night. We tried all but two (the porter and the light) and each was exceptional. The breadth of the brewer's ability is ridiculous, from a world class IPA to a world class Wit to a world class Saison. He even had a sour made with local cherries that was incredible. Not something you see at the average brewpub.

The food was great, and alot of it was local. Our table was ready at 8:25, an hour and twenty five minutes. Apparently the hostess really knows her restaurant.

The service was tremendous, very knowledgeable, and almost excited to serve the beer. The beers were almost all $4 for a 12oz pour, which is incredibly reasonable for a pub with such a reputation.

The decor is pretty crazy, but really cool. Just a great experience all around.

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gtn80 from Maine, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of mavbrew
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped by yesterday (after hitting up Hill Farmstead). It was about 5pm and the place was already jam packed but by being at the right place at the right time we were able to snag 2 bar seats.

The bartenders were very friendly and prompt, the atmosphere is great, good music placing constantly and of course the beer was delicious.

I found the prices to be very reasonable, the beer wasn't more than $5 for whatever you got (even cask) and the food was good and on the cheaper side as well. If you're in the area, definitely make a stop, it's worth it.

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mavbrew from Massachusetts, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of berley31
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Dropped in on an early Friday afternoon on a recent trip to Vermont. The place was already starting to get busy, but luckily we snagged a couple of seats at the bar.

Dark, high-ceilinged place. Fairly good number of tables aside from bar-seating, with a pool table near the back. Very nice spot. Ten of their beers on tap, 5 that are staples, and 5 that rotate. I had the Sterk Wit, Revitilization Rye, and the acclaimed Heady Topper. All were excellent. My wife and I split an order of frites and a sandwich, which were both very tasty.

Our bartender was friendly and prompt, without being especially engaging. He seemed to have more of a rapport with the regulars, but I guess that's to be expected. I probably just got a bit spoiled with the friendliness of the guys at the Three Penny in Montpelier.

Either way, a great spot with fantastic beers and tasty food. Definitely a must-stop if you're in the area.

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berley31 from New Brunswick (Canada), Mar 17, 2011
Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I had been looking forward to visiting this place for a long time, and a weekend ski trip to Sugarbush finally put me in the area.

Came in around 5 on a Friday afternoon and the place was already buzzing. Tables were full, bar seats were occupied, but there were a few spots on the rail that ran parallel to the bar. Mix of locals, skiers, hippies, and some middle-aged beer tourists like me. Great vibe.

Didn't take long for one of the 'keeps to spot my thirsty wife and I. Fortunately, my visit coincided with the much-hyped Heady Topper being available, and it didn't disappoint. IMO, it belongs in the same league as world-class DIPA's like Pliny the Elder and FFF Dreadnaught. Amazing beer. My wife is a marginal craft drinker and even she thought it was amazing. Also had a solid porter and their "regular" IPA which is terrific in its own right.

Managed to snag a few seats at the bar in a few minutes after arriving. Amazed with the friendliness & high level of service from the staff...or maybe I've just gotten too used to the shitty service at Boston-area beer bars?

We split a few pizzettes and brushetta - top notch and obviously used fresh ingredients. Pricing for everything was very reasonable...all beers were $4, food was comparable to other places in the Valley.

I really can't level enough compliments on this place. A destination in itself for any beer lover in the northeast.

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SunDevilBeer from Massachusetts, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of sholland119
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

We were very excited to make this our first stop in Vermont. we have long looked forward to our visit here.

We arrived promptly at the 4om opening and got three seats at the end of the ling spacious bar. There was a good sized dining room to the left of the bar. Good thing we got here early as by 6pm the place was jam packed. The vibe was very nice except for the one very drunk couple who took up residence next to and behind us toward the end. The staff was very friendly and made us comfortable from the get go.

There were about 9 beers on tap on our visit. Regrettably, Heady Topper was not one of them. But the Crusher was a nice consolation prize, as were Pappy's Porter and Secret Stash. We tried samplers of everything else, without a dud in the bunch.

Food was very nice. We enjoyed a nice local cheese plate and an andouille panini that was quite good. Looking forward to our next visit.


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sholland119 from Pennsylvania, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of SkunkWorks
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I was fortunate enough to visit the Alchemist during a trip for Valentine's Day weekend with my girlfriend, so we made it there twice during that weekend. I found myself saying "Damn, I wish we had a place like this locally!" more than once.

Standing outside of the Alchemist, you can already get a feel for how cool it is. Their logo sits in the window, with what seems to be a hand painted fermentation tank behind it, a British pub inspired sign hangs above the door, and an ice sculpture of the Heady Topper logo is acting as the bouncer out front.

Inside, it was a bit crowded but not so much as to be a detriment. Can you really blame a lot of people from going to the Alchemist? I can't. You can sit at the bar or wait a good deal of time for a table, or do what we did and put your name in for a table and drink the time away at the bar. There is art from local artists all over the walls and it is all very interesting to look at. There are sculptures of all kinds around too. I particularly loved this big glass piece, that might've been a light of some kind, that looked like a group of mushrooms.

At times I felt I had stumbled down the rabbit hole and ended up in Wonderland.

The music is fairly low and just seemed to be beats. My girlfriend didn't like that but I kind of did. It seemed to be less intrusive into your conversations than music would've been and still provided the effect of dampening out the noise of the bar.

The place is fairly dimly lit and the reddish brown walls add to that effect. I really liked it. I mean, who wants a brightly lit bar? Not me.

The service is also quite good. The bartenders are quite attentive despite how busy they were. They also had no issue remembering my name once we started a tab. They also receive extra points because they seemed quite proud of the beer they were pouring. Once we were sitting, it was a little slow... but that was fine by me. It gave you plenty of time to sit and enjoy your meal and beer and not feel rushed. The hostess was also very nice.

For selection, I'm not going to judge this against other beer bars since its a brew pub and so they just have what they have. They did hit a good number of different styles with their menu and that's to be applauded. Their menu is also quite good. You can check out their menu online, but it hits the basic bar food needs and also is a bit creative in places.

The food was very good. I had a side of fries while waiting at the bar and they have a unique taste to them that I really enjoyed. Once we were sitting, I had a special for the night, which was a beef tenderloin and a loaded baked potato. My girlfriend got sweet potato fries and a salad of some kind. We both loved our food. Its making me hungry just thinking about it. My recommendation is to go with the sweet potato fries... they are so much better than the regular fries!

As for the beer, what else can you say? Amazing! I had at least a sample of everything on the menu and pints of 7 of the beers. Each one is a great example of the style. Heady Topper was being poured but not listed on the menu and you should've seen how excited the bartender was when I asked for it. The Imperial Stout is amazing, the porters were both incredible (especially Pappy's Secret Stash... its unfair this isn't bottled or canned), the saisons were solid. Everything was great. It was great to see that a place's beer lived up and exceeded the hype. The Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup awards hanging behind the bar were all well deserved!

Really, what more can you ask for than that? World class beer with excellent food and a cool atmosphere? The Alchemist is an amazing place and locals who get to come here at will do not know how lucky they are. As someone who one day hopes to open a brew pub, this is pretty much exactly what I've always dreamed of opening. This place is great and I highly recommend it. If you live locally, what are you waiting for? If you dont, it is definitely worth a trip. I wish I had a week to spend drinking at the Alchemist! Cheers!

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SkunkWorks from New York, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of antsinthepants
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The Alchemist embodies everything great about New England. It's eclectic and original; in tune with the past but still creative. Every time I've come here, I have been impressed with the beer and food. I love the atmosphere: Relaxed, conversational, sharp. The beer menu is calculated to include the house brews (including cask style), a solid hard cider, a nitro-pour stout and more. Beer lovers will find something in either summer or winter.

The bartenders and the patrons all took their time bragging about the virtues of the local craft and what it meant to them as Vermonters or New Englanders. Come to think of it, I wasn't the only beer nerd with a beard and flannel ranting about civic pride.

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antsinthepants from Connecticut, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of BeerMaverick
5/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is by far the best bar that I have been to. Drove 3.5 hrs just for this place because I read so many good reviews. The bartenders and crowd were extremely sociable, knowledgeable, and nice. It was extremely crowded, but my girlfriend and I got lucky that two people were leaving and gave us their seats at the bar. Unfortunately we did not eat there (although we heard great things) because we ate at American Flatbread in Burlington (fantastic - read review).

I really wanted the famed Heady Topper, but it was not available (coming out in 3 weeks - just missed it!!). The bartenders provided me with a VITAL piece of info however...starting in june of this year Heady Topper will be available in cans to take home at The Alchemist and it's local beer stores!!!

I tried The Crusher which I was told is very similar to the Heady was easily the best DIPA I've ever had at a whopping 140 IBUs (I was told 140 by the bartender although on the menu it just says "a lot of IBUs"). Extremely tasty.

I also tried Pappy's Secret Stash...easily the best porter I've ever had. It smells like a milk shake... I can only compare it to Stone's Russian Imperial Stout, but Secret Stash is wayyyy better.

Overall, I only had two beers and they were the two best beers of those styles that I've ever had so....more than deserving of A+.

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BeerMaverick from Connecticut, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of vdoz3
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I made a point of taking the half hour drive from Burlington to The Alchemist during a recent visit after hearing all the praise for Heady Topper. They were out of the famed DIPA but I had a great night nonetheless.
The dredded Joel was working behind the bar and what a guy! Glad to explain the workings of the portions ("12 oz only" beer doesn't mean I can't get a 4oz sample glass!), and really into the place, Joel was happy to help me sort my way through the beer menu. I couldn't appreciate his advice more (I wouldn't've gotten to the delicious Wabbit otherwise), and I could tell he really enjoyed what he was doing when he fiddled around with a magnum flashlight, cracking it open and pointing it directly into my glass of Beelzebub stout - just to show off how pitch black said stout really is.
The laid back atmosphere fits its role as a great local place. The food is also proudly local, and if you have a chance to try anything with their house mustard, do it immediately. It's a really nice honey-mustard...that's as spicy as any you'll find in a Chinese restaurant.

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vdoz3 from Vermont, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of GatheringBrews
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Another of our favorite places, the food is exceptional and a great value. We go whenever we get a chance, and we're in the area.

The beer selection is usually a nice range of styles and tastes, and on special occasions, like the fifth anniversary party, it can get fairly crazy with unique brews.

Atmosphere is super comfortable and easy-going.

Split restaurant and bar area can be pretty crowded and busy, so get there early.

The food is outstanding, and chef Jeff regularly just knocks it out of the park with in-house smoked meats, scratch-made sauces (the habanero dipping sauce is amazing) and locally-sourced foods.

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The Alchemist Pub & Brewery in Waterbury, VT
Brewery rating: 0 out of 5 with 0 ratings