For better beer – Words and images by Mike V. Sardina
Go Back to Blackback
Having spent some time visiting Waterbury, Vermont, it’s par-for-the-course to say that I’ve been to Blackback Pub. Lynn Mason and David Juenker—two of the most genuinely nice people around, folks who are overly passionate about all-things-beer—own this joint, tucked away in a corner basement on Main Street. The Pub is located across the street from where Prohibition Pig currently sits, where the old Alchemist pub existed back before the devastating 2011 flood where three-feet of standing water destroyed that location.
Right there in Waterbury, Blackback Pub is a legit beer establishment, simply put.
You walk in and you’re met with an overwhelming sense of warmth, a welcome inviting space that’s full of natural airy light. Exposed brick walls, an exposed wooden ceiling, a beautiful wooden bar that stretches between the two separate rooms that make up the pub. By the time you pull up a seat at the bar, if you aren’t ready for a beer, well, why the hell are you there anyway?
The beer list is extensive, diverse, and well-curated. My go-to, must-drink beer, Hill Farmstead’s Edward is nearly always a given on draft. The barstaff break down the beer menu between “IPA” and “Not IPA,” so there’s something for everyone. And between the 30-or-so offerings, the list is split just about half and half between the two.
In addition to Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Lawson’s Finest, Zero Gravity, Foam Brewers, and other Vermont beers, there is a strong presence of imports available—classics like Rothaus Pils, Leipziger Gose, and gems from north of the border at Dieu du Ciel! They clearly know what’s what when it comes to beer.
There is a lot going on in Waterbury, too, one of the larger “towns” in the State. The aforementioned Prohibition Pig delivers on BBQ and they brew their own beer onsite. Hen of the Wood is the spot to go for a world-class dining experience. The Old Stagecoach is a hidden treasure of an Inn, and it serves perhaps the best breakfast, anywhere. There is even an American Legion (that I would highly recommend).
And even though there may be a lot going on in Waterbury, Blackback is reliable, it’s always excellent, it’s always a good place to go to and it’s always worth going back.