It’s seldom a bad idea to follow a ski patroller. Be it to a powder stash about to be opened for the first time after a dump, a secret tree area that never gets skied or to the best après-ski watering hole.
All it takes is a quick ski down to just below the base village to enjoy the expansive sun deck and a tasty Maine brew.
The Brew Haus is a satellite taproom for the state’s largest microbrewery, the Shipyard Brewing Co. located in Portland. It’s been located just below the bunny slope for the better part of a decade. Locals head to this spot as it’s a hair more quiet than the bustle of the base village, and the patrollers opt for this après spot because of the mug club, an annual investment worthwhile for anyone skiing Sugarloaf for the season.
For a small annual fee, members get a fancy 20-ounce mug, and get pint prices for every refill—or, if you fancy a cocktail, you can upsize your favorite blend gratis, too.
The beers, of course, are the draw. While the Export Ale is the flagship, try a Prelude, a darker, winter pint befitting of a chilly New England afternoon. It’s also a deft companion for the Red Curry Thai dish as it’s a perfect extinguisher for the spicy flavors of the plate.
But be sure to order Prelude often in the early season, because it is brewed in limited supply for the season. “If we run out before the mountain closes, I have a lot of angry customers,” said Heidi Donovan, Shipyard’s bar manager.
There are also several rotating specialty beers available at any given time. That’s not to say Shipyard is only for beer folks. It has a sneaky good wine list—a benefit of the Shipyard also being an importer through a side company.
The food menu is simple and diverse, covering a spectrum of expected burgers, pizzas and nachos with a few notable strays from bar fare, including the spicy Thai curry and a succulent petite filet. Daily specials during the week offer hearty discounts on food and $3 pints.
The atmosphere is perfect for those looking for a little live music and a very Maine-like attitude. Not to mention, a ski patroller just might tell you about a secret stash if you fill their mug for them.