Photo courtesy of Mastic Trail Brewing.

A business trip south of the equator inspired Ben Williams to open Mastic Trail Brewing in Glenshaw.

Enchanted by the scenery, but unimpressed by the local suds, Williams, a longtime homebrewer and former CFO, vowed to make better beverages in a tropical atmosphere.

“I love the Caribbean Islands,” he says. “I thought it would be great to have a place where people can go and feel like they’re on vacation for a few hours.”

In January, he purchased Moose Lodge 46 at 1044 Saxonburg Blvd., and began transforming the 7,000-square-foot building into a tropical oasis named after a 10-mile scenic pathway on Grand Cayman Island.

Photo courtesy of Mastic Trail Brewing.

Surf’s up for a soft opening on July 3 followed by a grand opening on July 11. Continue to ride the wave Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 5 to 9 p.m., Friday 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.

The epoxy floor is painted to look like the beach, complete with rippling ocean waves and coral reefs. The main cabana bar is accented with sand, seashells and LED lights and a 125-inch projector screen features a constant loop of colorful fish and dazzling sunsets (and Pittsburgh sports teams, once they’re back in action). The rear of the building, where the brewing equipment is set up, looks like a dock and is anchored by an enormous U-shaped bar. A small merchandise area, dubbed The Crow’s Nest, will sell T-shirts and even Speedos emblazoned with the Mastic Trail Brewery logo.

Mastic Trail boasts 20 taps that, once the brewing system is set up, will pour a variety of beer crafted on-site, locally made ciders and seltzers and tropical cocktails. Rum flights (served on tiny surf boards) and non-alcoholic beverages also will be available. Like a concierge at a beachfront hotel, Director of Hospitality Operations Ryan Dodge will make sure your stay is enjoyable.

The kitchen, helmed by former Legume Chef Justin Lewis, will dish out authentic Caribbean fare such as jerk chicken and fish tacos. Customers can eat and drink while playing pool, bingo, shuffleboard and pinball. There’s plenty of room inside, but Williams wants to add outdoor seating behind the building, overlooking Little Pine Creek.

On your way out the door and back to reality, grab cans, crowlers and growlers of your favorite beers as a souvenir.

When you buy a blonde ale, a portion of the money will go to the Moose, whose members continue to hold meetings and fundraisers at the location. Williams, a Glenshaw resident, joined the venerable organization when he bought the building and hopes to breathe new life into it.

“It’s important to me to give back to the community,” he says. “We anticipate being able to help out other local charities.”

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.