New Shaler business to take guests on Caribbean vacations one sip at a time -

New Shaler business to take guests on Caribbean vacations one sip at a time

Sunday, March 15, 2020 | 11:00 PM

Shaler residents and visitors now will have the opportunity to get a taste of the Caribbean without leaving the township.

The Shaler commissioners approved a site development March 11 for the tropical-themed Mastic Trail Brewing planned for the former Shaler Moose Lodge on Glenshaw’s Saxonburg Boulevard.

The location will serve Mastic Trail’s own craft beer produced on-site, in addition to other craft and commercial brews and tropical mixed drinks. Guests may feast upon jerk chicken, fish tacos and nachos with pineapples.

Ben Williams, Mastic Trail’s owner and “chief fun officer,” aims to create an atmosphere where patrons feel as though they have escaped on a vacation for a few hours.

“I especially love the island of Grand Cayman, so that’s where the name Mastic Trail comes from,” the Robinson native said. “There’s actually an old agricultural pathway, which is now a two-and a-half or three-hour nature walk on the island — the Grand Cayman. So, you can go and see Cayman parrots, Mastic trees, palm trees, orchids, tree frogs.”

Williams plans to open the front of the Mastic Trail service area first and the back half containing the beer production facility in the summer, pending the receipt of his brewery license.

“This is not going to be a nuisance bar or a late-night facility,” said Williams’ attorney Bill Rogers of Edward J. Krug and Associates. The establishment will hold the following hours: Sunday noon to 7 p.m.; Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday 4 to 10 p.m.; and Saturday noon to 10 p.m.

Williams would like to offer live calypso or other island-influenced music during the day. At this point, he only will provide indoor seating and will seek the township Planning Commission’s permission prior to adding outdoor seating.

He expects to hire 15 employees. He does not plan to distribute his Mastic Trail beer to third parties, such as grocery stores or restaurants.

“I have a really strong passion to give back to the community; I think I got that from my father, a longtime Pittsburgh Rotarian,” Williams said. The Mastic Trail CFO, who recently joined the Moose’s board, is allowing the Loyal Order of the Moose to continue meeting at his business and intends to host fundraisers for them and other community organizations.

“One of the beers that I’m producing will be named after the Moose. I am going to call it Surfing Moose and some percentage of every beer sold for that will go back (to benefit the order),” Williams said.

The commissioners passed a resolution transferring the liquor license from Coraopolis-based Chuckos Place to Mastic Trail Brewing. Commissioner James Boyle noted that he could not find a record of the former business. Township solicitor Harlan Stone said that the commissioners’ resolution is still subject to the Liquor Control Board’s approval.

“We need a place for school buses and my plow trucks there to turnaround. You’re at the end of the township, yes. Would you be willing to accommodate those?” asked Township Manager Tim Rogers.

Williams agreed to renew the Moose Lodge’s existing agreement with the township. Additionally, he will ensure that the building’s exterior lighting doesn’t migrate to neighboring areas and will upgrade the flowers near the entrance to give the area a tropical appearance.