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Brewster River Pub and Brewery

4087 Route 108, Jeffersonville
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 Known to most as simply “Brewster’s,” this place is the platonic ideal of a ski town pub. Located in a shopworn (and partially under reconstruction) building on the access road to Smuggler’s Notch, often crowded, packed with excited locals and hungry visitors, there’s a charm to the joint that’s hard to pin down.

Maybe it’s the burgers, of which there are many options, including the Godzilla Burger, made with pastrami, pulled pork, brisket, pork roll, smoked bacon, a fried egg, hashbrowns, and two types of cheeses. Maybe it’s the barbecue, which includes St. Louis-style ribs, and pulled pork slathered in a geographically-appropriate maple BBQ sauce.

Maybe it’s the beer selection, which includes selections from Vermont brewers such as Fiddlehead and Rock Art, as well as a few rotating taps of their own brews, including Da Juice, a 7.1 percent IPA that is every bit as juicy and cloudy as its name suggests.

Or maybe it’s the people – a rowdy and devoted collection of regulars and locals who decamp after a long day of patrolling or lift tending to grab some beers with friends and trade tales of derring-do and one-upmanship. Smuggs is a serious mountain for serious skiers and riders, and the people who have made that mountain their home tend to be more skilled, more daring, and more likely swap stories about terrain hiked or cliffs hucked.

Don’t dawdle at the mountain and get to Brewster’s relatively early and you’re more likely to get a table right away. Order a peel-and-eat artichoke to share with the table, choose four beers for your sampler tray, and settle in for your corner of the conversation everyone is having in one way or another: how awesome it is to ski Smuggler’s Notch.

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