As much as I was determined to stay faithful to June mountain and not have as much fun at Mammoth as I usually have at June (I mean, I still wanted to have fun, I was just going to make sure that it was not equal or greater to the fun at June), I failed. Despite all of that determination, I enjoyed 3 solid days of skiing, and got the chance to explore a mountain that has much more terrain than the one to which I had become accustomed.
Was the tree skiing as good? No, but it was also spring. Do I plan to go back to June next year? Most likely, but I might also plan a weekend at Mammoth (we’ll see come winter where my allegiance lies). What I had not been prepared for were two local businesses that we visited on our way out of town, that make me want to go back (after all, they claim to be open until July 4).
We happened upon these businesses because on the lift one member of our group commented on the skis of his lift companion. He had not seen anything like them on the mountain, and the lift rider offered his card and an invitation to tour the facility that makes the skis.
Since we had not done much exploration of the village, we decided to check out this ski place on our way out of town. However, we arrived, and they were not open until 11. It was 10:50. Not wanting to sit around and wait (I guess we can be impatient), we noticed, “hey look! It’s right next door to a microbrew with beer tasting!”. So we went in (after all, it was almost lunch).
I had heard of Mammoth Brewing Company (awesome local business #1), but had never been, and the tasting was only $4 for either 7 of their regular beers or 4 of their premium, higher alcohol content beers (once back home, one of my friends told me that the tastings used to be free, but I’m not sure of the validity of that, either way, I thought $4 was not bad).
My favorite? The IPA 395.
I am quite partial to IPAs, and this one had a great earthy flavor and is made with sage and mountain juniper. (Tastes that really come through, which was unique to me with an IPA).
Peter liked the Fire & Eisbock. I forget his “notes” on the beer, but my favorite part about it was the hand painted bottle. It is really pretty.
I also really enjoyed the root beer (non-alcoholic). Unfortunately, they only sold it in growler form, which might have been reasonable, had we already owned a growler, but we live far away, out of their distribution area, so we didn’t bring home any $17 root beer to share (I think it was $9 for the growler and $8 to fill it with root beer).
After tasting, we headed over to the ski shop, Community Skis (awesome local business #2), but were confronted with this sign:
While all agreeing that this guy has the best job ever (testing skis and office located in key spot next to a brewery?!), we were a bit disappointed.
We decided to check out the rest of the main drag, and luckily, by the time we came back, Mike was just getting back from the slopes. He gave us a tour and told us about how they make the skis and the different types of wood and materials used. It was when he mentioned that this was actually a new space, and that they previously worked out of a trailer off of 395 that an old memory stirred.
I had read about them before, but instead of being called “Community Skis” they were “333 Skis”. They made reasonably priced custom skis based on the terrain and your abilities. You can even go to a workshop to make your own skis! Mike was really nice and talked to us about his business and plans for soon making snow boards and having a fleet of demos of for people to use.
So, there you have it. I did actually enjoy myself at Mammoth, and I have 2 reasons to go back 1) delicious beer and 2) the chance to demo some awesome skis (and maybe someday make my own?)