A great ski day just isn’t complete without a great afternoon of après-ski, and New England is no exception. From award-winning distilleries to local ski town dives to craft breweries to live music venues, New England has you covered for après-ski this ski season. Below are some of the best New England aprés-ski bars.
The Best Après-Ski Bars in New England
Beginning in the Green Mountain State, look no further than Killington for both fantastic skiing and a bustling après-ski scene with options for everyone. If there’s more juice in your legs to dance after a day of skiing, then head to the Wobbly Barn, a post-ski nightclub with live music and an award-winning steakhouse. The steakhouse and bar was constructed from pieces of old barns from across New England, and true to its name, it’s known to wobble when the club music gets pumping. The live music theme continues at Pickle Barrel Nightclub. Located a half-mile from the Wobbly Barn, Pickle Barrel is huge, boasting four bars, three levels, and two stages. Over the years the venue has hosted big names such as Snoop Dogg, The Roots, and Wu-Tang Clan.
For good après-ski eats in Killington, check out Baha Burrito, Mary Lou’s, and the Rivershed. Or, for something a little bit more upscale, head into town to check out The Red Rooster and Richardson’s Tavern at The Woodstock Inn.
Near Stowe Mountain Resort, The Matterhorn Bar, consistently ranked as one of the top après-ski bars in North America, is a stellar bar for great food, great drinks, and a friendly atmosphere. The Horn, as it’s often called, has pizza, pool, and a bustling late-night party scene. Elsewhere, craft beer lovers can’t miss The Alchemist, known worldwide for its popular Heady Topper IPA brewed from a blend of six different hops.
If distilleries are more your speed, check out Smugglers’ Notch Distillery. A quick 10-minute drive from Smugglers’ Notch Resort, this distillery is a father-and-son dream come to life. Since 2006 owner Jeremy Elliott has set out to make the world’s best vodka. In 2010 they released a vodka that earned one of the highest awards a distillery can receive, a gold medal from the Beverage Testing Institute. Give it a taste and judge for yourself.
Over at Mad River Glen, Stark’s Pub has been called one of the “World’s Top Après Bars” by Men’s Journal Magazine. Named after a general from the American Revolution, this pub serves Vermont craft beer and a traditional pub-style menu. Along the walls, you’ll find the “Wall of Fame,” where photos of Mad River Glen’s iconic “Ski It If You Can” bumper stickers are displayed from around the world. A 10-minute drive away is another iconic Mad River Valley spot, The Mad Taco. Three locations across Vermont serve up some of the state’s best tacos and craft beer.
Heading South in Vermont, Stratton Mountain has a lot of great après-ski options. Known as “The Bar at the Base,” Grizzly’s is a popular spot for live music, good food, and reminiscing on the day with amazing views of the slopes. Grizzly’s large patio and après-ski vibe has earned it recognition as one of New England’s top après-ski bars; it was even named “The Most Beautifully Designed Bar” by Architectural Digest in 2018. In Stratton Village, the Green Door Pub is the spot for anyone looking for a side of games with their drinks; stop by for pool, foosball, and much more.
Don’t sleep on skiing and après-ski in Maine. At Sugarloaf, The Rack is not only considered one of the best après-ski bars in Maine, but one of the best in North America. The Rack, which lies just beyond the base of the mountain, is co-owned by professional snowboarder Seth Wescott, and serves up barbecue, beer, and a host of live music and events. It has been voted the num. 1 après-ski Bar in North America by Ski Magazine. Before it was a ski bar, the building was home to The Rack Ski Shop. Many original features, such as the boot fitting area, still remain.
Also at Sugarloaf, The Bag and Kettle has been at the base of Sugarloaf for 50 years. It has an expansive menu featuring stouts, German lagers, soups, burgers, pizza, and an impressive whiskey list. Be sure to check out their flight nights where they feature distilleries from around the world. Sunday River has its own popular Matterhorn Ski Bar just down the road from the base of the mountain. The walls of this chalet-style eatery are adorned with old skis and memorabilia. The menu is highlighted by wood-fired pizza and their own beer, aptly called The Ski Bar Beer. On the mountain, the Foggy Goggle is a classic spot for mid-day après. It’s won back-to-back Best of Bethel awards for its nachos, while also boasting a stunning view on its slope-facing deck. The Foggy Goggle is located on the upper floor of the South Ridge Lodge.
We wrap up our list of the best New England après-ski bars in New Hampshire. The Paul Bunyan Room, located on the upper level of the Octagon Lodge at Loon Mountain Resort, features a large deck and legendary beer lineup on-mountain. This makes it a convenient spot for a lunchtime beer or après sesh for skiers and riders. Down in Franconia Notch, Iron Furnace Brewing consistently rates high among après enthusiasts. After a day of skiing at Cannon Mountain, experience a barn brewery that has everything you need to unwind with good beer, good food, and good friends.
Header image: ©Stratton Mountain Resort