’Tis the season for hitting the slopes, followed by craft cocktails and Vermont’s finest lagers. Don’t worry if you’re not so into the whole skiing thing though, since après life is open to all in these parts.
Considering that Vermont (home of the Green Mountains) has the kind of powder that skiers and snowboarders live for in New England, there are great expectations for happy hour post-run options. Luckily, they don’t disappoint.
With multiple ski-in, ski-out resorts such as Stowe, Mount Snow, Jay Peak, Okemo, and Smuggler’s Notch, to name a few, there are countless cozy places to imbibe. Whether you’re going for casual light bites and brews or a fancy afternoon meal by a roaring fire, you can find it all in Vermont.
Mulligan’s (Stratton Mountain)
Mulligan’s is one of the first places you hear about whenever you ask anyone where to après ski after a day of shredding in Stratton. Imagine a non-assuming watering hole in a beautiful slopeside village and then add a classic American menu to the mix and you have an instant winner.
It’s upscale without being pretentious, and the extensive wine and ale list are what keep loyal fans coming back—that and the house specialty of hot four-onion soup with gruyere cheese.
As far as the rest of the menu goes, there are plenty of options to appeal to all palates, such as grilled cheese and nuggets for kids or a lobster roll and fried oysters for adults. The poutine with locally-made Vermont cheese curds is always a hit to start off the meal.
Afterward, you can wash everything down with one of the after-dinner dessert cocktails because warming up before heading back out into the cold is the best way to cap off a meal.
The Roost (Stowe)
Topnotch Resort’s lobby bar and restaurant, The Roost, is always a good time. Once 4 p.m. rolls around, it’s filled to the brim with locals and tourists relaxing after a long day of crushing trails at Stowe Resort.
Inside you can find the bar conveniently located next to the shuffleboard table, along with oversized couches perfect for sinking into with a plate house-brined wings, fried burrata, or sweet potato hummus. It also offers an outdoor “patio living room” with even more seating under the pergola, next to the fire pit, or over by the bocce court and reflecting pool.
Just make sure you don’t leave without sampling the famed “Mr. Figgy” libation (made with fig, maple-infused bourbon, and a slice of Vermont maple-caramelized bacon) or Stowe’s beloved craft beer with a cult following, Heady Topper from The Alchemist, one of the top breweries to visit in all of Vermont.
Roaring Brook Umbrella Bar (Killington)
Après doesn’t get much better than in the middle of the action at Roaring Brook Umbrella Bar in Killington. Located at the base of the Superstar trail, it’s the perfect meeting spot because there’s no missing the giant yellow umbrellas.
With a rowdy German beer garden vibe and a cozy heated floor, you can easily spend the afternoon (or entire day) here, especially given the fun atmosphere and opportunities to make a million new friends. The bar is also known for its killer Bloody Marys and super friendly staff.
Since the ski season at Killington is one of the longest in the area, once spring skiing season arrives you'll find grilled food and live music at the Umbrella Bar to complement your between-slopes visit.
Cuzzins Bar & Grill (Mount Snow Resort)
Refuel after a morning on Mount Snow at Cuzzins. Open daily for lunch, it has microbrews aplenty on tap, burgers, wraps, and sandwiches (plus mountainous salads) coming out of the kitchen, and a party scene so epic, saying goodbye is almost impossible at the end.
Start with the Angus Steak chunky chili, followed by the grilled mahi-mahi sandwich (with lemon dill mayo, french fries, and a garlic dill pickle), and don’t forget the libations; you can’t go wrong with a von Trapp Pilsner, Champlain Cider, or Mount Snow IPA.
There’s even live music on the weekends and holiday weeks (local favorite Bruce Jacques is a regular). Basically, no trip to Mount Snow is complete without coming here.
Tom’s Loft Tavern (Okemo Mountain Resort)
When you want a chill spot with affordable prices, huge portions, juke-box tunes, and low-fuss good eats, head to Tom’s Loft Tavern. In fact, Tom’s is so popular, the only downside is being able to find a parking spot. Luckily, it’s within walking distance of the base at Okemo Resort. It's easy to spot the signature sign out front that reads “Home of warm beer, lousy food, and grumpy owner," so you'll know you've found the right place.
Don’t be fooled by the "lousy food" advertisement though. The nachos, poutine, and Reuben sandwich are all hits here, and the owner, Tom, smokes his own meat. It also has a variety of options of local draft beers for adults and a game area for kids, so guests of all ages stay entertained at Tom's.