Beer has long been the standard après ski drink, and seemingly every ski town has a microbrewery or two. The micro-distillery is slowly infiltrating mountain towns and taking over for the microbrewery as the hippest place to grab a fresh, local libation after a hard day on the slopes. You can get both your thighs and chest burning in many major ski towns.
High West Distillery & Saloon, Park City, Utah
High West Distillery hit the scene in 2007 with a couple of interesting distinctions. It was the first distillery in the infamously restrictive state of Utah since the 1800s and the only ski-in gastro-distillery in the world. Located right off the Quittin’ Time run at Park City Mountain Resort, High West is a natural way to end the ski day. Its whiskies will make men out of boys (21 +-year-old boys, of course) and kick any party night off right. You’ll also find fresh-distilled vodkas.
Visit: High West Distillery
Montanya Distillers, Crested Butte, Colorado
Few locations are at such thoroughly opposite ends of the spectrum as the balmy, fruity-drink-tipping beach-paradises of the Caribbean and the spiked, snow-slammed peaks of southwestern Colorado. Luckily for rum lovers, Montanya Distillers melds those two worlds. Founded in Silverton in 2008, and relocated to Crested Butte in 2011, Montanya offers award-winning light and dark rums. It has tasting rooms in both Crested Butte and Silverton.
Visit: Montanya Distillers
Breckenridge Distillery, Breckenridge, Colorado
Variety is the cornerstone of Breckenridge Distillery. Its product line is a lush’s smorgasbord – whiskey, vodka, bitters, spiced rum and more. Breckenridge offers tours of its 4,000-square-foot Airport Road distillery and a tasting room right in the heart of town.
Visit: Breckenridge Distillery
Green Mountain Distillers, Stowe, Vermont
Stowe is home to some of North America’s most famous eastern skiing and one of the more famous distilleries that side of the Rockies. Not only will you find organic gin and vodka, but Green Mountain offers what it classifies as the world’s only organic maple liqueur. A buzzy, little taste of Vermont, Green Mountain’s maple liqueur is made from locally-sourced organic maple syrup – like breakfast in a bottle. Green Mountain doesn’t appear to have a tasting room, but it does schedule tours.
Visit: Green Mountain Distillers
Okanagan Spirits, Kelowna, BC
Big White may not be the home of BC’s most famous skiing, but it is home to deep powder and the snow ghosts that inspired the title of this article. From Aquavit, to Absinthe, and on to more traditional liquors like single-malt whisky and brandy, Okanagan offers something for every spirit palate. It hosts tours and tastings.
Visit: Okanagan Spirits