First Chair, Last Call
After a long day on the slopes, there are few things more satisfying than sitting in a comfy chair with a frosty beverage. “Aprés,” as the tradition is known, is an opportunity to decompress and recall the day’s excitement while nursing your tired limbs with alcohol and gluttonous appetizers that you might feel guilty about ordering in any other scenario. But you’re supposed to be on vacation, and you just got done working your tail off; you earned it. Whether you’re skiing Bridger or Big Sky, you won’t need to travel far to find your own ideal aprés scene.
Grizzly Ridge: “The Griz,” as it’s known by locals, is the sometimes-too-conveniently-located watering hole between Bridger Bowl’s base area and the parking lot. Walking into the Griz is like stepping into a time machine — the beer and pizza prices are reminiscent of the 90s and, if you have too much fun, you might time-travel into the next day.
Bozeman Taproom: If craft beverages are your thing, check out the Bozeman Taproom for an aprés session. Located on the route from Bridger back to Downtown Bozeman, this pub always has dozens of draft beer, wine and ciders on tap. They also specialize in craft sausages, and the build-your-own option is substantial enough to satisfy any appetite until dinner.
Scissor Bill’s Saloon: Finish your day on the Andesite side of Big Sky Resort, make Silver Knife your last run, and you’ll ski right to “Scissy B’s” back door. This slope-side saloon is known for having great aprés entertainment and even better nachos. There’s also a ski shop downstairs, Lone Mountain Sports, so you can get your skis tuned while you do the same.
Gallatin Riverhouse Grill: There aren’t many ski-town bars like the Riverhouse. This spacious roadhouse is ideal for big groups looking for an aprés experience with entertainment for the whole family. The Riverhouse has a sunny deck that overlooks a well-populated winter elk habitat and has enough games to keep any kid busy for an eternity. It’s also the best BBQ joint in Big Sky, so you can go there for aprés and stay for dinner.