Whitefish Mountain Resort

Whitefish: the land of the good, cheap beer

Your guide to apres at Whitefish Mountain Resort


Whitefish apres spots
The poster says it all.
Photo courtesy of DOC POW/SnowSeekers

WHITEFISH, MT — As Canadians, we value our beer. I’d say it’s a part of our national heritage. It's a big topic of conversation when we calculate our travel success, wanting to be that guy with the legendary story of scoring a beer for $1 down in Mexico or free beer in Vegas (if you are sitting at those high rollers tables). But you don’t have to travel that far to score liquid gold at a great price - and even better - it’s a destination that features a kick ass ski hill.

Whitefish, Montana (about a five hour drive south of Calgary), has a few hot spots that can wet the whistle. I thought I’d share a few that I discovered during a recent visit with my buddies Curt Derbyshire and Paul Dalhouse as part of our Whitefish Winter Carnival adventures.

Really, this poster says it all. $5 pitchers for après ski…when do we leave?! And it’s great tasting beer, too. The Great Northern Brewing Company is right in downtown Whitefish; a fully functional brewery making stellar craft beers and it features an on-site pub, too. The Northern also played host to the “Black Star Beer Barter”, happening directly after the big Whitefish Winter Carnival parade.

The annual barter features a host of contestants on stage making their “offer” - a special skill or completing a dare - to a selection of celebrity judges (Warren Miller’s Andy Mahre and Lynsey Dyer) in competition for the grand prize.  Hilarity ensued with everyone from line dancers, to artists, to fire jugglers; think America’s Got Talent brought to you by a brewery.

A great place to brew great beers

Minott Wessinger, founder of Black Star Beer, was looking to start his own brewery and settled on Whitefish for its home. “We have the best hops, best water and of course the best community all right here,” Wessinger said.

Those of you who have experienced Whitefish in the past know the value of the Bierstube (aka The Stube), right at the base of the ski resort. The $9 pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon is only one reason to visit; this character-filled room is full of incredible stories that the locals are only too happy to share - just ask them why there are three monkeys over the bar…

Whitefish apres spots
The Bierstube – aka The Stube is a solid après spot full of character.
Photo courtesy of DOC POW/SnowSeekers

Back in town, be sure to hit up The Craggy Range for live entertainment.  The BullDog Saloon is another legendary spot and if all this doesn’t keep you busy enough, across the street is the Great Northern Bar & Grill.  Wait until you see the inside of this place, again another signature character filled room that can only be found in Whitefish.

Let’s face it, we all want to come home with epic stories after our adventures on the slopes, and one of the least common stories I hear from my crew is “you wouldn’t believe the price of beer!” However, in Whitefish, this is no longer a tall tale, you will still have lots of cash left over for another lift ticket in the morning - the trick is to make sure you maximize that ticket and stay away from the beer flu!

Have some other suggestions while in Whitefish for après or nightlife options that are not to miss? Let’s hear ‘em in the comments below.

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