If there’s one thing skiers love almost as much as being on the hill, it’s après-ski. The French term translates directly to “after skiing,” but a loose, and perhaps more accurate, translation is “hitting the chalet for drinks and talking about snow stuff”. Like so many other parts of our lives, the après-ski scene was forced to adapt over the past two winters. But that only reminded us of something we probably knew all along: Tailgates, folding chairs, and BYOB are just as enjoyable as fireside fondue and extensive craft cocktail lists. As we adapt to the times, new rules of après-ski have come into play, making this beloved part of ski culture even better.
1. Now You Can Après All Day
Welcome to the Tailgate Bar, where the lines are non-existent, and the drinks are a fraction of the price. When you don’t have to plan your day around crowds and happy hour specials, après can quickly turn into before, during, and après-ski. Another surefire way to boost your après quotient: Ditch the booze.
“I have no time for a hangover,” says pro skier and après-ski-enthusiast Kaylin Richardson. “We came to ski, so let’s ski.”
Richardson, who happens to love craft beer, has a secret weapon when it comes to her alcohol-free approach to après: Athletic Brewing Company. The brand’s non-alcoholic craft beers pack all of the flavor and satisfaction of traditional brews with none of the downsides. Taking it easy on the all-day après means your quads will be the only thing holding you back from skiing first chair all the way to last chair.
2. Skip the Après-hension
Everyone who spends time on the slopes knows that coordinating a meet-up is more challenging to pull off than sweaty, too-small base layers. You came to the mountains to be in the mountains, not indoors, stressing about overcrowded lodges and trying to track down Kevin, who never answers his phone. So skip the social angst and meet your friends at the one place that always has plenty of space, never requires a reservation, and has an easygoing vibe—your back bumper. Bundle up, show up whenever, and hang easy. Your friends will always know where to find you (even Kevin), and a cold one will always be on hand.
3. Ditch the Highbrow Snackage
Gone are the bourgeois days of slopeside oysters, steak tartare, and canned air. Bratwurst cooked on a camp stove is pretty damn tasty and much more affordable. (Although if your tailgate game includes some of the finer things in life, hats off, my friend.) “Gimme some summer sausage, Ritz crackers, and cheddar cheese, and I’m golden,” says Richardson. “Even a deformed PB&J from my pocket is great.”
Shareable snacks that don’t break the bank are the preferred nosh of the New Age après-ski scene. Bonus points if you pack a propane grill and a cooler stocked with enough Athletic Brewing and brats to go around.
4. Turn Friendship & Laughter Up a Notch
The après-ski scene facilitates togetherness, laughter, and a chance to hear our friends’ crazy stories from the day. “Après gives us this beautiful bubble, this container of the day,” says advocate and snowboarder Dani Reyes-Acosta. “That container is community. It’s where we can see and feel why we go skiing and riding in the first place.”
So crack open your favorite Athletic Brewing brew and get ready for another embellished retelling of the most epic cliff drop ever skied. Richardson sums it up best: “Enjoying the company of the people you love who love the things you love, that’s what après is all about.”
Named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential Companies of 2022” as well as one of Fast Company’s “Brands That Matter” in 2021, Athletic Brewing Company is reimagining beer for the modern, active adult. Its great-tasting craft brews provide the refreshing taste of craft beers, without the alcohol or the hangover. As of 2022, Athletic Brewing is proudly B Corp certified. Learn more about Athletic Brewing and how its non-alcoholic brews are fit for all times.