Guest Post: SWS Mountain Guides Rank the Top Ten Best Climber Bars in the World...Again!

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Friend Aleya after a day of ice climbing hanging out
at the Lake Placid Brewing Company in Upstate New York.
There's nothing like wrapping tired, beat-up hands around your favorite cold brew (or five) after a day of climbing. Whether you're coming straight off the boulders or off an Ecuadorian volcano, every climbing town has a collection of watering holes to choose from. Last year, the intrepid team at SWS Mountain Guides voted for their top ten favorite climber bars in a guest post. With trips throughout the United States and worldwide destinations like Argentina, Nepal, Mexico and Russia, the team of guides certainly has a handle on the best international watering holes. This year, the list is back, but you'll find it slightly changed. Some establishments improved their rankings while others fell of the list entirely.

10. The Gilded Otter, New Paltz, New York
Always a good standby for our time at the ‘Gunks.  The Gilded Otter has good handcrafted beers and righteous happy hour specials.  As always stay away on the weekends as New Paltz can get overrun by climbers from “the city." (Previous ranking, 6th.)
Guides’ Choice Brew: DusseldorfAltbier

9. Porcupine Pub and Grill, Cottonwood Heights, Utah
For a second year in a row, our list is graced by a pub from an unlikely location, Salt Lake City.  Thanks to changing liquor laws, SLC is going through a microbrew revolution.  And thanks to its 5 minute proximity to the local Wasatch mountains, the Porcupine is one of the best climber hang outs in the world. (Previous ranking, n/a.)
Guides’ Choice: Full Suspention Pale Ale

It's tough to beat the view at Dornan's. (J. Brown)
8. Dornan’s, Moose, Wyoming
With an exploding popularity in the summer time it has become hard to get a place to sit and thus has fallen to the 8 spot.  Still the winter time at Dornan’s is a quite spot shared only by avid ski mountaineers and Grand Teton NP employees.  You can view the tracks you set from the seat at the bar. (Previous ranking, 1st.)
Guides’ Choice Brew: Snake River OB-1

7. The Ram’s Head Bar, Timberline Lodge, Government Camp, Oregon
This bar located on the second floor of historic Timberline Lodge has welcomed climbers and skiers alike from the flanks of Mt Hood since 1937.  Whether it was a successful expedition or one tempered by Hood’s notoriously bad weather the Ram’s Head is a great place to recap your endeavors. (Previous ranking, 2nd.)
Guides’ Choice Brew:  Ice Axe IPA

6. The Mobile (Whoa Nelli Deli), Lee Vinning, California
Nestled just below Yosemite National Park, “The Mobile” is perhaps the only gas station in America to be featured in Gourmet Magazine.  This location overlooking Mono Lake has become a mecca for climbers retreating down from the Yosemite high country.  It has become such a famous retreat that this year it hosted a tour stop for the Baniff Film Festival.   (Previous ranking, n/a.)
Guides’ Choice Brew:  Fish Tacos and Mammoth IPA 395.

5. Micro Brasserie de Chamonix, Chamonix, France
If you have never been to Cham, there are three things you have to do when you go:  Mont Blanc, the du Midi, and the MBC.  The MBC is known for good food and handcrafted beers that can do more than hold a candle to almost any other watering hole in Europe.  Set in downtown Chamonix, the MBC is the perfect location to get beta or just decompress after a near epic. (Previous ranking, 3rd.)
Guides’ Choice Brew: Blanche des Guides

The Goat Tavern. (J. Brown)
4. The Goat Tavern, Mt Shasta, California
The Goat is always a perennial favorite with our guides.  This small town pub is filled with local climbers sharing the exploits of their day whether it be climbing or skiing on Mt. Shasta. (Previous ranking, 5th.)
Guides’ Choice Brew: Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

3. Stray Dog Brew Pub, Banos, Ecuador 
The Stray Dog is a small brew pub started by a guy from Chicago, with beer brewed across town with water from the local springs and waterfalls.  They have four or five quality beers on tap, great pub food and more.  It was our home away from home while on a little R&R after getting spanked by Ecuador's volcanoes. (Previous ranking, n/a.)
Guides’ Choice Brew: Llama’s Breath Belgium

2. West Rib Pub and Grill, Talkeetna, Alaska
The West Rib is the classic pub-and-grub for Alaska Range climbers. It hosts great selection of burgers and Alaskan micro-brews for the tired climber coming back from the flanks of Denali. Make this your first stop after returning your poop bucket to the NPS office. (Previous ranking, n/a.) 
Guides’ Choice Brew: Glacier Brewhouse Ice Axe Ale

1. Deschutes Brew Pub, Bend, Oregon
The guides have voted and there is a new champion climber bar.  Deschutes has been long known for its beer but this old pub in Bend has had an expansion and with it came a collection of beers you can only get at the brewery.  The fact that Deschutes is just a short drive from the famous Smith Rock and a half dozen Cascade volcanoes makes this the perfect après spot. (Previous ranking, n/a.)
Guides’ Choice Brew:  Chainbreaker White IPA.

Honorable Mention:  Rock City Mercentile, Alma, ID and Tom and Jerry’s Pub, Kathmandu, Nepal.

The SWS Mountain Guides team says, "If you think your favorite climbers’ establishment has been jilted, let us know.  We’ll try it out for ourselves." Did they miss any go-to climber bars? Tell us in the comments!

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