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

Near the town that plays host to the #4 watering hole! (J. Brown)
There's nothing like settling down at your favorite local bar after a near epic, or just a great day of climbing. And we've got the best local watering holes as told by a group of guides who know them all well.

In an effort to help you plan your next climbing adventure, the mountain guides of SWS scoured the world looking for good climbing and great places to enjoy a beer afterward. In their second annual "Best Climber Bars" list, they've taken it one step further to include guide's choices for best beer at each location.

Guide JB writes, "our guides have gone above and beyond on this one and we are very happy to say everyone survived rigorous testing of each bar's best brews, all in the name of bringing you our ten best bars for climbers." Here are the SWS Mountain Guides' top ten!

10. Bend Brewing Company, Bend, Oregon - A longstanding favorite in the Cascades, this frequent end-of-the-climbing-day location for Smith Rocks, the Sisters, or any of the other hundred or so options Bend has to offer. Guides' Brew Choice: Hophead Imperial IPA.

9. Tom and Jerry's Pub, Kathmandu, Nepal - Though it doesn't seem to be as popular as some pubs in Thamel, this is one of the original western pubs in Nepal. The walls are lined with historic memorabilia from climbs you may have only read about, and might even dream of doing! Guides' Brew Choice: Everest Beer.

8. Desert Edge Brewery, Salt Lake City, Utah - Beer in Utah? Isn't beer illegal in Utah? Not anymore. Back in 2009, the state passed a number of liquor law changes in an effort to make the state seem a little less...weird. If you haven't been to Utah lately, you're missing the subsequent explosion of great microbreweries. Like anything else in SLC, the Desert Edge is never more than 25 minutes from great climbing and skiing. Guides' Brew Choice: Happy Valley Hefeweizen.

7. Mongos Bar, La Paz, Bolivia - This is the place to be in La Paz after a climb in the Andes, and not just for the beer; they serve up an incredible steak as well. If you want to eat, arrive early. In South America, that means before 9pm. Guides' Brew Choice: umm, Barry still can't remember.

6. The Gilded Otter, New Paltz, New York - This is our default choice for New Paltz. You can't really go wrong with any bar in town, but the food is good and the beer is even better at the Otter. Like the Gunk themselves, make your visits midweek while most of the weekend warriors are still in "The City." Guides' Brew Choice: Dusseldorf Altbier.

5. The Goat Tavern, Mount Shasta, California - With more taps than seats, this is the best place in NorCal to have a drink after a Shasta climb. They're constantly rotating a selection of brews, but always have Guinness and PBR! For the best people-watching opportunities, sit on the deck for a perfect view of Main Street Mount Shasta. Guides' Brew Choice: Mt. High IPA.

4. The Last Bar, Railay, Thailand - While Railay gets more "touristy" and expensive every year, The Last Bar is still the ultimate haven for the dirtbag climber. It's the best bar in one of the best climbing destinations in the world. Sit on the deck over the water and enjoy a meal and a cold brew for about $3.50. Warning: the cobra show isn't for the faint of heart. Guides' Brew Choice: Anything not mixed in a bucket!

3. Micro Brasserie de Chamonix, Chamonix, France - Located in the heart of mountaineering Mecca, this pub is a local favorite. MBC has good food and handcrafted beers than can do more than hold a candle to almost any other in Europe. Set in downtown Chamonix, the MBC is the perfect location to get beta or just decompress after a near epic. Guides' Choice Brew: Blanche des Guides.

2. Ram's Head Bar, Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon - This bar is on the second floor of the beautiful historic Timberline Lodge. The lodge staff has welcomed climbers and skiers off the slopes of Mount Hood since 1937 with a warm fire, cold beer, and the best views around. Guides' Brew Choice: Ice Axe IPA.

Can't beat the views from the #1 climber bar! (J. Brown)
1. Dornan's, Moose, Wyoming - For the second year running, Dornan's inside Grand Teton National Park tops the list as our favorite apres climbing bar in the world. With close proximity to the Tetons and the panoramic views, climbers and skiers can pick out lines while downing pints. The view is still "an Ansel Adams with an IPA." Guides' Brew Choice: Snake River Lager.

Don't agree with what JB and the SWS Mountain Guides have to say? According to JB, "no one ever does." Tell them about your favorite climber bar anywhere in the world on their facebook page and in the comments!


A1amoose said…
Chick's Rock & Roost at Joe's Valley, Utah.  After drinking approximately 8 appletinis in about 4 hours, I went and asked the bartender why I was still standing.  She showed me the sour pucker bottle she had been using which had a large 'flavoring only' sticker on it.  Ah ha.  It has very nice pool tables though.  
Whitney said…
Excited to try #4! Golden City Brewery in Golden, Co is one of my favorites too :)
Katie L. said…
nice! you'll have to let me know what you think when you get to Thailand :) of the one on the East Coast, I've never been there!
Katie L. said…
I'm not sure how I'd feel being duped out of liquor in my appletinis, but after 8, I'd call the bartender a saint for keeping me alive! Thanks for sharing.