The Methow Valley might be world famous for its vast trail network, but there’s another activity quickly gaining in popularity: Enjoying après ski libations in various valley venues. It’s amazing how many opportunities there are to imbibe in a town with only 34 downtown buildings. These aren’t your grand-dad’s dark smoky bars, but rather quaint tap houses, brewpubs, and wine bars that provide not only the liquid you’re looking for, but also a place to unwind with friends after a long day on the trail.
You’ll find lots of local fermentations to enjoy, a dizzying array of craft beers, wines, and ciders that are created in this little piece of paradise. After a hard day skiing, make your way into one (or more) of these tasting rooms and brewpubs:
Old Schoolhouse Brewery
This little brew pub/restaurant has a wide selection of their own, made-in-the- Methow Valley beers, some of which have won regional awards. Favorites include Hooligan Stout, a creamy, dark, full-bodied American-style stout perfect for warming you up after a day on the trail. The beers here are made with chlorine-free water flowing from the pristine North Cascade Mountains. OSB is family-friendly and offers a solid pub grub menu, river deck and live music. 155 Riverside Drive, Winthrop; 509 996-3183.
Copper Glance Cocktail Bar
Across the Street from the Old Schoolhouse is the Copper Glance Cocktail Bar. The Copper Glance specializes in craft cocktails—this is where to go for your martini, old fashioned, or one of their own unique creations. They also serve up small plates featuring local & organic ingredients. 34-A Riverside Avenue, Winthrop
On the main street in Winthrop, Sixknot Taphouse offers forty-two taps of cider, craft beer, wine, kombucha and some non-alcoholic offerings such as root beer. Most notable are the many varieties of cider that they make right here in the Methow Valley at their orchards, located between Twisp and Carlton. Sixknot is one of only two organic cideries on the West Coast. In winter, they also serve up mulled wines and hot ciders. Food options include small locavore plates, live music and a kid-friendly river deck. 231 Riverside Drive, Winthrop; 509 996-3862.
Brix Wine Bar
Next door to Sixknot is the Brix Wine Bar and Bottle Shop, located in back of the Farmers Exchange Building. Brix offers a hand-curated selection of wines from around the world (as well as beer and non-alcoholic beverages) and small plates of food. If you join their Flight Club you will be awarded with a free flight of wine. 229 Riverside Avenue, Suite H, Winthrop (509) 996-3229
Three Fingered Jacks
The oldest saloon in Washington State, Three Fingered Jacks is a classic old-school bar (replete with swinging doors) that offers cocktails, beer and wine as well as a full restaurant menu. 176 Riverside Avenue, Winthrop; 509-996-2411
Lost River Winery
Around the corner, just out of the main downtown area, is the Lost River Winery tasting room. A local institution, they offer a wide variety of their own wines made right in Winthrop. Their bottles are favorites for gift-giving among locals. 26 Highway 20, Winthrop; 509-996-2888
Methow Valley Ciderhouse
Lastly, just inside the town limits, is the Methow Valley Ciderhouse, another local farm-based cidery with a taproom in Winthrop. Located on the west side of Winthrop on Highway 20, next door to the Lost River Winery tasting room, they create their ciders using apples from their organic orchards just three miles away and feature pub grub (burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza, etc) and oftentimes have live music. In addition to their extensive selection of ciders (Flying Squirrel, anyone?) they also serve beer and wine. With outdoor seating, the Ciderhouse is kid- and dog-friendly. 28 Highway 20, Winthrop; 509 341-4354
John Sinclair and his wife Beth moved from Seattle to the Methow Valley in 2003. They renovated an old farm and orchard south of Twisp, and in 2013 started making Sixknot Cider. Says John, “You come to the valley for its beauty; you stay because of the people.”