Some après-ski bars serve you a cold beer and a colder plate of nachos before sending you back to the condo. Others ply you with enough steins, shots, and ski-boot dancing to jeopardize your following day on the slopes. These are the latter.
The Krazy Kanguruh and The Mooserwirt (St. Anton, Austria)
Considered the cradle of skiing thanks to its rich history and seemingly endless network of steep chutes, deep bowls, and undulating trails, St. Anton has an après-ski scene that might actually top its terrain. Slope-side bars flank the most popular run back into town, beckoning thirsty skiers with sprawling sun terraces, towering steins, and thumping dance music. Even if you're too exhausted for après (and believe us, after a few crazy days in "Stanton," it happens to even the most seasoned of suds-swillers), it's pretty hard to resist a tipple or, like, zwei thousand once you see all the fun on display.
But you'd be wise to save your stamina for the final two bars lining this gauntlet: The Krazy Kanguruh and the Mooserwirt. Perched just above town, the dueling drinking dens provide the perfect one-two punch to knock out anyone's dinner plans. The KK first opened its doors to hard-partying skiers in 1965 and its been swinging ever since. Today, the joint is owned by two-time World Slalom Champion Mario Matt and still attracts a lively mix of Swedes, snow bunnies, and perma-tan ski instructors, all of whom stake out prime real estate on the spot's south-facing deck long before the lifts close. Rock and house dominate the DJ set, while Jagermeister-wielding waitresses ensure no one stays sober for long. By the time the sun sets, casting the tightly notched valley in a pink alpenglow, chances are you'll be table dancing in your ski boots (it's okay, you're in Europe, where douchey behavior is like a common tongue).
Next up is the Mooserwirt, just a short, sloppy schuss across the slope. After returning from a stint doing PR in Los Angeles in the late '80s, local boy Eugen Scalet decided to "kill the cows and milk the tourists" by gutting his parent's farmhouse and transforming it into the world's rowdiest après bar. His audacious business plan worked: Despite being open for less than six months a year, Scalet's former homestead now sells the second largest annual amount of beer in Austria. Tricked out with disco lights, smoke machines and – as legend has it – 10 kilometers of tap lines, the three-story bar exemplifies the over-the-top Austrian ski experience. Post up outside on the multi-tiered deck, where waiters deftly deploy aircraft carrier-sized trays of beer to you and all your new high-fiving buddies, or join the fray inside, dancing and singing along to Europop and German "schlager" anthems mixed by the resident DJ. There's even a soundproofed boutique hotel and spa next door for revelers intent on spending the night.
Didn't book a room? Then enjoy the memorable run back into town that you probably won't remember.