(Last Updated On: September 20, 2014)

Happy hour in Breckenridge, also known in the winter as “après (after) ski,” offers plenty of great bars and restaurants to suit everyone’s needs. But, you may be looking for something a little different than your typical experience. If so, head to a tasting room.

Absinthe Bar

Photo credit Cailtin J. on foursquare

Absinthe icewater tower via foursquare

Centrally located on Main Street, the Absinthe Bar is a cozy spot (with couches!) below street level. If you’ve not tried absinthe before, this is a welcoming place to have a first go (or an equally fun experience if you’ve had it before). Put any preconceptions aside and settle in to experience the traditional way to combine ice water, sugar and a tasty green beverage.

While it costs quite a bit more than a draft beer and it tastes like black licorice (not everyone’s favorite flavor), it’s a unique alternative worth trying at least once. Be on the lookout for happy hour, which offers half price absinthe and appetizers. Located at 325 S. Main St. Call Swiss Haven for info: 970-453-6969

D’Vine Wine

D'Vine Wines Tasting Room

D’Vine opens at noon daily

Self-described as a boutique winery, D’Vine also offers a Main Street tasting room open every day of the week at noon. You can try a sample of their “Wild Women” wines for a reasonable price and even learn about making your own blend. While not the biggest bar in Breckenridge, it’s comfortable and charming with plenty of light.

While some folks find the wine to be sweeter than they’re used to, the atmosphere and special opportunity to try a winery’s own product (sourced from Colorado’s Western Slope) makes D’Vine a worthwhile stop. Learn more about D’Vine wine.

Breckenridge Distillery

Photo credit Andrew R. on foursquare

Enjoy local Breckenridge bourbon, photo via foursquare

As the “world’s highest distillery,” it’s worth stopping by the tasting room right in the Blue River Plaza. With its award-winning bourbon, in addition to the vodka, spiced rum, and other tasty treats, there’s no reason not to try a free shot of each. The staff is very fun to chat with (tip them!) and the other visitors are equally amicable (perhaps it’s the free drink?). This tasting room is a great way to spend a few minutes off Main Street.

If you have a half-hour, swing by the distillery on Airport Road and learn how the magic happens.

Bonus: Tasting “tap” at Breckenridge Brewery

If you’ve been to Breckenridge Brewery & Pub, you’ve seen a real working brewery. If you mozy up to the bar and make friends, you may get the rare chance to taste one of the experimental beers from the “special” tap handle. Shhh, this is just between you and me.

Once you’ve mastered happy hour, and tasting rooms, be sure to check out more nightlife in Breckenridge.