Guest Blogger: Amanda Rae Busch
Cheers to the Messenger! While Aspen may be a small, snowy, friendly mountain oasis where ski bums rub elbows with celebrities (I’ve seen it happen), wandering around and expecting to stumble upon a favorite bar or club can be hit or miss. Lots of hot spots are hidden in plain sight, either underground or tucked away, often without obvious signage. Take it from locals—the Messenger Aspen Bar Crawl is a slam-dunk starting point to a stellar night out.
A December tour started at a low-key local taproom with an introduction to fellow bar-crawlers, all of us assigned quirky retro nametags to use throughout the evening. Because what breaks the ice better than assuming a new identity? Beer! There was lots of brew, too, at our warm-up spot as our fearless Messenger Aspen leaders, Phoebe and Stephanie—cool, laid-back Colorado chicks, defined—briefed us on the plan: Together we’d hopscotch among four bars in the downtown core (including one dance club), meet owners and managers, and maybe learn a thing or two while sipping on specialty beverages and soaking it the scene.
Our motley crew of about a dozen imbibers didn’t have to travel far to arrive at the next venue: a classy longtime restaurant where the owner and namesake himself regaled us with stories from behind the bar and introduced us to futuristic “ice technology.” We sipped expertly poured cocktails from a heated deck overlooking downtown—and immediately, the insiders-only session had us thirsty for more.
Next up—or down, as it was—we moseyed to a suave, subterranean speakeasy thumping with deep beats. Though the crawl is a guided private event, it felt social and freewheeling with a refreshing combination of purpose and partying. Never did it feel like a cattle-shuffle situation. Au contraire: the mood was lively from the get-go. (Any earlier than the prescribed 9 p.m. start time and the bars likely wouldn’t have been buzzin’ as they were. Again, trust a local!)
Wrangling a bevy of boozehounds is no easy feat, but Phoebe and Stephanie pulled it off with ease and enthusiasm. Before ending at a disco-lit dance floor around midnight, our hosts surprised us with a pit stop for a much-needed late-night snack. (Whether or not this was impromptu based on our collective intoxication level is unknown—whatever, that bumped our fantastic voyage up to five Aspen locations. Awesome!)
Even if you’ve lived here for years but want a swift reintroduction to Ute City’s thriving nightscape, the Mesenger Aspen Bar Crawl delivers. It’s like a deluxe boozy sampler platter: Designed to satisfy thirsts for curiosity, camaraderie, and connection in one streamlined evening exploring Colorado’s most infamous party town.
Thanks to our amazing sponsors Woody Creek Distillers and Aspen Brewing Company!
More information on how to book your bar crawl with Messenger, click here.