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The Newest Thing in Wellness: Beer Spas

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Romans bathed in wine. Cleopatra in milk. Why not beer? From the Rocky Mountains to Iceland, spas are tapping into what they believe is an emerging market—beer lovers soaking in suds to rejuvenate skin and muscles.

In the tiny village of Árskógssandur in Iceland, the Beer Spa (Bjórbö›in) puts clients in a hot tub filled with “young” beer, still in the early stages of fermentation. The kambala wood tub is filled with water, live beer yeast, hops, water, beer oil and beer salt. Its low pH is said to tighten and soften hair follicles while cleansing hair and skin. Brewer’s yeast provides vitamin B, protein, potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium. The beer’s hops, meanwhile, are rich in antioxidants and alpha acids, while their oils and minerals are promoted as having an anti-inflammatory effect on joints and muscles.

Taking the concept stateside, the new Beer Spa in Denver loads patrons in a bubbly beer bath steeped with hops, barley and medicinal herbs. The mile-high brew stew is the brainchild of Damien Zouaoui and Jessica French, who traveled the world before landing in a beer bath in Poland and bringing the concept home. Their 90-minute Beer Therapy Room treatment lets you soak in a cedar tub filled with an herbal beer bath blend. They tout the same effects as their cousins overseas, down to thousands of tiny bubbles enveloping your body in a beer-like fizz. The treatment includes an infrared sauna, rain shower, relaxation deck and self-pour taproom.

“It felt great—and it smells like good beer, not a frat house floor,” says St. Louis entrepreneur George Lochhead, who partook in the beer soak after heli-skiing. “And it’s so good for your skin you don’t even have to shower afterward. We had fun guessing if it was an IPA or a lager.”

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