What on earth is a Beer Spa? (And why it’s good for your health!)

Opening last year in the residential Five Points area of Denver, following the renovation of a building with more than a century of history, and a few delays thanks to Covid, The Beer Spa brought a slowly spreading experience of the same name to the Colorado city for the first time.

So what is a “Beer Spa” all about? And should you experience it for yourself? I headed along to the Denver location to find out.

While a relatively new concept for those outside of Eastern Europe, there are apparently origins of the concept that date back 2,000 years – with this more modern take on the experience first appearing in Prague in 1981.

The first of its kind in the US claimed to be Hop in the Spa in Sisters, Oregon, which opened in 2016, and since closed (with controversy), while the modern originator claims to be The First Beer Spa Beerland in Prague, which opened in 1981. There are now about a half dozen Beer Spas scattered around North America – though surprisingly, none have popped up in Australia as of yet.

The concept is relatively simple – private spa baths for one or two people allow guests not to bathe in beer itself, as the concept may otherwise indicate, but rather the core ingredients of beer – hops, malt and yeast. They sit in a giant teabag of sorts, and infuse with the hot water. And, believe it or not, but there are actual health benefits to this.

As manager David Vávra from Prague’s Pivni Lazne Bernard told Forbes Magazine, “Beer baths are a proven medical procedure from the Middle Ages, known to cleanse the pores, increase pulmonary circulation, regenerate skin and hair and revitalize the nervous system.”

The Beer Spa’s co-owner Damien Zouaoui added to Delish that it’s “full of nutrients and B2. B2 helps make hair and skin shinier and softer.”

In the case of the Denver location, you not only have a private spa bath – perfectly designed in a what looks like a giant keg – but a whole private room (“The Beer Therapy™ Room”, to be precise).

You are encouraged to start in the infrared sauna (complete with excellent ice breaker questions for you and your guest), before moving onto the shower, to rinse off before getting in the bath. It’s a 90 minute experience all up, with extra add ons available – like a THC Bath Bomb, which is very Denver, and highly recommended (pun intended – though it doesn’t actually get you high, just makes your skin feel… tingly and relaxed, for lack of a better description).

While you’re enjoying the experience, you have a set amount of beer included in your stay, which allows you to try a number of beers by way of taps in the entry room of the facility. You can don a robe and refill yourself – there’s a wristband provided that keeps track of your allocated amount – or call one of the staff to do it for you. Drink holders sit throughout the room so you always have a place to put your drink, which sits in a thermal mug.

The Beer Spa in Denver works with a number of local breweries (Platt Park Brewing Company is the current “Brewery of the Month”, and even have their own brew, specifically designed for the experience. And if you aren’t a beer drinker, or just want more variety, there are rotating options like wine, cider and seltzer, as well as kombucha and non-alcoholic options.

If you’re visiting a Beer Spa anywhere in the world, you can expect the unifying concepts of a spa bath with hops, malt and yeast, and readily available beer on tap. But every spa adds their own spin to the experience.

This year, the world’s largest (or so they claim) opened up in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada, bringing with it more outdoor experiences, and introducing overnight stays. Also this year, a beer spa opened in Stasbourg, the Taaka Beer Spa, making it the first of its kind in France. There, a beer tap is attached to your spa bath – which is more common of the experiences in Europe.

And if you want to add a unique experience of your own at the Denver location, the “Zero Gravity Massage” might be the best way to start or end the experience, depending on what you’re looking for. You sit in a chair that uses the latest in robotics technology, and then suspends you horizontally as it gives you a full-body massage. You can learn more about that HERE.

All in all, prepare for a wonderfully relaxing experience, that is actually good for your health. Well, before you start counting the beers anyway…

To book in a session at The Beer Spa in Denver, and for more details about the experience, head to their official website.

Address: 3004 N Downing St, Denver CO 80205

The author travelled to Denver as a guest of Visit Denver, and stayed at the sensational The Source Hotel in RiNo, a five minute drive from the spa. The experience and photos were kindly provided by The Beer Spa.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.