Why we should all be having beer baths
Beer bathing is on the rise thanks to a host of surprising health benefits. You’d be hopping mad not to try one…
Many of us are familiar with the wellness benefits of imbibing a cold beer after a long day. But it turns out we’ve been doing it all wrong. Instead of sipping the brew, we should be whipping our kecks off and wallowing in it. Or so Icelandic experts say.
At the Bjórböðin Beer Spa in the rugged north of the country, weary travellers are invited to sink into one of seven large wooden tubs filled with yeast, barley, and water, heated to a temperature of 37 – 39°C, for a relaxing soak.
It seems beer bathing could be the next big thing, with a multitude of health and beauty benefits to be had from just 25 minutes steeping in the brew. The spa’s website states: “The beer we use for the bath is in the early stages of fermentation when the beer has very low pH, which tightens and softens hair follicles and is extremely cleansing for the skin. Brewer’s yeast, which has gone through the process of fermenting beer, is a great source of nearly the whole Vitamin B scale, which has a revitalising effect and is rich in protein, potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium.”
The young beer contains no alcohol, but a handy beer tap next to the bath allows you to pour a glass of local Kaldi Beer, brewed next door to the spa, so guests can relax and enjoy a drink that hasn’t had a human splashing around in it while they turn prune-like in the warm water.
Indeed, the practice of beer bathing is picking up pace with numerous beer spas now found across Europe in cities such as Budapest and Prague, where people have long championed the use of beer in restorative treatments. Also jumping on the trend is Hop in the Spa in Sisters, Oregon, which offers microbrew soaks in a relaxing Hop Hydrotherapy experience.
With beer hops naturally packed with antioxidants and alpha acids, sousing yourself in a mixture made from the stuff has been proven to have a soothing effect on muscles, as well as an anti-inflammatory effect on skin, even decreasing surface blood vessels. So far, so good. The only kicker? At the Bjórböðin Beer Spa Beer Spa in Iceland, bathers are advised not to shower for three to five hours following their soak in order to fully enjoy its benefits. So you may end up smelling like a Wetherspoons carpet.