What if a tub full of your choice beer could leave you relaxed and refreshed without the hangover? It soon can with the arrival of “hops spas” in America. Europeans took booze out of the bar and into the spa long ago, bathing in wine, bourbon, tequila, and hops mixtures to rejuvenate their skin. The first such beer spa has recently opened in the brewing capital of the U.S.: Oregon.
Hop In The Spa was recently founded in Sisters, Oregon by Mike Boyle, and it is already gaining popularity in the modest town—and throughout the state. The people of Scandinavia and Austria already deeply believe in the medicinal power of hops. Although there isn’t much medical backing in America, hops are said to soothe aching muscles; reduce skin irritations, including rashes or eczema; treat inflammation within joints or on the skin; help with ulcers; and purify the entire body by removing toxins.
Indeed, hops don’t just add the flavors we all love to our beer. Microbrews are full of selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B1 and B3. These ingredients enhance skin tone and even help those with insomnia, anxiety, and other nervous system disorders. Folk medicine or not, Boyle explains to VICE News that the 40 or so couples who have visited his spa so far are relaxed and extremely happy after their soak.
The hops are mixed with herbs and minerals to enhance the skin and state of relaxation. “When people get in the tubs, the first thing we tell them to do is to tear the fresh hop flowers apart and rub it all over their skin. The oils soften your skin and the hop acts as an exfoliant. Hops provide really great conditioning for your skin and hair if you dunk yourself completely in.” While Boyle doesn’t make any official medical claims, he explains the treatment process—and it does sound heavenly.
Seasonal Ales Fill Cedar Tubs
Hop In The Spa allows customers to choose between three seasonal Deschutes ales (brewed in Bend, Oregon) to fill their large cedar tubs and to drink as well. Bathers can complete their experience with tapas and a custom playlist in a woody and serene atmosphere. Beer spas won’t leave you smelling like beer and your skin will feel smooth with hops-enhanced oils—rather than just sticky with beer. Many “hoppers” claim that one of the coolest parts about soaking in beer is the wonderful aroma that fills the room. Aroma and atmosphere can set the stage for a uniquely intoxicating experience, and Boyle has received much praise in the media for this. Hop In The Spa has popped up across social media and appeared in Maxim, Men’s Journal, and even on ESPN.
Hop In The Spa offers 25-minute microbrew soaks or a hops-steeped hot towel wrap for $75. Massages and other natural healing services imbued with hops and minerals are also available. Boyle claims that these are the most natural ways to beautify, clear your skin, improve your immune system, and just have an overall great time.