If You’re Ready to Soak in Hops and Barley, Denver Has a Spa for You
The Denver Beer Spa offers a different kind of hydrotherapy circuit—and no, the bath isn’t filled with your favorite craft beverage.
Jessica French and Damien Zouaoui want to bring contrast bathing to the masses. The practice of alternating plunges between hot and cold pools has long been used as a therapeutic means of rejuvenation.
The catch? They want to do it with beer.
Well, hops and malted barley to be exact. The husband-and-wife team offers steeped herbal baths at The Beer Spa in Denver. It’s all part of a self-guided hydrotherapy circuit in private rooms that also include a sauna and cold shower.
“Beer has actually been used in cosmetic products all over the world for hundreds and hundreds of years,” French says, noting it’s only recently grown in popularity in the United States. “Damien’s grandparents in France actually used to wash their hair in beer.”
What the baths lack in your favorite fermented beverage, you can pour for yourself in the communal taproom just outside your room. Guests are welcome to lounge there for as long as they want, and pour their own glass of rotating craft brews from Colorado makers. If beer’s not your thing (though, we’re guessing it is) you can also choose from a selection of wines, ciders, and nonalcoholic drinks.
The couple was inspired to create the Denver destination after a trip to a similar spa in Poland on a rainy day overseas. After leaving corporate jobs in New York City, they took two backpacks on a 14-month “world tour” to 25 countries, from Thailand to Japan. The experience left them inspired to re-create a relaxing wellness experience versus “transactional” service back here in the U.S., French says.
Instead of returning to New York, the couple decided to head to Colorado, where there are more than 400 breweries statewide, according to the Colorado tourism office. “I would argue that it’s the biggest craft beer scene in the United States,” French says.
Hops are a natural sedative, French says, and the aromas help with relaxation. Barley, on the other hand, contains B vitamins and antioxidants. Each month, in-house herbalists also add complementary ingredients, such as juniper berry or eucalyptus, to the tubs which range from 95 to 100 degrees.
“We want people to sit in the bath and soak in all of the benefits for the entire 30, 40 minutes,” French says.
Before getting into the tub, the couple recommends indulging in a 20-minute sauna session and stepping into “a very cold shower” for about 10 to 15 seconds “to keep your blood flowing,” Zouaoui says.
According to the couple, the baths are drained and sanitized before the entire room is deep-cleaned in between uses. “It’s almost like how a hotel room gets flipped at the end of someone’s stay,” French says.
The spa recently launched its own “Beer Therapy Mini Bar,” complete with a CBD face mask and bath bomb, beer-infused hair mask and body lotion, beard oil, and more. “We wanted ways that people can really get a full body wellness experience while in the privacy of their own room,” French says.
The couple hopes to open several more franchises in Colorado before expanding nationwide. Potential locations include Fort Collins, Boulder, Breckenridge, and Aspen. They’re also developing a private label for beer-infused shampoos, conditioners, body washes, lotions, and more.
To visit or learn about the experience, check out thebeerspa.com. You need an appointment for the private beer therapy rooms, but the taproom is open to walk-ins.