Beer Spa 11787 International Dr., Ste 106 Orlando, FL 32821
Date of visit: 04/02/2022
What the hell is a Beer Spa???? We’ll get to that in just a moment, but first a little background information. The Stoutmeister, The Queen of Funk, and I decided to spend the month of March in the Florida Keys. Since The Queen of Funk was bringing her dog, she drove down to the Keys over several days with a friend. The Stoutmeister and I opted to take the auto-train from the DC area to the Orlando area, and drive from there. As we were waiting for our car to be unloaded, and yes it seems like we are always near the back of the disembarking queue… Next time I may pay the fee for priority unloading. I started looking at the brochures and ad magazines in the terminal. In one, I found an ad and a small article on the Beer Spa in Orlando. Ok, just hearing Beer Spa, and I was hooked. I love beer, and I love spas! Since we planned to spend a few days at Universal in Orlando at the tail end of our trip, it was perfect timing for a visit to the Beer Spa!
What the hell is a Beer Spa?
So the basic premise for a beer spa, is a cross between a traditional day spa and a craft beer taproom. Many include a hot tub filled with hops, malt, yeast, dark beer or any combination of the afore mentioned ingredients. There is also a self-serve bar feature several taps of craft beer for your enjoyment. Think about it! Soaking in a hot tub with an ice-cold beer in hand! Each location creates their own customized beer spa experience, so it’s not necessarily a “I’ve been to 1 beer spa, I’ve been to them all”. I will outline our experience after I give you some history on beer spas….
A little Beer Spa History …
Europe has exploded with beer spas over the last 2 decades with beer spas popping up in Germany, Poland, The Czech Republic, Croatia, Spain, Slovakia, and Iceland (Yes, you heard me, Iceland!) Legend has it that the beer spa originated in 921, when King Wenceslas (Yes, it was Good King Wenceslas from Christmas carol fame), who liked to bathe in cold brewery baths with wort from the nearby abbeys. Now, the modern day beer spa as far as I can tell, originated in Germany in 1997, and can be attributed indirectly to the German beer purity laws. What are the German beer purity laws, you may ask??? In 1516, the German Purity Law was enacted and stipulated the ingredients in beer to be limited to water, barley, malt, and hops. Yeast was added as a key ingredient in the 19th century. These laws still hold up today, which is why you don’t find the variety and flavor combinations that drive our US craft brewery trends. So back to our history lesson…. In the late 1990’s, a hotel/brewery near Berlin produced a dark beer called Black Abbot. But thanks to the German Purity Laws, the regulators would not approve this beer for marketing and consumptions because the recipe included sugar, which as we now know is not one of the 4 basic beer food groups (per the German Purity Laws). Some members of a visiting television crew, suggested the owners bathe in the surplus beer as beer has many health and beauty benefits. So the first beer hot-tub was born, and was expanded into the modern day Beer Spa!
Health and wellness benefits …
The health and beauty benefits of soaking in a beer hot tub include:
- Opens up and cleanses your pores
- exfoliates and nourishes your skin
- reduces muscle and joint pain
- assists the body in producing endorphins
- Helps in increasing circulation and lowing blood pressure
- improves mood and fosters relaxation
- the smell of hops has been shown to be a natural sleeping aid
So the concept of the beer spa has finally made it’s way across the pond, to the USA with a handful of beer spas opening up in Colorado, Illinois, and Florida. So, now I shall regale you with the specifics of The Stoutmeister and my visit to My Beer Spa in Orlando, Florida.
My Beer Spa visit …
It was a dark and stormy Saturday night, when The Stoutmeister and I headed out to The Beer Spa in Orlando, Florida. Ok, maybe it wasn’t so dark, but it was definitely stormy. Our GPS lead us to a strip mall, where we spotted the sign that said “Beer Spa”. We’re here! As we grabbed a parking space near the entrance, as an effusive group of 4 women came bounding out of the beer spa. “Did you have a good time”, I inquired. “Of course! It’s the best drinking/spa experience you can have anywhere!”, came a reply. Ok! So we are ready. I sauntered through the rain, up to the door, and pulled the handle. IT WAS LOCKED! I knocked on the door, and saw no one in the lobby. Then I looked up their hours on the internet and it said they closed at 6:00 PM. Our appointment is for 6:30 PM. Are they closed? A minute later, the owner Barb opened the door for us, and told us the staff was in the back sanitizing our spa room. Because of their popularity, they have extended their spa hours so that explained the discrepancy. Barb, you might want to update the hours that show on the internet.
So we enter the lobby which reminds me of an English garden crossed with an English pub. It has a nice airy feel to the place, but the exposed brick wall with taps specifically shouts out pub! There is a nice bar set up along one edge of the room, complete with 3 beer taps and 2 wine taps (unlimited wine is an extra cost). We are each given a beer mug, and told to help ourselves to a welcome beer in the lobby, while final preparations for our spa room are completed. Barb, gives us a rundown on the available beers on tap:
Beers on Tap (from Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company):
- Bungalow – Belgian Wit Beer (ABV: 4.8%)
- Park Hopp’r – Golden Pilsner (ABV: 5%)
- Joyland – American IPA (ABV: 7%)
Favorite Beers of the day:
- Pretzel – Bungalow Belgian Wit Beer
- The Stoutmeister – Bungalow Belgian Wit Beer
After our welcome beer, we head to our private spa room, with a personalized welcome sign on the door. The Beer Treatment Spa Rooms can be reserved for 1 to 4 people. Barb gives us a rundown of the room – 2 beer hot tubs with neon lighting, a private sauna, big screen tv with a plethora of music selections, electric fireplace, a straw cooling bed, and let’s not forget the beer and wine taps. There is also 2 complimentary bottles of water, and 2 soft pretzels. A charcuterie board can be purchased for an extra cost at the time of your reservation. No outside food or beverages allowed. It is also very quiet. I did not hear any of the other groups in the adjoining room, nor did I hear the staff going about their daily duties. So we are each handed a Beer Spa robe and clear plastic bag for our clothes. You can wear either a bathing suit or your birthday suit in the spa. (Since we were planning on taking pictures, we opted for bathing suits). There was also a timer, so you could keep track of your time. The following time table was suggested:
30 Minutes in the hot tub
15 minutes in the sauna
10 minutes in the cooling station
The hot tubs were much deeper than they first appeared, as they actually extend a foot below the floor. It’s a perfect temperature, and with the low lighting in the room, super relaxing! I also love the attention to detail, as you can reach the beer taps without having to get out of the tub. But boy did it seem like that 30 minutes flew by.
Next up was the sauna, which was very hot (well that’s the point now isn’t it). It felt good to have the heat open up all my pores, and sweat out all the toxins in my body. Well, maybe not all, but most of them anyway. It was so hot, I had to take a beer in the sauna with me so that I was able to stay hydrated.
Finally the cooling station, which I had my doubts about. It’s basically a hay loft with pillow and a sheet (so that you don’t get all scratched up in the hay). It actually did feel like it was cooling the body down. Go figure. Of course, after the sauna, maybe anything would feel cooler. Barb suggested that we not shower for 2 hours after our spa visit to ensure that our skin absorbs all the nutrients. However, your hair may smell a little hoppy during this time, so try not to schedule anything fancy right after your visit.
To sum it all up, our visit to My Beer Spa was absolutely delightful. I recommend it highly for a date night (remember, bathing suits are optional), girls night out, boys night out, or just a relaxing hour for yourself. Now the question is … When can we get one in South Jersey???
- The Beer Spa, Orlando FL – https://mybeerspa.com/
- Ivanhoe Park Brewing, Orlando FL – https://ivanhoeparkbrewing.com/
- The Beer Spa, Denver CO – https://thebeerspa.com/
- Piva Beer Spa, Chicago ILL – https://www.pivabeerspa.com/