Denver’s Beer Spa Makes Everyone Hoppy

September, 2023
Beer Spa Denver

Customers at the Beer Spa in Denver can choose from an array of craft beers on tap. Pam LeBlanc photo

When I first heard about The Beer Spa in Denver, I envisioned a place where customers soaked in hot tubs filled with IPAs and hefeweizens.

Hanging out in a vat of brew sounded yeasty and humid, and not like something I’d do to de-stress and unwind. But it turns out I was wrong.

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The Beer Spa, which opened two years ago in Denver, caters to spa-goers and beer-lovers alike. I stopped by during a trip to Denver, where both my sister and my elderly mother live. Caring for an aging parent can ramp up the blood pressure, so I booked one of the spa’s tubs for a 90-minute session.

On its web page, the Beer Spa describes itself as a day spa that offers beer-infused spa services. It’s a European concept that’s been Americanized in a handful of places around the United States, including Denver, Orlando, and Chicago.

Inside the Beer Spa

Beer Spa Denver

Customers soak in a hot tub infused with hops and barley. Pam LeBlanc photo

The Beer Spa has four private “beer therapy” rooms, each with its own cedar hot tub, infrared sauna, and rain shower. According to manager Kaitlyn Benbow, a soak in a tub infused with hops, barley and medicinal herbs delivers a host of medicinal benefits.

“Hops is a natural sedative,” Benbow says. “And barley and malt are packed with a ton of vitamins. What makes beer beer is yeast, and we don’t have yeast.”

Thank goodness for that.

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Beer Spa

The Beer Spa in Denver caters to beer lovers and spa lovers alike. Pam LeBlanc photo

After we arrived, my sister and I settled into cushy chairs in a communal tap room that features a rotating cast of beers, plus non-alcoholic kombucha and two kinds of wine. During our visit, the spa was pouring beer from Something Brewery in Brighton, Colorado, and Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, Colorado. A cucumber lemon sour called Spa Sidekick was also available, along with ingredients to make your own beer-mosa (orange juice) or michelada (lime juice and hot sauce).

“Have a little trail mix and your beer therapist will be right out,” Benbow told us as we kicked back with a cold one.

A few minutes later we met Paul Carter, who led us to Room No. 2. Standing just outside the door, he asked if we were ready. Then, with a flourish, he slid the door open for the big reveal.

A cedar-plank tub big enough for two stood on an elevated platform at the back of the room. A waterfall of artificial plants spilled down the wall behind the tub. Carter turned on the tap and dropped in what looked like a teabag the size of a 5-pound bag of rice. Inside, he said, were hops, barley and a bit of birch leaf, which smells good and, he told us, works as an anti-inflammatory.

Following the beer circuit

While that began to steep, he pointed out the other amenities and suggested we follow his “beer circuit.” First, he said, we should spend 20 minutes in the sauna on the other side of the room. After working up a sweat, he recommended a cold shower. Next, we could climb into the tub for our properly steeped beer bath. Then, when we were done soaking, we could change into dry clothes and head to another dimly lit room down the hall for a 30-minute session on a zero-gravity massage chair.

And that’s how we did it, except we sweated it out for only half the recommended time in the 160-degree sauna. It felt too much like stepping outside in the August heat back home. I couldn’t get the shower to go full-blast cold, but the cool-ish dousing felt great before I eased into the tub, set at a perfect 95 degrees.

A topic of discussion

We even took advantage of a laminated card filled with suggested topics of discussion, probably left there for couples on first dates.

“What have you done in the last year that you’ve never done before?” my sister, a research scientist who studies pediatric brain cancer, asked as our cores slowly heated up like nuclear rods.

“Well, I blew out my ACL. That was different,” I said.

And her? “I drew spinal fluid from a mouse,” she replied, in all sincerity.

We knew our session was almost over when the tub began to drain. I washed my hair with beer shampoo, applied a velvety beer hair treatment, and changed my clothes.

One final treat at the Beer Spa

What happened next may have been my favorite part. Carter, the therapist, led us to the massage room and eased us into giant pleather chairs. While I gazed at clouds and stars projected on the ceiling of the darkened room, the chair alternately squeezed, stretched, and pressed my body.

All of this fun doesn’t come cheap. A basic 90-minute session in one of the spa’s four rooms will set you back $189 (special packages also available), and beverages and snacks are an additional cost. The massage is extra too –- $30 for a 30-minute session.

But for a splurge for someone who likes beer, a trip to this spa might make a perfectly hoppy ending.

“It’s truly an amazing concept,” Carter said. “Not too many men in the world, especially here, would go to a spa. But boyfriends and husbands who never thought they’d like a spa – you put the word beer with spa, and they like it.”

 

If You Go

Getting there:

The Beer Spa is located at 3004 N. Downing Street in Denver.​

Stay:

Two of my favorite hotels in Denver are the Halycon and Le Meridien Denver.

Do:

Soak in a hot tub infused with hops and barley, drink beer, and get a chair massage.

 

Eat & Drink:

The Beer Spa serves craft beer, wine and non-alcoholic kombucha. Trail mix and banana chips are complimentary; a charcuterie tray costs $19.

Pro Tip:

The Beer Spa serves craft beer, wine and non-alcoholic kombucha. Trail mix and banana chips are complimentary; a charcuterie tray costs $19.

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