As Coloradans, we pride ourselves on our deep love of craft beer. And, after a long day spent hiking in the mountains or riding umpteen miles on our bikes, we’re also pretty good at relaxing and unwinding. Now, there’s a new spot in Denver where you can do both.
The Beer Spa is a new (and totally awesome) venue in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood that opened earlier this year. It’s the perfect antidote to all those long hours spent hunched over your computer while working from home and all the other pandemic-related stressors we’ve experienced over the last 18 months.
Though beer spas are common in Europe, this trend is just starting to catch on in the U.S. The husband-and-wife owners, Jessica French and Damien Zouaoui — who were inspired to open the beer spa during their travels around Europe — say they’re hoping to build a truly authentic space for spa-goers, beer-drinkers, locals, and visitors alike. They hope that people of all gender identities and backgrounds will feel comfortable and at ease relaxing at the spa.
On a quiet Sunday morning, I ventured down to check out The Beer Spa and experience all that it has to offer with. Tucked in an unassuming blueish-green brick building on the corner of 30th Avenue and Downing Street, you wouldn’t really know The Beer Spa is there unless you were looking for it. Once you step inside, the space is gorgeous and modern, with olive green, royal blue and gold accents. Exposed ductwork hangs from the ceiling above a cozy tasting room that doubles as a spa waiting area.
After checking in at the front desk, a staff member handed over a special insulated beer tumbler to use during our visit, then walked us over to the wall of high-tech beer dispensers and explained how they all work. The Beer Spa offers self-serve beer, wine, cider, kombucha and non-alcoholic beverages, plus an array of complimentary snacks. Each month, they feature beers from a different Colorado craft brewery (right now, they’re partnering with Bierstadt Lagerhaus) and you can sip as many as you like after swiping your RFID bracelet, which adds your pours to your tab.
After a few minutes of drinking our beers, we headed into our spacious spa room, which featured an infrared sauna, a shower (complete with beer-infused shampoo, conditioner and body wash!) and a beer-y soaker tub (more on that below). A staffer explained the best order of operations for making the most of our time, starting with a sweat session in the sauna.
With our beers in hand, we hopped into the piping hot sauna and closed the door, then basked in the dry heat. Afterward, we used the beer shampoo, conditioner and body wash, then hopped into the soaker tub.
The soaker tub was special because the water had been infused with hops, barley and herbs — and it smelled amazing. It was a little like soaking in a vat of beer tea (it wasn’t beer, technically, since the brew was unfermented and didn’t contain any yeast). French and Zouaoui say that hops and barley are great for your skin and hair, thanks to their abundant antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins. Combine that with hydrotherapy, which can help with muscle tension and relaxation, and you’ve got a winning (and truly “only in Colorado”) combo.
After 45 minutes or so, we toweled off, refilled our drinks and headed for our individual zero-gravity massage chairs. While we reclined in a comfortable position, the massage chairs worked their magic. Half an hour later, we emerged into the tasting room feeling completely relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the day.
If you’re thinking of making the trip down to Denver to check out The Beer Spa, make a long weekend out of it and book a stay at The Crawford, which is offering a special Beer Spa package. It includes: transportation to and from the spa, two complimentary beverages in the spa taproom, a 90-minute session in a beer therapy room and some goodies in your hotel room, including a seasonal beer, two tumblers and a bottle opener.