Beer Spas: Yeast of Eden

Whilst in Hungary recently, I had the opportunity to leisurely soak in the human bacteria frappes that make up Budapest’s thermal spas. What did I learn about the spa experience? Mostly that Hungary’s anthropomorphic walruses have no shame of their own repulsive nudity. They frown upon rambunctious Americans disrupting the sanctity of the spa experience with Hoo-Hah!ing cannonballs. Although it isn’t posted anywhere, Tuesday is gay day. Finally, if you open your mouth underneath the water (say, doing a handstand), you will catch Ebola.

I’ll never do a thermal spa again. But a beer spa? O! sweet liquid bread. Sign me up. The New York Times reports on the heavenly beer spas that are surging through Europe’s beer-loving, ex-Communist nethers.

The Moorhof’s therapeutic brew is composed of a 2 percent-alcohol lager made for it by the local Schnaitl brewery, fortified with brewer’s yeast, malt and two scoops of hops, all thrown into a barrel-shaped tub and topped with warm water. Bubbles rise from the bottom, stirring the mix and causing a head to form — much like a Jacuzzi or giant mug.

During the soak, a few pints of Schnaitl’s beer are offered for imbibing, suggesting that the relaxation is chemically rather than therapeutically induced. After about 20 minutes, you’re wrapped in a starched white sheet and led to a four-poster bed piled with toasty alfalfa hay. The curtains are drawn and you’re left to have a mild sweat. Go ahead, just try to stay awake.

When you finally come to, you’re invited to take a cool dip in the indoor swimming pool, provided, of course, you rinsed the green hops flakes from your body; they stick just about everywhere.

The very next sentence? “If the whole thing sounds somewhat masculine, Ms. Bauer was surprised that many of the beer bath’s customers are women, a number of whom also splurge on a brewski facial…” Yes! Ben, you can send my next paycheck directly to Moorhof… I’ll be on sabbatical.

Beer Spas: Yeast of Eden [New York Times]

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