For most people, beer isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a relaxing, therapeutic soak. Yet taking a bath in the other kind of suds is just what Kapalua Spa Director Cecilia Hercik recommends. She’s developed a Beer Bath based on what European spas have been doing for centuries.
The new beer treatment works with Maui Brewing Company, which provides the distinctive handcrafted spent grain from their Maui-made brews. Two pounds of the grain join 50 gallons of hot water, forming a head like a super beer inside an outdoor stone-carved tub. The ingredients are rich in vitamins and benefit your skin.
Unfortunately, the spa can’t serve you craft brews while you’re soaking in aromatic hops and malt like the Europeans, but the next best thing is their Kapalua Spa Brew: a fresh beverage of pineapple and lemon and beer bread served with homemade honey mustard butter.
“The smell is very herby,” says Hercik. “The beer soak is filled with freshly brew hops, barley, wheat and all these ingredients smell amazing, almost like making bread. The brewery gives us the grains before the beer started to ferment, so there is no yeast yet, making the entire bath smell like fresh, toasty cereals. The aromas that originate from the malt and grain are often described as nutty, sweet, grainy and malty.”
In Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic, where beer spas offer treatments like beer baths, beer cocoons and beer facials, the healing effects of beer are believed to be widespread. Benefits like detoxifying the pores, muscle tension relief and improvements to hair and skin are touted. An article on SheKnows.com says beer baths help maintain healthy PH in skin and supports the body’s immune system.
“For centuries, ancient civilizations around the world used wheat, oats, barley and hops not only for making good food and good drinks but also to make good cosmetics,” says Hercik. “Wheat and barley are full of proteins, vitamins and natural antioxidants. They’re great for dry skin. Hops have been known for their relaxing, calming and anti-bacterial qualities. Because of the fermentation process used in making beer, coupled with the preservative and antibacterial benefits of hops, beer products grant our skin the opportunity to directly benefit from these botanical ingredients.”
So far the treatment has been warmly received. In fact, the website SpaFinder highlighted the treatment at Kapalua Spa as one of the top seven best spa gifts for Father’s Day. Hercik said they had drawn around seven beer baths in the first two weeks of offering the treatment, which began June 15. One happy beer bather even suggested that they offer the beer butter for sale in their retail shop.
For more information on steeping in beer visit kapalua.com or call 808-665-8282.
About Jen Russo
I write lifestyle and culinary columns for MauiTime. I love being a Maui girl and adore my big family. Dedicated food taster, blogger, internet fanatic, and Maui and Hawaii specialist.