BierBath. 1213 Liberty Rd., Sykesville, MD.
If you know, you know: cracking open a cold beer while taking a warm shower or bath has a sort of magically soothing effect. But have you ever dreamed of taking that experience to the next level by actually bathing in beer? Probably not, because that would be weird— unless you happen to be familiar with the concept of the beer spa.
Something of a tradition in central Europe—where a visit to a historic brewery might involve a dip in a warm concoction of beer, hops, and herbs—the beer spa is beginning to spread in the US. Now, Maryland will get its first: BierBath in Sykesville, outside Baltimore, which opens on December 9.
Beer enthusiasts Greg Baran and Hector Enriquez discovered the beer spa tradition on trips to Prague and Iceland—Baran works in tech and Enriquez is an international hotel photographer—and they quickly realized they could be among the first to open a similar business in the eastern US.
“We ran into these places and said ‘you know what? Maryland needs one of these,’” Baran says. “We knew that there’s a market here to bring something more of a European flavor to the United States.”
Despite its exurban location, this spa is not a rural getaway. It’s located in a nondescript strip mall among subdivisions on the furthest northwestern outskirts of Baltimore. Part beer hall, part spa, BierBath has a roomy, bright yellow front room decorated with rubber duck logos. But a warren of spa rooms decorated like a classy Japanese onsen—including beer bath rooms, showers, and an infrared sauna—is tucked away in the back.
Though some beer spas include full-on beer in their baths, BierBath’s bathing brew forgoes the alcohol and yeast. Instead, tubs are filled with warm water infused with hops, barley, epsom salts, and other natural ingredients. BierBath claims that immersing yourself in the concoction can help prevent wrinkles and sagging skin, reduce stress and muscle tension, remove impurities from the pores, boost vitamin B levels, and improve hair health. Prices for services, which also include infrared sauna and showers, start at $100.
The alehouse section—which you can visit without partaking in a spa treatment—will serve a rotating selection of local and regional craft beers (also available to sip in the spa), including nonalcoholic options. Beer and wine slushies are on tap, and customizable charcuterie boards will anchor the food offerings. Baran says BierBath is family friendly, and a kids menu will be available.