Nestled in a quiet mountain range a few hours southwest of Munich resides Starkenberger Castle in the sleepy Bavarian country of Austria. As if a castle wasn't a enough of a draw for a cool brewery, the destination has another main attraction -- it's beer pools. That's right, swimming pools, filled with beer for bathing.
Rub a Dub Dub
Guests can experience a variety of beer-themed activities that include everything from tastings to trivia, but the highlight is definitely the beer bath. Located in the basement of the castle, patrons can treat themselves to a two-hour long dip in the vats of warm beer. There are seven pools, each 13 feet deep, containing about 42,000 pints of frothy, amber ale. Other than the obvious appeal of being able to say you swam in beer, there are supposed health benefits of the makeshift spa. The yeast is said to reduce discoloration and smooth the surface of the skin, and is also believed to help treat acne and restore the pH balance.
As Weird As It Sounds?
Hops lovers from all over the world may come to Starkenberger for a dip, but researchers believe that beer pools and spas have been around for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptian women (including CLEOPATRA) are rumored to have used beer spas as a form of skin cleansing. And believe it or not but pools like Starkenberger can be found all over Europe, especially in Germany. Another one we recommend is Beer Wellness Land in the Czech Republic, which offers personal tubs for two.
Beer Is Just the Beginning
The world is a wacky place, so naturally, beer isn't the only liquid considered a spa treatment. In Japan, Yunessun Spa Resort offers hot tubs full of red wine, green tea, sake, ramen, and even coffee, each with their own supposed health benefits to nourish and repair the skin. Although these pools are mostly for novelty, you don't want to drink or snack where you're bathing.