First Beer Spa Opens In Czech Republic

Cheers!The Czech town of Chodova Plana has opened the world's first beer spa, with the drink being marketed as the cure for a range of ailments. More than 1,000 'patients' have taken the beer kur in three months since the Pivovar Chovar clinic opened.

The spa's feature guests a bath in a spa tub of the locally brewed speciality dark lager. The treatment consists of soaking for 20 minutes in a lukewarm solution of the beer, which is about 2% alcohol - any stronger and the bather would become intoxicated by the fumes - and contains crushed herbs.

The beer is made at the brewery adjacent to the spa, and is brewed using the mineral-rich local spring waters.
Guests are treated to a pint of the real thing while luxuriating in the bath.

After the soak, the client is taking to a relaxation room and wrapped in sheets for 20 minutes to remove all tension from the body. Proceedings are concluded by a 25-minute massage, using beer-based oils.

Although residents of Chodova Plana, 100 miles west of Prague, have believed in the health-giving properties of the local beer and spring water for centuries, the brewery, which dates from 1573, opened its fully fledged medical spa only this spring.

An executive at the spa, Jarmela Cepakova - who swears by the health benefits of a single pint of local lager a day - said: 'We opened at the end of March and since then we have had over 1,000 people come here for treatment.

'They mostly come from Germany and from here in the Czech Republic, but we have also some from Great Britain and also Americans. Some have been advised to come here by their doctors although, unfortunately, you can't claim for this treatment on the national medical service.'

The main health complaints which drew people to the spa included circulatory problems and skin illnesses. 'They also come for general wellbeing,' said Cepakova. 'It does make you feel better.'

Asked whether the health-giving properties were due to the spring water or the fact that it had been made into beer, she said: 'It's a bit of both. This is a region renowned throughout central Europe for health resorts and spas. There's no doubt that the spring water itself is good for you, but we are convinced that the beer-making process does add something.

'The brewery has been around for centuries and local doctors always said it was good for you. I have a single half-litre a day, for my health you understand.'