Do you love beer enough to soak in it, be scrubbed with barley and wrapped in a recipe of hops and honey followed by a glass of cold craft cream ale?
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Do you love beer enough to soak in it, be scrubbed with barley and wrapped in a recipe of hops and honey followed by a glass of cold craft cream ale?
You can do that for Valentine’s or any other special time, thanks to a spa in Brantford.
Grand Wellness, serendipitously located where Bixel Brewery once stood, offers beer-themed treatments. Not a fad or a lark, they’ve been doing it for seven hop-scented years.
“We were looking to offer our guests a unique healing experience and something fun and timeless to indulge in,” spa co-owner Heidi Petersen said in an email. “We thought we were pretty original until we did some research and found that they have been doing beer soaks for centuries in places like Prague Austria and the Czech Republic.”
The warm, carbonated mineral water beer soak includes hops, barley and yeast. According to Grand Wellness’s website, the hops help exfoliate the skin and the yeast improves skin elasticity. The ale-ments scrub is a mineral salt scrub with hops, barley and honey. The body brew wrap uses a mineral mask with hops and honey to hydrate the skin.
When soaking in the hops, barley and yeast, the beer served is a cream ale from Ramblin’ Road Brewery Farm, located 30 minutes away in La Salette.
“There are many benefits to soaking in a beer bath,” Petersen said. “It has been used for centuries in places like Europe for treating anxiety and insomnia. The hops in the bath can apparently help with preventing and treating acne skin and helping with the shine in one’s hair. Some use it as a detox for the body.”
Who’s up for a beer-themed spa treatment? A variety of folks.
“The beer spa appeals to many different clientele ranging from beer connoisseurs to travellers from different cities and abroad looking for a unique experience,” Petersen said. “We have couples visiting us looking for a fun getaway and groups of friends who love beer or who want to try something new.”
There’s also post-treatment beer in the lounge, thanks to Ramblin’ Road.
“Ramblin’ Road makes great beer and they grow their own hops and we really like to use local suppliers for our services,” Petersen said.
Beer spa? Sounds like the post-pandemic detox we all need.
Ramblin’ Road Brewery Farm has an appealing beer for chocolate lovers to check out post-spa. Brewed with chocolate barley malt, cocoa, chocolate nibs and a touch of vanilla bean, 3D Triple Chocolate Stout has a smooth semi-sweet to bitter dark chocolate tone, according to its tasting notes. It’s six per cent alcohol.

Railway City Brewing, in St. Thomas, grew from a you-brew into one of the biggest and best-known craft breweries in Southwestern Ontario, but it’s independent and locally-owned no more. A North Carolina beverage company, EARI Beverage Group, is in the process of buying Railway City after earlier acquiring Bell City of Brantford. EARI (Entertainment Arts Research Inc.) also owns a vodka distiller and a sparkling water brand called Tickle Water. It’s an intriguing foray into Canada and not necessarily the type of acquisition people saw coming. We’re more used to transactions like Labatt buying Mill Street.
Forked River, 45 Pacific Ct. in London, helps local charities such as Project Hope by hosting pay-what-you-can bingos. It also will be hosting Forked family vendor fest – food, music, fresh craft beer and activities for kids – at the brewery during the afternoon of Feb. 27.
Curley Brewing in London’s Hyde Park neighbourhood has a kolsch. This was lagered 28 days before being dry-hopped with Saaz. For those who love German-style beer.

In Stratford, Black Swan’s new Wild Child is plum ginger. For those who like their beer tart.
Jobsite in Stratford has its version of Things We Don’t Say, a New England IPA that’s part of a project started by Eagle Park Brewing of Wisconsin. Things We Don’t Say is a vehicle to support mental health with Jobsite donating some proceeds from sales locally.
Most craft breweries play Switzerland in the Freedom Convoy debate, but not so Innocente of Waterloo, whose owner Steve Innocente has strong opinions about pandemic measures and is firmly in support for the protest.
Wayne Newton is a freelance journalist based in London.

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