It might seem like the height of hedonism, but these beer-filled pools in an Austrian castle are all about health. The Starkenberger Castle boasts what is in fact the only place you can swim and submerge yourself in beer.
Back in 2005, with the fermentation cellar of the 700-year-old castle made obsolete by more modern methods, Starkenberger brewers decided in entrepreneurial fashion to refit the space into a spa. Working with artist Wernfried Poschusta on the decor, seven pools, each measuring 13 by 13 feet, were installed. It takes about 294,000 pints to fill them all (cut with a heavy pour of water), and it’s all kept at a sweltering temperature for optimum spa sweating. The soak in the suds is said to be good for the hair, circulation, and, tastily, open wounds. The tradition of a beer bath is actually not unique to the brewery, and they’re also popular in the Ukraine, although those are served up in tubs rather than pools.
It might be tempting to take a sip, but cleaner, cold beers are offered poolside while taking the alcoholic plunge. It costs 225€ (about $300) for a session in a “bierbad,” and all seven are almost always booked.
HEDONISM FOR YOUR HEALTH: STARKENBERGER BEER POOLS, Tarrenz, Austria
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