Beer Guide Tested
Last week we did a beer tour with Beer Secret. As a beer spa, we already work with Liselot (owner Beer Secret) and we know her as an engaging and knowledgeable beer guide. But this tour of Brussels was still on our to do list.
And our beer tour in Brussels turned out to be fantastic! We visited three different locations and tried two different beers at each stop. It was a great mix of classic, modern and craft beers.
Although it was a gray day (actually perfect for taking a beer bath at Bath & Barley), we didn't regret it for a second.
Our first stop was at an old, charming bar called "In 't Spinnekopke". We were greeted by a warm and cozy atmosphere. The walls were covered with beer-related decorations and it smelled delicious. Outside everything was gray and wet, but inside it was just coziness. Liselot provided explanations so we could begin our beer discovery tour.
The second stop was at a small brewery. We got a chance to see how the beer was brewed and we learned more about the brewing process. One of the founders was present and he very pleasantly explained what they do at the brewery and why. Of course, we also got a chance to taste some of their outstanding beers.
We ended our trip at another cool bar. We don't want to mention the names of all the venues because we don't want to spoil it for other interested parties. But we can say that it was absolutely worth spending an afternoon with Liselot, our guide. She was so friendly and very knowledgeable about beer.
Our group consisted of Americans and ourselves and the atmosphere was absolutely right. It was a great way to explore the vibrant city of Brussels and learn something about beer at the same time. We have nothing but praise
So we are very happy to be able to partner with Beer Secret as a beer spa. Brussels has a lot of assets when it comes to beer-related tourism and as a beer spa we like to contribute these assets.
Tripadvisor after one year
We opened our Beer Spa on May 1 2022. A few days later we got our first Tripadvisor review, on May 4. Now, 453 days later, we are at 107 Tripadvisor reviews. This amounts to about 1 review in 4-5 days.
Early July we got the news that Bath & Barley had won the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Award. This means that we belong the 10% of worldwide attractions. That is pretty significant as we are convinced of the quality we deliver, but people need to find us.
Getting noticed as a small Beer Spa is hard. Any recognition may help and we are thankful to our customers for taking the time to leave a review. A Beer Spa isn’t built in a day.
We got 107 reviews so far of which the majority of reviewers is highly satisfied. Sometimes these reviews contain useful info for other visitors (what room people chose, how long they stayed, etc.) or some self-made pics.
Currently we are ranked 1 in the category Spa & Wellness in Brussels, out of 75 attractions. We are not so much focused on the number one spot, though we hope to see our Beer Spa in the top five in the future.
Sometimes clients are unsatisfied. This may happen for different reasons. Unexpected circumstances may cause a client to show up late and we are often not able to provide additional time (if new customers are arriving). We have had technical problems or perhaps the clients had different expectations. We always welcome feedback and we aim to deliver a good job. If someone thinks that we dropped the ball, just mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make good use of the critique provided.
We’ll work hard to let Bath & Barley win the Traveller’s Choice Award again next year.
We launched our website at the end of March and since then a lot has happened. After the website was put online, we made a press release and the response was overwhelming.
A lot of journalists and media outlets were curious. "What's a Beer Spa?" is a question we are going to hear a lot less in the future.
This curiosity does not come as a surprise. Up until now, Belgium did not have any Beer Spa and certainly not one like Bath & Barley!
We were thrilled to discover that every journalist who visited us, was thrilled afterwards. Even journalists who are not interested in beer were super excited about our concept. For example, Lise Milbou wrote an article (NL) in Feeling, describing her experiences. We were over the moon to learn that even a Beauty journalist who must have seen hundreds of spa's, hotels or beauty centers, thinks that we created something special. Also Marie Honnay, from the magazine Gael thinks that Bath & Barley is an amazing spa. (FR) The same goes for journalists from het Nieuwsblad, Flair, Culinaire Ambiance, Femmes d'Aujourd'hui and many more.
After having waited for so long, we are stocked to be able to receive people. We hope that our Beer Spa creates the opportunity for people to relax and reconnect in these difficult times. We feel that people yearn for this, as the first reviews are unequivocally positive.
Bath & Barley is unlike other spa's. We are not an institute, we are a place where people can be happy, laugh, make fun. A group of friends which stayed in touch mostly through zoom the past year, a couple which was stuck at home; everyone will find Bath & Barley a place to relax and talk to each other in a beautiful setting.
The bath tubs are the key attraction of Bath & Barley. But even more so than the beneficial effects of the hops and the yeast, we think that Bath & Barley is about being together.
For some, a freshly drafted pils and some chit chat with their partner helps to relax. Others want to fully experience the bath and perhaps the hops sauna as well. But above all, our guests want to leave our beer spa in an even better mood than they arrived. We are happy to make this happen.
Come on over and hop in our beer spa!
A nod of the head to the ladies.
At Bath & Barley you can opt for a beer flight. In fact, we think you should, as it is the perfect way to submerge yourself into the world of beer even more. As you may know, these beer flights contain three to four bottles of beer that we selected and that are paired with a small plate of customised food. In a series of blog posts, we are going to discuss each of these different beer flights. Today we start with one of the beer flights which will surprise many: All the ladies.
‘All the ladies’ is a flight of three beers that share the fact that they were created by female brewers. In the world of brewing, lady brewers are still relatively rare. Luckily enough, we see increasingly more women entering this world that has been dominated by men for too long, even though historically speaking, brewing has mostly been a women’s affair.
The first beer in this flight is Liefmans Goudenband. Liefmans Goudenband is an excellent beer which was brewed by the first female Brew Master in Belgium: Rosa Merckx. Her life story is amazing. She started as a secretary at the Liefmans brewery in 1946. But by 1950 she was tailoring the taste of the beers in the brewery and by the time 1972 swung around, she was in charge of the whole brewery. During her tenure the brewery received visits from Belgian King King Albert II as well as beer pope Michael Jackson. Even at the ripe age of 90 she would still pass by the brewery every day of the week. Liefmans Goudenband is based on the classic “Oud Bruin” or “Flemish Brown”, but at 8% ABV it is much stronger. This reddish-brown beer, resulting from mixed fermentation, takes 4 to 12 months to achieve the right level of maturity. It has a refreshing nose and light sour aromas of caramel, apple, rhubarb and cherry.
The second beer in this flight is the Urthel Saisonnière. The Urthel beers were an idea of Hildegard Overmeire and are the mark of a younger generation. The brand Urthel has now been sold, but we like to have Urthel on our menu as it represents beer from the generation after Rosa Merckx. The beer itself is a variation on the ‘Saison’ style of beers. It has a 6% ABV and has a clear golden colour. It is hoppy with citrus notes and is slightly fruity. It has the typical “Saison-bite”, however somewhat less so than a typical Saison beer, making makes it more accessible and easier to drink.
The third beer represents the youngest generation of lady brewers. Heldin is the first beer brewed by Margaux Van Puyvelde. Heldin is a Flanders IPA and has a delightfully fresh taste with tropical fruit and citrus flavours coming from the American hops, and delicate dried fruit aromas stemming from Belgian abbey yeast. It has a 6,7% ABV. Margaux, only graduated as a bio-engineer in 2013 and just launched Heldin in 2018. Heldin is still a very small craft beer company, so the beer is exceptionally difficult to find.
We are certain you’ll love this tribute to all the lady brewers out there.
Hurray. We are happy to announce that we will soon be opening our doors and filling our tubs.
Our journey started somewhere in the fall of 2018 when we first had the idea for opening a beer spa in Belgium.
A year later, in 2019, we started vetting partners we wanted to embark with on this trip while we also started scouting for an appropriate location. Our first rough plans were committed to paper.
In WeWantMore we found a partner who could translate our ideas into a breathtaking design, which meant that by early 2020 the (re)construction works really took off. Meanwhile we also started looking for local suppliers with an eye for quality. Among them, the hop farmers Gerda and Luc, who taught us a tremendous amount about hop. We’ll write more about them in a future blog post.
Months have flown by and today, after more than a year of construction and decoration work, we are finally confident and ready to open our doors and taps. Because of the current COVID restrictions we will be taking reservations as from May 1st.
We are thrilled to welcome you in Belgium’s original Beer Spa!
Sparked your interest?
Would you like to surprise someone you like or love with a unique, Belgian experience?
Or would you like to immerse yourself in all the good Belgian beer can bring you?
Book here and now.