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!
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.
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!
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.