If you were to follow the timeline of beer, one would at the same time see the progress of humanity. Beer has quenched the thirst of countless individuals since antiquity, lubricating society as it has pushed forward to leave their mark in the annals of history.
Within the earliest accounts of civilizations around the globe, beer or beer like libations can be found in most early cultures. A gift from the gods in some cultures, a healing potion in others, the brew has been wetting the whistles of just about everyone from the pharaohs all the way down to the peasants for many millennia.
Throughout history, the consumption of beer and the ritual surrounding it has taken many forms. The Egyptians drank beer from a large vessel with long straws made of reeds, the Germans passed laws stating that a lid must adorn their steins to keep flies from falling in them during the bubonic plague, beer bongs offered up a quick delivery system, and beer pong made a sporting event out of imbibing and brought “exercise” to the “table” as it were.
It has been said that Henry Weinhardt himself lobbied to have beer pumped into a fountain in downtown Portland Oregon at one point, but was vetoed by a fire chief who knew that folks would merely poke holes in the fire hoses that were piping it in instead of making the journey to where the fountain was.
Bottom line is that consuming beer, or the ritual of consuming beer, has taken many forms throughout the ages; so hold on to your tankards and adjust your beer goggles because it’s about to get a little…different.
Now, I’d be lying if I said that I have never had a beer in the shower. We all know that rack that hangs from the shower head is just as good of a cup holder as the one in your Camaro or Prius or whatever it is that you happen to drive.
But this is entirely different.
Welcome to the Czech Republic, home of the beer bath. Yes, beer bath. Tubs with taps at the end that allow the potential bather to fill up their tub and fill up their mug at the same time. The beer for bathing is approximately 37° C (98.6° F) so you’re not exactly freezing in ice cold brew during this unique experience.
Now it’s not that far of a stretch that this form of ablution would come from a society that every year achieves the highest per capita beer consumption, consuming approximately 338 pints per EVERY Czech citizen!
This bathing experience is in full swing and has become a trend in the Czech Republic since mid 2006 when the Chodovar brewery opened the countries first beer bath.
Many may read about this and think, “Why waste good beer?!” But a quick visit to PragueTouristGuide.com reveals that there may be curative bi-products to bathing with suds. The site touts the benefits as, “successful treatment of psoriasis, cellulitis, and acne. Outstanding anti-stress treatment. Support of skin regenerative capacity, overall modulation of dermatic problems and mental disharmonies, drop of blood pressure and improvement of circulation in the periphery.”
Beer contains a B complex that just happens to be very good for the skin. The beer baths at the Chodovar brewery also contain 50% mineral water, which is said to be good for the skin because of the high silica content which strengthens the spongy cells in between collagen and elastin fibers, and slows down the formation of wrinkles.
The site goes on to state that these tubs full of wonders to behold are not suitable for those with high blood pressure, after heart surgery folks, pregnant woman after their third month of pregnancy, or children below the age of 12; so use your better judgment before tapping a keg to fill up that inflatable kiddie pool that’s been collecting dust in the garage.
A quick search into beer baths on the web conjures up an interesting way to “cleanse” one’s self of the evil eye.
The evil eye, or Malochia as it is referred to, is passed to an individual when the person who is giving this glance of malice is jealous, envious, or possessive. Instances of Malochia have been deciphered in ancient texts of Babylonia and Egypt, so this concept has been around a long time. Although different cultures all call the evil eye something different, the end results are similar, and one must have a remedy against this insidious stare. Further research states that the most effective way to remedy the Malochia is to take a beer bath to remove the traces of it!
So whether you are jet-setting over to Prague to engage in a relatively new ritual of beer consumption, cleansing yourself of the evil eye, or burgling your kid’s inflatable pool to give this a shot, bathe responsibly!
So what do you think? Would you take a beer bath?