CALISTOGA (KCBS)— It’s a beautiful spring day in wine country, but for some reason I feel like a beer. However, I won’t be drinking. I’m at Calistoga Ranch, where I’ll be taking an ale bath at their spa.

Heather Waldschmidt greets me. She’s my massage therapist and directs me to “jump on in”.

She’s got a great head on her. She’s the one who came up with the idea of the ale bath. “I was on my back patio enjoying a beer and I said, ‘I wonder…there’s a lot of breweries here,’” she said, and noted that hops were actually grown in the area before grapes in Napa and Sonoma counties.

“I wonder what they’re good for. Let me look into it.” Based on her findings it turns out hops have sedative qualities, the malt is good for your skin and the yeast is an exfoliant.

So I shed my clothes and into the 101 degree brew I went. It felt pretty nice; they even give you beer to sip with some nuts.

But it wasn’t much else other than staring at the foliage on the outdoor deck in 80 degree sun. That half hour sure did go by quickly.

I was literally sweating beer, but a shower is supposed to take that away. Waldschmidt said she’d be waiting for me on the relaxation deck where I’d wash the smelly suds away.

You’ve got to be wondering about the cost; well, it’s about the price of seven 12 packs of PBR or $90. Truth be told, the beer bath will be much more relaxing and a good cure for what “ales” you.


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