The earliest record of beer being brewed is from as far back as the early fifth millennium B.C. by the Egyptians. While hops and barley are commonly used today, there is one type of beer being created in the United States that you won’t find at your regular pub.
Rose Schweikhart, a brewer from Arkansas decided to get creative with her brewery when she moved into town and stumbled upon an abandoned bathhouse.
Located in the Hot Springs National Park, the redbrick bathhouse was once a place of luxury and relaxation before it closed in 1983.
After two years and an 80-page proposal, the bathhouse became the town’s first craft beer tasting room.
What makes the beer here special, though, is not just the fact that it’s brewed at a bathhouse, but Schweikhart and her team actually use the local spring’s geothermal water.
“I think most people believed that a brewery was a great use of the bathhouse and of the thermal water – and of course everyone was excited to see another old vacant building being put to good use,” Schweikhart said.
While most spring water is filled with bacteria, algae and sulfur, all of which you can’t drink, the water at the Hot Springs National Park is different.
“We are very unique in the world in that our hot spring water is potable,” Schweikhart says.
And while the spring water beer might not be for everyone, Schweikhart maintains that she’s happy to do her bit to bring new life to a piece of local history.
“I feel like we’re honoring the building,” she says.
“We have to deal with modern health and safety standards, of course, but, generally, the historic fabric of the building has been maintained, and people can still see some of the elements of the original bathhouse.”