Inside Muskoka Beer Spa, a hop lovers’ utopia in cottage country
For the uninitiated (a.k.a. everyone), a beer spa combines outdoor massages and saunas with copious quantities of suds. Although there’s no opportunity to bathe in beer like the Czechs do—thanks, health department—the on-site brewery (Clear Lake Brewing Co.) has plenty to sip on. Think of the place as a Scandinavian spa, plus a healthy dose of revelry, minus the shushing. Even the dunk bucket is a spectacle: it’s suspended nearly six metres above the ground, contains 35 litres of cold water, and shoots your endorphins through the roof on contact. (Don’t worry, you can quickly regain your zen with a pint or a stint in a hot tub.) If you’ve had your fill of ales for the day, there’s plenty to do around the area too: the site is just eight kilometres from Torrance Barrens, an internationally renowned dark-sky preserve with exceptional starscapes. Here’s a look inside the spa.
The 12-acre property welcomes day guests, but if you’re going to indulge, it’s best to crash on-site.
There are 13 rustic cabins, all with in-room draught taps.
There’s a 6,000-title VHS collection of Blockbuster calibre—in both size and vintage. Some are notable (Shawshank Redemption, Lawrence of Arabia, The Wedding Singer), others are not (Juggernaut, Good Burger).
The sprawling sylvan grounds make up for the lo-fi accommodations.
The surrounding forest—a swath of coastal plain flora—is populated by pine, birch and hemlock.
Overnighters get special perks, including access to Clear Lake beach.
There are two outdoor massage cabanas and a half-dozen firepits scattered around the property, so even those without a private hearth can curl up by a fire and relax.
Here’s the outdoor pool area.
With a bar not too far away.
Spa amenities include two hot tubs (at 38 and 40 degrees), a steam room and an infrared sauna.
There are gendered locker rooms.
Soak your feet in a keg and enjoy a gratis hop-infused pedicure while kicking back in a Muskoka chair and hoisting a pint ($9).
Clear Lake Brewery’s honey cream ale is made with seasonal honey from a local beekeeper ($8).
Guests can pick up a six-pack to go.
Here’s the brewery and storefront: