The Chicago Tribune does some solid foreign reporting and sends a writer out to the Prave Pivni Lazni (original beer spa), run by the Chodovar brewery in the Czech town of Chodova Plana.

Alone behind a curtain, I disrobed and stepped in, parting the beer foam that had settled on top of the heated blend of half Il-Sano mineral water and half dark lager. Warmed to 93 degrees Fahrenheit and mixed with curative herbs, confetti-sized bits of hops and yeast, this murky bathwater was far from thirst-quenching, which made the cold glass of lager resting on a nearby empty keg so welcome.

The spa actually sounds genuinely relaxing and potentially curative … at least for the overstressed and overworked.

As for the spa’s key ingredient, it takes a man of the cloth to put it into perspective in the Tribune story: ”’Enjoyed within your limit, beer is the gift of God,’ said Frantisek Blaha, a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Prague, a Roman Catholic religious order.”

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