Hot Springs, Arkansas, is home to a national park unlike any other. In addition to its springs and bathhouses, the area is well-known for its storied history of illegal gambling, hiding fugitives, and protecting underworld figures. Al Capone had his own room in the town’s Arlington Hotel, while Bonnie and Clyde bathed in the healing waters to recover from injuries.
Although it’s no longer a haven for criminals, Hot Springs remains a popular destination for anyone in search of R&R. Walking down one side of Central Avenue today, you’ll find a strip of cafes and shops. On the opposite side of the same street, you’re in a U.S. National Park lined with a row of bathhouses. After lying vacant for decades, one of these bathhouses has found a new purpose. Superior Bathhouse—a destination where guests could once get hydrotherapy and mercury (yes, mercury) treatments in the early 20th century—is now a brewery. Here, enterprising brewmaster Rose Schweikhart makes beer using the town’s 144-degree spring water.
Superior Bathhouse Brewery serves everything from kölsch to stout to IPAs. They even offer a hot springs–based root beer. As the first brewery in a U.S. National Park, and the only one that relies on thermal spring water, Superior Bathhouse Brewery is as unusual as the place it calls home.
Know Before You Go
The brewery changes its beer list frequently, so check ahead of time if you're looking for something specific. In addition to brews, it offers a full lunch and dinner menu.