Plenty of breweries are able to boast of their enviable proximity to national parks. (Coors, for instance, is located 30 miles downstream from Rocky Mountain National Park.) But only Superior Bathhouse Brewery and Distillery in Arkansas can say that its beer is made directly from one.
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Hot Springs National Park has several bath-houses, most clustered along two blocks of historic Central Avenue, which runs through the heart of the park. Three years ago, park superintendent Josie Fernandez asked for ideas to help increase tourism. Rose Schweikhart, Superior’s owner, responded: “Make beer with water from the hot springs.” The park’s water has no taste or odor, and locals have been drinking it for hundreds of years.
Superior made its first hot-spring-sourced beer in 2015, and today there are 16 varieties on tap. “It’s the only business in the park system that produces a product using the main resource of the park,” says Fernandez. And you’ll have to make the trip to Arkansas to try it. “There’s not enough water to turn it into a big enterprise,” says Schweikhart.