Bathhouse Brewery now under construction

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published March 21, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 20, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Curt Youngblood

Rose Cranson is in the process of renovating the Superior Bathhouse Brewery and Distillery. Cranson will run the business with her husband, Todd Cranson.

Beer and spirits lovers in the Hot Springs area will soon have a new hot spot to go to when summer rolls around.

Rose Cranson, owner of the Superior Bathhouse Brewery and Distillery, said that after almost two years of waiting, construction on the historic downtown building is finally starting.

The lease execution was announced March 11 on the brewery’s Facebook page. Cranson said construction is scheduled to begin this week.

The waiting period has worked to her advantage, Cranson said, giving her and Todd, her husband, more time to figure out what will be built when.

“We’re hoping to have the craft-beer tasting room open by [this] summer,” Cranson said.

Superior Bathhouse is a historic building, which presents Cranson with certain regulations in what she can and cannot alter in the building.

Cranson said she hopes to balance the bathhouse “feel” with the tavern atmosphere she wants to create.

The marble in the building will prevent Cranson from putting a tap into the former check-in desk, where one of the bar areas will be in the brewery.

“We’re going to have a custom beer tap from the ceiling,” Cranson said.

One feature that can’t be altered and that Cranson is using to her advantage is the wall of lock boxes where bathers would put their valuables.

“People will get their own pint glass or mug,” Cranson said. Patrons will have the opportunity to be part of a loyalty club, where they will be able to keep their glasses and mugs behind the counter and use them anytime they come in to have a drink.

“I think it’s a neat use of an old feature,” Cranson said.

Cranson said she is making sure every change she and her husband make to the building is completely necessary. The tubs, which used to line a large portion of the building, will also be put to use. Cranson said the tubs will be used for cleaning purposes in the brewery.

Superior is using Hot Springs’ namesake to its advantage by using water “from the earth” to make brews and spirits that will be served.

“[The water] has a unique mineral profile. We’ll add salts to bring up the water hardness,” Cranson said. Cranson and her husband spent about two years learning how water affects the taste of beer in order to perfect their brews, which they will distribute under the name Vapor Valley Spirits.

The spirits Cranson plans to distill will be from crops that are grown in Arkansas, such as corn and rice.

In addition to house-made brews and spirits, Cranson said, the brewery will also offer gourmet snacks that pair with the drinks.

More information on Superior Bathhouse Brewery and Distillery is available at

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at

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