You have to know by now that we like making things. We hang out with people who also like making things. So, it may not come as a surprise that Mike and one of his buddies decided to try to make a little money from making things. What are they making? BEER SOAP!
Actually, if we’re being honest, making money was not the main objective. Mike and our friend Aaron were enjoying some beer (don’t all great ideas start out this way?), specifically their homebrew, when they came up with something that could be made with their homebrew, soap. Let me clarify, we’re talking Fight Club type soap operation here. Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but I have to make it sound manly and to assure everyone they’re not over here making rose-petal-scented sea-shell-shaped soaps. It’s manly soap, made with real beer!
The problem making soap is that you make an average of 12 bars per batch, and even the dirtiest person doesn’t go through that much soap, so we decided to sell it. We came up with a name, a logo, and registered with the state.
Introducing Oast House Apothecary.
An oast house, or hop kiln, is a building designed for drying hops as part of the brewing process. (Our garage becomes a temporary oast house come hop harvesting).
I’m not really sure why I haven’t mentioned this little adventure of ours until now. But, we’re gearing back up for the holiday season and I figured it was as good of a time as any!
Why beer soap?
Soap is made from three basic ingredients: oil, water, and lye. Instead of water, we use beer. The beer is heated during the saponification process (the chemical process that creates the soap) and loses some of it’s aroma, but for each beer soap, we add ingredients and fragrances to mimic that beer type.
For example, our Honey Brown Oatmeal is made with a honey brown lager, as well as real honey, oatmeal (which is a great natural moisturizer and mild exfoliate), and cinnamon.
The boys look at each beer type, break down it’s components, and create each batch of soap to reflect that style. One that mimics even the visual, our Chocolate Black and Tan:
The boys are in charge of soap production, and I handle the packaging, labeling, and shipping. Aaron is also an accountant by trade, so he’s been a life-saver with all the annoying stuff like taxes. Mike’s skills come in handy when building the molds and stands.
It’s a lot of fun and we’ve enjoyed the process of learning not only about soap, but trying to come up with new ideas and keep up with some seasonal batches as well.
As I imagined, over the last year we noticed a majority of our sales are women either buying for themselves, or for the guys in their life, so this year we came up with some more feminine smelling soaps utilizing a girl’s best friend, wine!
We sell on Etsy, as well as a couple local shops, mostly wine/beer supply stores. We just restocked the Etsy shop, and have a couple more batches curing ready to be added soon. So if you’re looking for a unique stocking stuffer for that beer-lover in your life, or just like the idea of a fun, handmade product try a BRÜ BAR from Oast House Apothecary.
Also, like us on Facebook to keep up with new offerings, as well as giveaways!
And, as a thank you to all my readers, please enjoy 10% off any of our soap products using the code DANKYOU in our shop!