Like early 90s rap, the craft beer game has it's own East Coast vs West Coast rivalry via the IPA. Then again, not sure where "New England" fits in. India Pale Ales have had a decade of dominance among craft beer lovers. From the traditional, bitter, hoppy IPAs, to hazy, citrusy IPAs, to the flavor-of-the-month milkshake IPAs that feature copious amounts of lactose, brewers have gotten creative with their offerings. So it seems only right that both brewers and connoisseurs have made related products, including candles, cheese, and, most notably, beer soap.
Using a thick oatmeal stout, a banana and clove themed hefeweizen, or your favorite IPA, you can make small batches of beer soap using the very ingredients that brewers themselves use. For instance, a bar soap made of ground hops will exfoliate well. Real hops in the beer, real hops in the soap!
If you're going to make your own beer soap, you are going to need a variety of materials, as well as an understanding of how to make soap. And, you will need to review the saponification charts. It is also good to have an idea of the properties each ingredient imbues into natural soap.
For instance, coconut oil will give you plenty of suds, as it lathers well. Balsam and cedar essential oils delivers a woodsy fragrance. Shea butter helps moisturize and fights eczema. And olive oil ... well, it's olive oil.
Types of IPA Beer Soap #
There is an infinite variety of soap that can be made from an India Pale Ale, especially when you factor in the variations of all of the specialty hops that make up today's palette. Build your own sudsy craft beer soap replica of a real IPA beer style. For the citrus aficionado, mix orange peel with grapefruit essential oils.
- West Coast IPA: Cascade hops are a great, all-around hop to grind up and mix in. Simcoe and centennial work too.
- East Coast IPA: Somewhere between sweet and bitter, East Coast IPAs offer balanced notes of fruit and citrus. If you have whole cone hops, toss them in a Vitamix to pulverize them into submission.
- New England IPA: A subset of the East Coast IPA, toss in some tangerine rinds, Citra hops, and some cocoa butter and make a nice New England IPA soap.
- Milkshake IPA: Make a milk soap. Perhaps some coffee grounds. Lactose-loaded beverage of your choice.
IPA Hops Varieties #
Countless hours have been spent at bars, breweries, and college football tailgates debating what are the best hops for IPAs. A few of the ones below could certainly earn the honor. It is unclear, however, which hops are the best for making IPA beer soap.
- Fruity: Citra, Falconer's Flight, Bravo, Crystal, Millenium, Nugget, Palisades, Glacier, Willamette
- Spicy: Bravo, Crystal, Millenium, Nugget, Palisades, Glacier, Northern Brewer, Willamette
- Citrus: Centennial, Simcoe, Chinook, Summit, Galena, Zythos, Cascade, Amarillo, Horizon, Magnum, Warrior
A great gift for IPA lovers #
IPA soap is the cleanest gift you can give a craft beer drinker. One of the benefits of showering with beer soap is it's effect on your skin and hair. The amino acids in beer promote hair growth and reduce acne.
IPA beer soap for the win!
*Caution: As always, chemical reactions can be harmful. Please be careful in all of your soap making endeavors.