Beer Soap for Jason
Every Sunday, a group of us gather to play volleyball. The official name varies between Bisbee Extreme Volleyball (with a side of Extreme Bocce Ball) and Drunk Volleyball, depending on who you ask. I look forward to Sundays because I get to spend time with people I really like and I get to showcase my utter lack of 1) athleticism, 2) coordination, and 3) shame. I have a ball being terrible at volleyball, and I'm actually pretty surprised that they haven't asked me to stop showing up yet. Bless their kind and mostly patient and okay-with-losing-if-they're-on-my-team hearts. I'm terrified of the ball, as you can see in this pic of Melissa getting all Randy "Macho Man" Savage on Jason's arse.
Jason is the mastermind behind the weekly volleyball gathering. Each year there is a lot of buzz surrounding his birthday because he throws himself one hell of a bash, and each year a lot of people get buzzed at said partay. :P This was my first year attending the party, and I was amazed at the number of tents that people set up for the night. This is how epic the party is, people actually camp out! Being the wild and crazy party animal that I am, the highlight of my night was having a 3-year-old little boy show me how to roast marshmallows; I was back home and in bed by 10 PM. The next day at volleyball, I was chatting with Jason's 13-year-old daughter, Eva, and she said she went to bed around 2 AM. I think I need to get out more.
My tradition is to give people soap for their birthdays. I'm waiting for someone to get insulted by my present one of these days by thinking that I'm hinting that they need to bathe more. ;) Because I knew how big Jason's party was going to be, I hatched an idea that instead of giving him soap the night of his birthday, I'd instead make soap for him from the leftover beer that flowed freely at his party. Call it a sort of sentimental souvenier, if you will. I'm all about that.
Those of you that haven't tried beer soap yet are totally missing out. Beer makes awesome soap. It adds to the lathery magic of soap and imparts color to it as well as the slightest hint of nutty scent (unless you drown it out with other scents). I think this is entirely appropriate, since beer makes people slightly nutty too. Slightly. ;) Stout beer makes dark bars of soap and light beer makes light colored soap. Jason had kegs of locally brewed beer on tap at his party. If you're not familiar with Dave's Electric Beer, check out the info and cool pics of his Bisbee brewery here. If you're not familiar with Bisbee itself, let me just tell you that we take beer pretty seriously around these here parts. Case in point: our Brewery Gulch. Google that shiz, people!
Anyways, the day after his bday Jason rolls up to the volleyball court like a badass with a keg in the back of his truck. I had a little Tupperware bowl ready to go. Feeling very much like Oliver Twist and trying very hard not to say "Please, sir, I want some more" in my best orphaney accent, I approached Jason with my idea of stealing some of his beer to make him some soap. Lucky for me, none of the men there chased me away for trying to commite the sacrilege of using beer for something other than drinking. I reassured Jason that Eva wouldn't smell like beer if she used my soap. That would likely be frowned upon by her teachers at Lowell Junior High. :P His son Roman (the fastest volleyball retriever in the west), however, is in high school and would probably earn street cred points amongst his peers for smelling like a brewery. ;)
The magic's in the mix:
beer and agave.
(I love that they're the same color!)
I decided to throw some agave nectar into the batch because it's only natural to pair beer and tequila. Call it a crazy hunch, but I'm thinking people at the party partook in the imbibing of tequila along with the beer. The natural sugars in agave pump up the volume of the soap's lather as well, so why the heck not add it?! In case you haven't noticed, I happen to live in the southwest and agave plants grow wild around here, so why not use local stuff in locally made soap? Represent!!
Nope, you're not looking into a glass of beer.
This is what the "batter" of beer soap looked like
as it went into the crock pot to do its saponification thang!
Broke-ass soapers out there, if you can get your hands on some free beer, try brewing up a batch of beer soap! If someone is ready to toss out some old beer that went flat or is no longer drinkable, snatch it up and use it in soap! Consider it the best kind of recycling there is and go around bragging about how green and earth friendly AND skin friendly you are by making beer soap. Let me warn you, though: because you are replacing all of your water in the batch with beer, you have to be extra careful when mixing the lye into it because it gets very hot and very angry and can volcano all over you if you're not careful and take the proper precautions. It also stinks like a mofo until you incorporate the oils, after which it instantly smells nice and nutty and hoppy. Making beer soap is definitely an adventure and definitely worth the extra effort, though, so try it out!!!