Big Beer Soap Co. is a small batch soap company based in the Junction in Toronto.
Clare is the mastermind behind it all. It all started one day when her friend showed her how to make soap, she was hooked. She started googling all about the traditional soap making process and beer soap kept popping up. She took it as a sign, “it’s fun and people love the idea of beer soap” says Clare. “I always use local craft beer and I can’t believe how much there is to learn. Maybe one day I will actually make my own beer and make soap with that!”
The process is cold process soap making, which is the act of mixing fixed oils with an alkali (sodium hydroxide/lye.) The results is a chemical process called saponification, where the composition of the oils change to create a bar of soap. Generally after the first process it takes about 4-6 weeks of cure time. The main benefit of this process is that is allows for complete control over all the ingredients.
The use of beer is a unique way for Clare to show off the benefits of craft beer without just having to drink it. Hops in beer are actually known to sooth irritated skin and contain skin softening amino acids and the yeast contains a small amount of Vitamin B, which will retain moisture in the skin.
Currently Big Beer Soap Co. is producing a large range of products from regular beer soap to shampoo bars and even shaving soap (the full list is available online.) Currently the products are available at Big Beer Soap Online Store, Likely General, Helen and Hildegard, and Northwood General.
So far I’ve tried out seven products and here are my favourites so far…
Big Beer Soap Co. Shampoo Bar made with Black Oak Nut Brown Ale: Bergamat – Beer is great for your hair, I’ve even mixed in a bit with my shampoo at home so this product made me extremely happy. It lathers well and leaves your hair silky and smooth without the greasiness some shampoos leave behind. The smell is amazing and you can actually smell a bit of the malt background of the Black Oak Nut Brown Ale. I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone who has damaged hair as it’s also paraben & sulfate free. It also works great for anyone with coloured hair as since there is no sulfates it won’t strip your hair colour.
Big Beer Soap Co. Steam Whistle Beer Soap: Unscented – Out of all the bars of soap I tried I really liked this one the best. The main factor in that is that it is unscented, now I’m the first one to love perfume and strong scents but my boyfriend is a more sensitive and has allergies. First of all the bar of soap actually looks like a little beer which made it pretty adorable. As for how the product worked? My skin have been extremely soft and not irritated, which for me is a big deal seeing as I have had issues with dry patches before. Fun fact, this soap also makes a great stain remover. All you do is apply the soap directly to the stained areas before throwing them in the wash, I honestly found it worked better then a lot of the harsher chemical products one would normally use.
Big Beer Soap Co. Henderson Union Pearson Ale Beer Soap: Peppermint – If you love peppermint then this is the soap for you. The scent is very dominant so I definitely recommend you actually like peppermint before buying this product. That being said it works amazing and my hands have never been so soft (I started using it instead of our regular hand soap.)
Now if all this talk about soap has inspired you, Clare has a got you covered! She is currently running soap making workshops at Rowan Homespun on Queen St E in Toronto. For more info visit Big Beer Soap Co. website and don’t forget to give them a follow on Instagram, Twitter, and a like on Facebook.
– The Beer Gypsy