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The Craft Brewed Suds Origin Story

We make cold process soap by hand in small batches and we have a lot of pun doing it!  We use high quality vegetable and mineral based ingredients.  In the soap brewery, we take the time to craft beautiful designs and aromas that will have you falling in love with our soap at first sud!

Craft Brewed Suds got started because we have bees in our backyard.  Using their honey is very easy and delicious, but using the wax was more of a learning experience.  We made candles, lip balm, lotion bars, and a big mess!

Then I discovered that you can use beeswax in soap - and you can make it yourself.  The first batch of soap (made with beeswax) didn’t turn out very pretty and didn’t have much of a smell.  But it was still useable soap.

It took me most of the winter to use up the few bars of soap I had made.  They just lasted forever!  When spring came, I realized I hadn’t used any lotion all winter long.  And I usually use a lot of lotion in the winter to keep the dry skin at bay.  That seemed very strange.  Maybe it was an unusually humid winter? 

Now that I was out of homemade soap, I went back to my usual mass produced moisturizing body wash.  And also had to start using the lotion again.  Stranger still - it was spring and now I needed lotion when the air was no longer as dry as the winter air?

Anyway, with the soap finally used up, I started looking for a different recipe for beeswax soap hoping it would turn out better the second time.  Soap making was a skill that seemed to take a lot of experience to master, especially when including beeswax.  So I did a little more research in preparation for the second batch of soap, which did not include beeswax in the end.

And I learned a few things.  That not so awesome first batch of soap was the whole reason I didn’t need lotion all winter long!  It turns out that the chemical reaction that creates soap out of sodium hydroxide and oils, produces something called glycerin.  Glycerin is the magic skin moisturizer that kept my skin from being dry all winter.  It was right in the soap I had made all along.

Mass produced soaps usually have the glycerin removed during the manufacturing process.  That’s why I needed the lotion when I was using other soaps and body washes.  Why would a manufacturer remove the glycerin from their soap?

Glycerin is a very valuable product.  And the glycerin that gets removed from soap is often added to lotions.  So now instead of consumers just buying soap, they have to buy the more expensive lotion too.  Genius idea - if you’re a manufacturer of mass produced soap and lotions, you now make more profit.  And if you’re just a regular consumer?  Well, you get to pay more and you have to use two products to keep your skin happy instead of just one.  Sorry, no wins for you here.

And I learned that mass produced soaps are usually made with harsh chemicals and detergents.  Detergents are great for laundry and dishes, but not for skin.  Fillers are often used as well.  And they make the soap less durable.  Handmade soap will last much longer than mass produced soap as long as you keep it out of the water between uses.  Remember how that first batch of soap seemed to last forever?  I wasn’t just imagining it.

Also in my research on handmade soap, I discovered that there are beautiful designs and scents you can incorporate into your soap.  Each bar is a piece of visual and olfactory art!  This was by far my favorite part of making soap.  My inner artist has always been at odds with my eternally practical nature.  But making art that could be consumed and served a useful purpose brought harmony to my inner artist and my practicality.  Zen!

So, I could make soap that was better quality, better for my skin, lasted longer, smelled far better than any other soap I’d ever seen, and looked simply amazing.  Best. Thing. Ever! 

I started making more soap.  And more soap.  And even more soap!  All of my friends, family, and neighbors had enough soap for the rest of the year.  They all loved it of course.  And I still wanted to make more soap.  But what would I do with it?  I could make 10 bars at a time and they would last me almost a year. 

And then I decided I wanted to share this wonderful soap experience with as many people as I could.  I spent months thinking, planning, researching, learning, and doing lots of math.  After a significant fermentation period and many, many, many terrible puns, Craft Brewed Suds was tapped!