Alright! Last week I wrote the origin story behind how this soap happened. Now let me tell you about the soap!
Better Together is a celebration of 2 amazing Chicago female owned businesses. When I met Averie we resonated on so many levels and I knew I wanted to collaborate with her to make something truly special. I worked out the design and she provided the beer! She also specifically requested I use gold mica - an ingredient I had never worked with before so I was excited to try it. The mica was added to the beer portion of the soap so there is a slight shimmer there. I then added it as a separate swirl to create delicate branches of gold that make surprise appearances throughout the soap.
The beer that inspired the design is, The Art of Holding Space. Is it weird to say this beer has meant a lot to me? I don't think I've ever said that about a beer before! So it's probably the person and the idea behind the beer that has meant a lot to me :) But the beer is fantastic too. It is a 3% table beer, light in color with a slight bitterness, an apricot fruitiness with notes of lemon. The colors achieved with the caramelization of the sugars in the beer gave us a light apricot color swirl, and lemongrass essential oils were added for the slight lemon notes on the nose. The gold mica and delicate swirls were to mimic the almost ephemeral flavor profile of the beer. The scent profile is sweet - again from the beer - so it's a lovely citrus forward soap softened with sweeter notes of honey and pear.
The tops of the soap were molded to mimic furrows in the ground, to celebrate Sugar Creek Malt, in Lebanon, Indiana. Farmer and Malster Caleb Michalke is the incredible force behind Sugar Creek Malt. He grows, harvests and malts the grain used to make the beer! Next I combined a hops/spirulina/beer blend, dehydrated and ground that into a powder to create a green hops top, again celebrating the hops in the beer, and the fields of grain that made the beer. And finally, grains from Sugar Creek Malt were sprinkled on top as a finishing touch.
A lot of intention and really spectacular ingredients went into these bars, celebrating the beer and the amazing people who made it and the stories they have to tell. Creating this soap was a dream come true for me. It gave me the opportunity to collaborate with an inspiring human and try cool new ingredients. It celebrates two small businesses making something beautiful together, Holding Space, and hyper-local ingredients. AND I got to visit Sugar Creek Malt farms, where Caleb gave me a quick tour the the goats gave me an extra strength dose of happiness and warm fuzzies.
This soap isn't available as of this writing! But will be at the Keeping Together Release Party taking place at Half Acre Beer Co. on Friday, March 18 and available online next week. Until then here's a photo of the gorgeous bottle and soap bars together.