Manly soap creator of 'Homebrew Soaps' just adds beer

on 19/12/10 at 10:58 pm


A home brewer for about a decade, Bruce Payne keeps a mini-keg tapped and chilled inside his Grand Rapids home.

In fact, he likes his home brew so much that he even washes his hair with it.

While this may seem like a blasphemous waste of precious craft beer, Payne is profiting off his willingness to refrain from drinking it all.

He’s been lathering up with beer-enriched shampoo and bar soaps ever since inspiration struck about four years ago while he was sitting on his couch watching TV.

Was he drinking some of the ol’ home brew at the time?

“I can’t recall,” he says with a chuckle.

And it doesn’t really matter, because the idea took off. Four years later, Payne, 52, is selling “Homebrew Soaps” containing pale ale, I.P.A., red ale, brown ale, porter, stout and doppelbock brews at local craft shows and online to customers around the globe.

Payne knows he could land himself in the slammer if he tried to sell craft beers online without a proper license, but there’s no law against mixing it into soaps and shampoos.

While Payne, a former chef, sells lotions and soaps that do not contain his home brew, his most popular products are beer-related.

“This is probably the most labor intensive bar of soap on the market,” he said explaining that it takes about five weeks to brew and bottle the beer and then another several weeks to make the soap and let the bars air dry.

“It sure would be a whole lot easier to use someone else’s beer,” said Payne, who has won local accolades for his all-grain home brews.

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