Move over Beer soap, here comes Cider!
I love my craft beer, but long before I was drinking beer, I was drinking apple cider. When I was young, my parents and I would pick “drops” at the apple orchard near our home. For just a few dollars, we would haul away bushels of apples, which we would take to a little cider mill in the country to be pressed. We often came home with 20-30 gallons of cider. My brother and I would sell it to our neighbors, but some of it would sit in the cool basement and ferment. It was probably never more than a few percent alcohol, but I remember thinking, “This is what they did back on the frontier”. Well, Sally Carroll Moon and Peter Moon are on the frontier of apple cidery in Columbus. They started Mad Moon Cidery in 2014, making hard cider using traditional craft methods very similar to what I had experienced as a child. First, various varieties of Ohio grown apples are sorted, washed and mixed in just the right ratio.
The apples are chopped into a fine mash which is scooped into frames lined with cheesecloth.
After several of the frames are stacked together, a hydraulic press slowly squeezes out all the juice. The unfiltered juice is pumped into holding tanks where the fermentation and brewing process takes place.
Mad Moon currently offers four ciders, brewed with a range of flavors: Hope Wired, Unglued Caramel Apple, Beastie Tea and Treacherous (Cranberries!) So you can imagine I was super excited when Sally Moon approached us to do a cider soap using their Beastie Tea Cider.
Our team put our noses together and thought about what aromas would complement the cider. We came up with a really unique scent that combines Pear, Himalayan Cedarwood, Rosemary and Pettigrain. It is subtle, with a scent that reminds me of living plants. I imagine standing in an orchard on a windless night under a full moon, with the smells of fruit and old trees and grass.
Well, the cider soaps turned out great, and they were easier to make than the beer soaps. When making beer soaps, the first thing you have to do is boil the beer to eliminate the carbonation, otherwise you end up with a pretty violent reaction when the lye is added. Not so with cider. Next, I had to create a label. Mad Moon has a really neat logo, but I had to get a little creative to make it fit nicely on our round labels. I like the way it turned. Here is what the finished product looks like.
We asked Sally to tell us a little bit about her experience working with us:
Q: How did you first find us, and why were you initially interested in pairing up to make cider soap?
A: I first heard of Glenn Avenue from a co-worker who bought a bar of the beer based soap. She said it had a creamy texture and a nice fragrance. And that it was a local business. I love it when traditional lines are crossed. Several chefs in the city use beer and cider in their food preparation. Glenn Avenue's use of beer in soap seemed very creative, too. Using a fresh-pressed apple based cider to make soap seemed like a natural progression.
Q: What value has your partnership with us added to you and your business?
A: As small business owners, we all need to support each other. Keeping it local is even better--obviously a factor of importance to both Glenn Avenue and Mad Moon. The people of Columbus are huge supporters of locally owned and sourced products. It's amazing! #supportlocal
Q: Are you happy with how the soap itself turned out?
A: I am thrilled with how the soap turned out! Phil used our tea-infused cider, Beastie Tea, which has a favorable aroma to begin with. Then he worked his magic giving the soap a gentle fragrance that reminds me of an arboretum in the spring. The soap has a huge creamy lather and leaves the skin feeling naturally moist. I truly recommend all the products at Glenn Avenue Soap Co. It's like giving your skin a lovely present!
Thanks Sally for collaborating with us! It is a real joy to work with small business and craft entrepreneurs like you here in Columbus. If you have an idea for the next big thing in beer, I mean cider soaps, give us a call!
If you want try our Mad Moon Cider soaps, you can find them here.
(Photos courtesy of Mad Moon Cidery and Jim Ellison at Columbus Brew Adventures, who stops at Mad Moon during some of their brewery tours)