Beer. It is the oldest and most– consumed alcoholic beverage in the world. And it pairs well with just about everything: football, bacon, burgers, and even soap. Yes, you read that correctly—soap.
At her warehouse in North Port, Jamie Lovern of Lolablue pours a blend of a lime wheat beer, along with orange, mint, and lime essential oils, into rectangular molds. The blend will cure for a month before being cut into four-ounce bars of soap to sell in her storefront and to wholesaler buyers.
Lovern, a Sarasota native and Ringling College graduate, finds herself somewhat in demand, for her beer etiquette. But, it’s not what you think. Lovern is not only busy during Rush Week at universities, Octoberfest festivities, and Super Bowl Sunday. Locally, clients are craving to bathe in the brew.
“Beer is incredibly good for the skin, and can help with skin conditions and allergies,” she said.
Beer has been used for cosmetic and therapeutic purposes since the ancient days of Egypt. It is an active agent in balancing the pH of the skin, killing off unwanted bacteria, and freshening the dermis. In the soap development process, beer replaces water. It is then mixed with essential oils and other moisturizing, handcrafted ingredients. Lovern is passionate about creating eco-friendly products made from wholesome ingredients and removing unnecessary or harmful elements, including palm oil. She considers Lolablue to be educational and more than a business.
“Lolablue is a place where people like to hang out. It has become a hub for positivity and healthy living,” Lovern said, “Customers come in to make a purchase, and we end up having talks about nutrition, health, and well-being.”
Lovern began her business, Lolablue (derived from her childhood nickname), in 2003 by making soy candles. After years of working as a corporate graphic designer, she took on Lolablue full-time in 2008 and her brand become known for sugar scrubs, lip balms, deodorant, bug spray, and best known for her soaps. Among her standard items, she also makes seasonal soaps, such as pumpkin spice for fall and peppermint bark for Christmas.
Lovern made her beer soup debut when wholesaler and wellness store, Wild Ginger Apothecary, approached her with the idea. They partnered with JDub’s Brewing, using medal-winning Poolside infused with ginger and mint and debuted the soap during a special event at the brewery.
“It was something I had always wanted to do, so I jumped on board,” Lovern said
Since her first batch of bubbling brew, Lovern has not slowed down in beer soap production. She has created a beer soap from Blue Moon, collaborated with Big Top Brewing to create Conch Republic Lime Wheat Beer soap, and even used Guinness for an “Irish Mud” soap for St. Patrick’s Day, this year. She has more collaborations in the works, so we all can look forward to what Lovern’s latest beer concoction will be. It is certain to be something that will keep craft beer lovers, feeling more than hoppy.