IF you thought a beer shampoo was just something drunken lads did at a stag party, allow the Llangollen food festival to change your mind.
Because as well as foaming ales on one local brewery’s stall, you will also find frothy beer shampoo and bars of beer soap!
Elaine Jones, whose Corwen business Briallen specialises in traditional handmade toiletries and corn dollies, is the entrepreneur behind the bathroom products.
Using Welsh Black Bitter from Llangollen Brewery, the soap and shampoo will go on sale to the general public for the first time from the brewery’s festival stall on October 15 and 16.
Elaine said: “Essentially, beer soap is soap made using beer instead of water. It’s a traditional method and very good for the skin.
“It took a bit of getting right at first. I did suffer a beer volcano in a jug when I tried Irish stout. However, then I thought it would be far better to make it using local beer.”
A few samples have already been sold from the bar at Abbey Grange Hotel, adjacent to Llangollen brewery, and feedback has been good.
Hotel and brewery owner Steve Evans said: “I haven’t tried it myself but those who have say it’s good. It’s a bit different and it’s certainly got people talking!”
Also among the 100 producers at Hamper Llangollen 2011 – the 14th annual Llangollen Food Festival – is an Anglesey producer trialling spicy ice cream.
Cookery demonstrations come from S4C chef Dudley Newbery, and Graham Tinsley from ITV’s Taste the Nation and chef director of The Castle Hotel in Conwy.
There will also be presentations on honey and honeybees, the different varieties of apples, growing salads, and olives and the health benefits of olive oil.
New this year is the Real Ale Trail linking more than a dozen pubs in and around the town to the festival site at Llangollen Pavilion.
Entry to the festival is £5 but free for 16s. Ale Trail tickets are also £5 and include five halves of real ale from participating hostelries.