Body on Tap Shampoo

    Body on Tap Shampoo was created in 1978 by Bristol-Myers Products, then the health & beauty aids division of Bristol-Myers.  It came in an “oily”, “normal” and “dry”  formula, and was packaged in a 7oz, 11oz and 15oz sizes as well as a small sample size and even a promotional blister pack.
    I was the division's purchasing manager when it was rolled out into the marketplace.  M
y group was working out of  Bristol's Hillside NJ plant and had the responsibility of securing all the production packaging and ingredients which weren’t made inside.
     The product was bottled and packaged in the Bristol plant in Ladue Missouri - the old Grove Laboratories facility.  The site has since been sold and is now a shopping center.  

    The formula for Body on Tap called for 1/3 real beer.  We purchased the beer in tank-truck loads (it was Budweiser)  from the Anheuser Busch plant in St. Louis.   They were delightful to work with since, after each plant visit we were taken to their conference room to talk about our business over a few bottles of Bud or Micholob. My boss at the time, Robert P. Smith, had the distinction of being the 'registered permittee' for the beer purchase, and as such during our product introduction, was the largest single beer buyer of record in the USA.

    Before the beer was loaded into tank trucks for delivery across the city, it had to be denatured so it wouldn’t be taxed as alcohol.   Initially it was denatured with formaldehyde which met with some concern on the part of regulators, so soon afterwards that was changed to a substance called Bitrex.  This was added before shipment, out of the range of most workers, in a remote and unmarked section of the Anheuser Busch plant.    

    Much to the disappointment of our marketing folks, who wanted to stage a promotion which would include a line of beer trucks leaving the Anheuser Busch plant, the brewer flatly refused to let their name be publically associated with Body on Tap.  "Augie" Busch religiously believed that beer was to be ingested, not poured on your head.  They certainly didn’t want to be publically associated with a denatured beer which wasn’t meant to be ingested.  That went as far as being certain that the trucks carrying the beer were unmarked common carriers - certainly not a truck bearing the Anheuser Busch or Budweiser name.    

       Bristol-Myers had the habit of strongly supporting new products, and then withdrawing support as the product aged.  Additionally, 
Bristol Myers was beginning to divesting itself of consumer products; had closed the manufacturing plant in St Louis which made the product. They then transferred manufacture to their Clarol division, where the marketing emphasis was geared more to hair coloring and their own products. With lack of marketing attention it just faded away and the brand was ultimately sold as Bristol completed its divestiture of most consumer products.   Last I heard, the brand name was sold and a reformulated product (no beer in the ingredients list) is now being marketed by others in a different shaped bottle. 

    It was a great product and I’m just breaking into my last bottle, so since I didn’t see anything in my web search about the original product, this is some record of a piece of shampoo history.  


As a result of this site, many folks have contacted me asking where they can get the original Body on Tap. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, no one in the world is making the original formula. 

Out of Africa Trading Company in South Africa has bought the names of many old products, including Body on Tap, but in many cases has changed the formula.  Their Body on Tap is a different formula.  The original had 1/3 real beer.   You may find most shampoo formulas are rather similar as far as cleansing ingredients.  The fragrances are all different.  So, my recommendation would be to find a shampoo whose fragrance you like, and add about 1/3 beer to it and see if you get the shine and control you used to get with BOT.   Let me know if it works for you -- I'd like to know if my suggestion has any merit. 

Alan Taplow
844 John Fowler Road
Plainfield VT  05667
All material on this page is in the public domain. 
Contrary to the Wikipedia censors who didn't permit my posting this there, this page is NOT under any Copyright. .

For those who want to make their own good old BOT,  go to it:      :-)



 Update:  3/31/11
I recently got a message about mixing your own beer shampoo, with a reference to this site: