In the craft beer world there is a common phenomenon that happens: Beards.
At the very least, some sort of facial hair is corralled or tamed into a unique design only fitting the face it is on. Some twenty plus years ago my classmates, working a list of superlatives, conferred me the “Rusty Razor Award”. Fitting I would say, since I have only been clean shaven for a short 9-month span in the last 24 years. I would later take on the moniker “Bearded Beer Guy;” BBG for those who know me.
Things that come with having a beard: Being approached by strangers asking a full range of questions, such as? “Random acquaintances wanting to touch ‘it’. Miss characterizations and countless comments, ‘Wish I could grow one’. So, I thought I would delve into the topic a little bit and answer a few of the most common queries.”
How long did it take to grow?
That’s not always a simple question to answer when it’s kind of always been there. Hair has a ‘fall-out’ rate if you will that is determined by genetics. You lose roughly 10% of your hair every ‘x’. Translated: Everyone who can grow facial hair will have a unique terminal length. My current beard washed and brushed is about 12-14 inches long. It took me about two years to grow that length.
Do you need a beard to work in the beer business?
Well, no you don’t. It helps with your street cred but if you are not passionate, knowledgeable and experienced, a beard is no MacGyver. The craft industry has always embraced beards where other industries either require you to shave for safety reasons or frown upon the ‘unkept’ look.
Do you condition your beard? Any treatments?
It’s hair; coarse, sometimes unmanageable hair. Yes, I use treatments and conditions to help maintain moisture and reduce breaks. Plus, my wife loves the smell of the conditioners. Bonus.
I wish I could grow a beard. Any advice?
You must be committed. If you can’t commit it is doomed from the beginning. Facial hair is not for everyone. It interferes with eating at times, hurts when pulled and can itch. Unfortunately, not all people have the genetics to grow facial hair, some wish they didn’t. If you want to grow a beard be ready for the questions and comments. You need to be secure in your choice and committed to keeping it. I have countless friends who have been 6 months into a facial hair ‘project’ and suddenly shave because He or She said, ‘blah blah blah’.
What does this have to do with beer?
Nothing. I just happen to have a beard and I sell beer. That being said, a fresh Stowaway IPA has definitely never slowed the growing of my beard.
Bearded Beer Guy “BBG”