This may come as a shock (or perhaps, not a shock at all) but distilling and great beards tend to go hand-in-hand. So when the ladies of Beards of Denver volunteered at the American Distilling Institute conference in Denver recently, we were pleased to meet Brandon, who works at Copper Run Distillery in Branson, Missouri. Whoever thinks Branson just has cheeky stage shows and buses of retirees frequenting it is wrong; it also has its share of men with impressive beards and great distilleries! Going back about five years, Brandon has been growing out his beard at least every winter, with his current beard at a year. When he distills, he often braids his beard and tucks it back, which we were happy to hear; we don’t want to know of any beard accidents in the workplace! When he’s not making moonshine, Brandon’s playing bluegrass music in the Ozarks with his band the Shotgun Brothers (which, not surprisingly, originates form shot-gunning some brews). Brandon has an 8-year old daughter who LOVES his beard and encourages him to enter regional beard competitions; smart little lady, even at age 8! Brandon admitted he does the competitions to make her happy and to get together and have some libations and raise money for charity; we love that honesty in a fantastic beard! Thanks Brandon, and keep that whiskey flowing for us!
When one thinks indie rock and beards in the same vein, a hipster-esque beard may first come to mind, but at the recent Phosphorescent show at the Hi-Dive in Denver, we met Sean and he proved that men with incredibly burly beards also love the alt-rock. Sean’s a recent transplant to the Denver area from Reno, arriving just over a year ago. When he got out of the Marines he decided to go three months without shaving—and his current beard has surpassed the seven month mark—and we certainly hope his beard makes it a full year! When asked what his family thinks of his beard, he says his dad (who is also a former Marine) is somewhat skeptical; obviously we need to send him this amazing photo to prove to him how fantastic Sean’s beard really is! Sean—who’s currently single, ladies—said his ex wasn’t a huge fan of his beard, which we can’t fully comprehend; we will happily admire such beard genius! Obviously, his beard is the bomb; Prince even approves!
When you combine a great long beard, a love of craft beers, and a resemblance to Santa Claus, who do you get? Rick, who was born, raised, and has lived in south Denver most of his life, that’s who! We were tipped off about Rick (who’s had some sort of facial hair since high school, when he got in trouble for having a mustache), and his amazing beard by his fantastic wife, Terri. We love the stellar shape of Rick’s beard, but not as much as Terri, who claims it makes a great “handle” to pull him in close for a kiss! Terri told us that young kids are always staring at Rick and his beard; her theory is that they may think he’s Santa, and he humors them by giving his beard a quick flip to make them smile—of course he’s a people pleaser; with that great beard, how could he not be? Rick’s dedicated to the beard cause; Terri said it’s easily been 12 years since she’s seen him clean shaven. Like many other amazing Beards of Denver, both Rick and Terri love visiting breweries—they’ve been to 149—yes, 149!—thus far, with Copper Kettle Brewing Company being their favorite (and also one of our favorites). Keep up that great beard growth, and beer sampling, Rick!
The ladies of Beards of Denver love frequenting the local haunts in their neighborhoods, and Park House at East Colfax and Madison has emerged as a favorite spot over the past few months. With frequent bluegrass shows, great drink specials, and a homey feel, there’s no shortage of bearded men milling about, which is an added bonus. But one beard stood out above the rest on a recent visit: Beards of Denver lovelies, meet Brian, the head chef at Park House. Originally from South Carolina, Brian first came to Denver in the early ‘90s to play baseball at CU Boulder. Though that never materialized, he did earn a degree in sociology, but discovered culinary school was his true calling, which he went on to complete in New York. After a stint in St. Petersburg, Florida, Brian made it to Denver nearly two years ago. Back in St. Pete’s, Brian entered many a beard contest, and we can certainly see why based on his beard-prowess. When asked if the beard is a staple for him, Brian’s response was, “I always say, if your daddy don’t got a beard, you got two mammas” (we take that as his beard is a mainstay for him). Brian’s fiancé, Kat, is a huge fan of his beard, and even asked him out first while he was still building up his courage to ask her out (a woman after our own hearts!) You may also notice Brian sporting a Reba McIntyre t-shirt; which, he assured us, isn’t ironic—he went to the concert when he was 13. He likes Reba, has a southern accent, AND sports a bad-ass beard? Color us smitten.
It’s not everyday that a girl walks into a Chicken Wings joint and encounters one of the most impressive beards she’s ever seen; but when you’re a lady of Beards of Denver, sometimes that hankering for wings combined with an affinity for discovering great beards collides, and magic happens. Beards of Denver fans, meet Sam. Originally from Saginaw, Michigan, he’s lived in Denver for 14 years, and his amazing beard is a testament to his scholarship; he’s been growing his beard for three and a half years, the length of his stint as a doctoral student in the creative writing program at University of Denver. Sam loves having his beard, and stated it’s his “friend maker;” it helps him get his message across to people by presenting a certain constitution, one of patience and that he works for things, and he prizes the “subliminals that come from the nonverbals of the beard” (we couldn’t have stated it any better than that). Sam’s wonderful wife Pari is the number one fan of his beard, and has actually only seen him once without it (impressive because they’ve been together for something like 19 years!) Pari says Sam’s long beard is also softer than day-old scruff and encouraged him to use morrocan oil in it for better care. Sam is a huge fan of Al at Al’s Barber Shop downtown on Larimer; Al makes sure Sam’s beard is all trimmed up, particularly around his mouth, which we’ve learned is essential. Both Sam and Pari stated that Sam’s beard changes interactions with people because he gets approached far more often the longer it gets. You think that people build bridges? Well, we have the proof here that beards do.—-Photo Credit by Dave Getzschman.
On a recent jaunt to the Hi-Dive for some great live music, we were lucky enough to meet JJ. JJ, who is the head bartender at the Hi-Dive, hasn’t been clean shaven in–get ready for this–12 glorious years. He’s grown his current impressive beard for about two and a half years, which started, much like some of our other amazing beards on Beards of Denver, as a battle with his buddies to see who could grow the most awesome one. When asked about care for his beard, JJ said he only started washing it about six months ago, but brushes it out everyday. Though he grew up in Kansas, JJ and his beard have called Denver home for the past nine years. JJ’s celebrating his 30th year on June 21st with an art show at the Hi-Dive, where it’s reported the theme of the show will revolve around him; seriously, his beard is a work of art on its own. Keep it growing, JJ!
There’s something to be said about going to Vine Street Pub in Denver in February (perhaps multiple times). It is Stout Month, after all, where nearly everyday a new Stout beer is unveiled to quench the thirst of Denverites who oh-so-love their beer. And, a well-known fact (which anyone who has gone to Vine Street even once can attest to) is that it is a mecca for encountering handsome bearded men. Thus, we weren’t surprised–but were definitely delighted–to meet Andy and Mike (L-R) on Monday. These boys have known each other for several years, as they are both musicians, and a mutual affection for each other’s music lead to them playing in bands together in Denver. Mike, who is originally from St. Louis but currently calls Littleton home, has a reason for donning a shorter beard these days; he’s currently undergoing chemotheraphy to treat Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which he was diagnosed with only a few months ago. He told us earlier in the day he had cut off his long hair and donated it to Locks of Love, but his beard is holding on, despite the chemo (normally around the 18th chemo treatment most people lose their hair; Mike and his beard are at around 25 treatments now). Mike is very proud of his beard’s stamina, and rightfully so; he really, really wants his beard to keep on keepin’ on. Andy, whose amazingly well-groomed beard was what first caught our eyes, has been in Denver, off and on, since 1995. In October 2012 he shaved his face clean to celebrate his divorce, and declared that his current off-the-charts beard is hence a completely happy version. You’ll find no sadness lingering here, people; Just a seriously kick-ass example of bearded bliss. Andy did note that the ladies LOVE his beard; about half the time women just come up and grab his beard rather than first ask permission. That’s some serious bold moves there, ladies. Thanks for being such good sports and letting us crash your dinner guys! You are delightful.
The El Camino tavern in Highlands proved to be an EXTRA good choice on Sunday, because we also met Shad. Shad, a Denver native, has served up drinks to the thirsty masses of Denver as a bartender at El Camino for the past few years, and more importantly has been growing his impressive beard since October. Shad was taken under the wing of one of the bearded gents who works at Fire on the Mountain up the street from El Camino, who gave Shad a pep talk on what products to use on his amazing beard and how to best care for it–we love these stories of beard brotherhood! Shad said he’s been single for awhile (which we find very hard to believe) so he decided to grow a beard since he had gotten flack about it from ladies in the past. Obviously, Shad’s making some seriously great choices. Make sure to head into El Camino soon and tell Shad and his beard hello!
There are good choices in life, and there are bad choices. Some would say, going to a bar at 5 p.m. on a Sunday is a bad choice, but the ladies of Beards of Denver beg to differ, because if that was a bad choice, we would have never met Dave Yob. Dave is a bartender at El Camino bar and restaurant in Highlands, and he not only loves The Terminator, but is a major connoisseur of Monster Sports Drink. Dave has tailored this particular beard of his over the past two years, and claims his mom is supportive of his beard; his dad is jealous (he can’t grow one, a pity!); and his sweetheart is a big fan, “She’d probably leave me for another bearded man if I cut it off,” Dave declared. She must be one wise woman! (Plus she gifted him that Terminator shirt; the lady is a gem!) Born in Texas, Dave grew up in Fort Collins and has called Denver home the past 8 years. We encourage all of you to head over to El Camino soon and say hi to Dave, he and his beard are a delight!
Beards of Denver fans, meet Brian from Boulder. We met Brian, and his lovely wife Kate, at a recent house party in Denver’s South City Park neighborhood. Brian, who is a Political Science PhD candidate at CU Boulder, has had his amazing ginger beard about 8 years, the past 7 of which he has resided in Colorado. When asked the most memorable comment anyone has made about his beard, a recent evaluation from a student came to mind (Brian’s also a professor at CU Boulder): “Brian’s beard brings benevolent warmth to the classroom that can’t be put into words.” We’re pretty sure that student got an A+.