News & Politics

The Beards of the Craft Brewers Conference

Thousands of oft-bearded and beer-bellied men descended upon DC this week as the convention center transformed into the Ping Pong-playing, keg-selling, bottle-cap-designing, yeast-fermenting smorgasbord that is the Craft Brewers Conference. Among the bars and brewing tanks, Washingtonian sought the most important story of all: the best beer beards. All photographs by Evy Mages.

Jon Lang

How long did it take to grow your beard? A little over a year.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single beer? $125 for a [24 oz.] Samuel Adams’ Utopia, back in 2006.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single tattoo? $375-400.

Zac Caramonta

How long did it take to grow your beard? Had the beard for ten years, trim it every six months.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a metal concert? Probably $60.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single tattoo? $700 for a pirate skull with a smoke pipe on my chest.

Doug Evans

How long did it take to grow your beard? Three-and-a-half years. Never trim.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single beer? $22.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single tattoo? $600 for barley and hops with a Scottish claymore in the middle.

Erin Brannigan

How long did it take to grow your beard? About five weeks. It grows about an inch a month. I haven’t cut my hair for 6 or 7 years.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single beer? $30.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single tattoo? I have never paid for a tattoo, I get them all for free.

Andrew Palamides

How long did it take to grow your beard? I’ve had this beard for five or six years, to the disdain of my wife.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single beer? I haven’t paid a lot in dollars. (He has paid a lot in beer, though.)
Are you into metal? Metalworking–I do some blacksmithing.

Alex Hoffman

How long did it take to grow your beard? About seven months.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single beer? $40 or $50, probably for Dogfish Head.

Brian Delaney

How long did it take to grow your beard? Started it three-and-a-half years ago.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single beer? $50.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single tattoo? $1,400 on his biceps.

Jesse Scheitler

How long did it take to grow your beard? I stopped shaving a couple years ago.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a metal concert? $150 to see Tool.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single tattoo? A couple thousand.

Brian Labore

How long did it take to grow your beard? I haven’t seen my chin in three years. I haven’t trimmed in almost a year. (He’s growing it to give to his friend who frames beards when guys are done wearing them. She got his last beard, too.)
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a metal concert? $35-40 to see Mastodon.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single tattoo? $500-550. (Though not for the ones on his arms that explain the metabolic process of fermentation: lactic acid on the left, alcohol on the right one.)

Luke Smith

How long did it take to grow your beard? Two months. My friends call them “ginger chops.”
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single beer? $40.

Garrett Oliver

How long did it take to grow your beard? I’ve had this for 30 years, before most of these guys were born.
Where did you get that hat? I design my own hats.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single beer? $50-60.

James Yergey

How long did it take to grow your beard? Originally took four to five months. I haven’t cut it in 40 years. I let it grow out from October to December (for obvious reasons).
Any special upkeep? Nothing, just shampoo.

John Watts

How long did it take to grow your beard? Six months.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single tattoo? $400-500.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single beer? $200 on a Sam Adams’ Utopia.

Ben McKibben

How long did it take to grow your beard? I haven’t seen my upper lip since November 2013.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a metal concert? $60.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single tattoo? $150.

Rob Cass

How long did it take to grow your beard? Four years to grow out.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a metal concert? $150 to see Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single tattoo? $500.

 

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Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.

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