It’s been well established that beer geeks and brewers love facial hair, the shaggier and scruffier, the better. What’s less well known is that, like the biblical strongman Samson, some brewers’ magical powers lie solely in their facial hair.
New Holland Brewing Company’s woodmaster Tim Faith is learning this the hard way.
Up until recently, Faith had a beard so scraggly and bushy that it would make a Civil War vet jealous. He also was responsible for making New Holland’s excellent barrel-aging program tick. And tick it did. Not only do they produce the fantabulously rich and boozy Dragons Milk, but also myriad other special tipples, each more mouthwatering than the next.
But then Faith, an avid runner and outdoorsy type, shaved off his scratchy mane, leaving him looking like a second-string NFL quarterback.
But that’s not the worst of it.
Faith has recently begun making odd suggestions at New Holland production meetings. First was his attempt to order 500 beechwood barrels, claiming he had a great idea for an “All-American brew, one that would be cheap to make and could easily be scaled up to industrial proportions.”
Then it was his insistence that everything New Holland sends out the door not only tastes great, but is less filling.
He also pitched the idea that every New Holland label feature a windmill whose blades turn blue when the beer is ice cold.
He was most recently heard muttering that he was going to “head for the mountains” where “it doesn’t get any better than this!”
A spokesman for New Holland (who requested anonymity) told Beer and Whiskey Brothers that a team has been sent to Faith’s house to remove all razor blades and electronic shaving devices, and that they’ve secretly replaced his sunscreen, which Faith slathers on his face before his daily run, with Rogaine.
Hopefully things will return to normal soon, but regardless, there’s a takeaway here for our brewer friends – if you’re going to lose the beard, shave it down in stages. Start with a goatee and lamb chops, then maybe a fu-manchu, then soulpatch etc., Take it slow, tasting your beer with each step, ensuring that like Faith, your brewing prowess wasn’t somehow comically linked to your magical whiskers.
Let this be a warning to us all.
This, of course is sarcasm – I’m sure Tim’s beers are just fine, and his runs are probably a little less sweaty. It kills me to have to write this explanation, but these are the times we live in – mouthbreathers rule the Internet!