Craft beer and big beards go together like ... well ... things that go well together.
But, as anybody with a bushy beard will attest, they can be disobedient at times. Think bed head is bad? Try bed beard.
That’s where the new Beerded Beard Co. and Lesher’s Beerd Balm comes in. Craft beer blogger and entrepreneur Bob Lesher of Cleveland has created a series of hop-infused beard conditioning balms, blending his passion for craft beer with his desire for nice-smelling and manageable facial hair.
“I’ve been making my own beard balm for some time now mostly because I’ve never really found anyone else’s that I particularly like,” said Lesher, 40, who’s a certified cicerone and the man behind The Artful Pint website. “Then I decided that I wanted to make mine even more unique so I started infusing my oils with real hops purchased from homebrewing suppliers. I then use the oils in my beard balm formulations. I figured I really liked them and I’ve tried quite a few beard balms over the years so I figured why wouldn’t someone else like them, too?”
A 1.6-ounce tin retails for $15.99 at online shop Etsy. The logo features a bald man with glasses and a hop cone for a beard.
Lesher uses popular hops in his balm: Citra, Centennial, Cascade, Saaz, Tettnang and Columbus.
“The balms are scented using only the hop-infused oils so the only fragrance the wearer experiences is the pure hops,” he said. “They also range from the very pungent (Columbus) to quite mild (Saaz) so there’s one for just about everyone.”
Lesher sees opportunity with his start-up company.
Beards are hip, especially in the craft beer industry. Last year, the Brewers Association held its inaugural “Best Beard of Craft Beer” competition for brewers. If you’re looking for a bigger example of beard-mania, the Just for Men World Beard and Moustache Championships are set for October in Portland, Ore.
“Beards are definitely making a comeback, no doubt,” Lesher said. “I’m not sure why there are so many bearded men within the craft brewing industry. If I had to hazard a guess I’d say it has something to do with the whole non-conformity of the industry. Along with that, there are so very few professions in which large amounts of facial hair are tolerated let alone encouraged and celebrated. Craft brewers go out of their way to buck convention — it’s in their DNA — so I surmise letting it all hang out facially is just another form of expression for them. Facial follicle free speech, I guess.”