Cheese making. Distilling. Canning tuna. Beekeeping. As if Rogue needed something else to tack onto their list of things they do in addition to brewing standard beer, add "beard beer" to their list of side activities.
Yep, beard beer. It was announced recently that Rogue plans to create a beer using a yeast strain that was found in the beard follicles of Brewmaster John Maier. The beer, which will be called New Crustacean, is expected to be released in early 2013, though the style is still being determined through test brews.
Though almost certainly nothing but a publicity stunt, the Rogue beard beer news got me to thinking about other famous beards that might produce some interesting yeast strains for beer. Here are a few beards that I'd like to (or would have liked to) see collaborate with breweries:
Matisyahu - Though Matisyahu shaved his beard off in December, it would have only made sense for the Hasidic reggae/rap star to utilize the yeast from his beard in a collaboration brew with Shmaltz Brewing Company as part of their He'Brew line of kosher beers. Given the typical atmosphere at one of his shows, I think it would make the most sense for Matisyahu's beard beer to be a IPA packed full of dank, resiny hops. Who needs Hop Manna when you have Hip-Hop Manna?
Jeff Bridges (as 'The Dude') - I think Jeff Bridges' beard circa 1998 could have helped fashion a beer that even The Dude would approve of. Ideally, the brew would have been a version of Breckenridge's 72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout, with some kicked up coffee notes to simulate the taste of a White Russian, The Dude's go-to drink in The Big Lebowski. And that beard yeast? It would have just really tied the beer together, man.
James Harden - Oklahoma City may have beat out Kansas City to land the SuperSonics (now the Thunder) back when they moved, but OKC star James Harden would be best suited to brew his beard beer with Kansas City's own Boulevard Brewing Company. Why? Well clearly the beard of the NBA's strong, Midwest-based Sixth Man should help contribute yeast to the brewing world's strong, Midwest-based Sixth Glass. And this beer would always have to be drank in sets of two because, well, what NBA player wouldn't want a quadrupel double?
Sean Connery - Named Sexiest Man of the Century, knighted by the Queen, explained the difference between the abuse and discipline hand to Barbara Walters..why not add 'beard beer collaborator' to Sean Connery's list of lifetime achievements? I envision Connery working with a brewery from his home land of Scotland. The beer, which I envision being called 'Ola Dubh-le 07' would utilize Connery's beard yeast in a whiskey barrel aged old ale that would simultaneously slap you in the face and lure you into bed.
Elmar Weisser - Elmar Weisser may not be a household name for the average person but in the world of beards, he is a star and puts everyone else on this list to shame. Weisser won the 'World's Best Beard' title in the 2011 World Beard and Moustache Championships (yes, that is a thing) with his reindeer-styled facial hair. A German, I'd like to see Elmar sprinkle some of his award-winning beard magic into a collaboration beer with Bavaria's Professor Fritz Briem. The name and style should be obvious: 2011 Berliner Weisser.