With Oktoberfest just around the corner, are you getting ready for having a beard time of your life?
Silly puns asides, nothing makes a red-hot male’s blood run faster than the thought of beards, booze, and well, broads.
That’s probably why the Oktoberfest has long outgrown its German origins and is now celebrated everywhere in the world come fall season.
Between you and me though, anything that’s an excuse to party and show off our beards, I’m down with it.
Here in America, the festivities start as early as August and last through October. If you don’t have the extra budget to go to Munich and experience the original in all its beer-guzzling glory, these following events are the next best thing. Why fly when you can drive to your nearest Oktoberfest party?
Yup. But before we get down to the beer guzzling, let’s take a quick look at what Oktoberfest is really all about.
Origins of Oktoberfest
Would it surprise you to know that the original Oktoberfest had no beer at all?
When the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in 1810, their nation celebrated the event with horse races. Apparently, it was a big thing back then to have the Royal Family watch a horse race with their loyal subjects cheering their chosen entries. When they decided to hold a similar event a year after, it began the tradition of the Oktoberfest.
It wasn’t until 1819 that the races were discontinued in favor of beer drinking. By 1896, a group of local breweries began to pitch up the first beer tents, replacing individual beer vendors. They also cornered the market for beer; because in Oktoberfest, one does not come for just about any kind of beer.
Rather, one comes for the appropriately named Oktoberfestbier which is brewed exclusively by six Munich-based breweries just for the festival. So unless you want to piss off a drunken hunk of a German, don’t go around ordering for your usual everyday beer here.
Here’s a fun trivia: in the olden days, Bavaria had a reputation for having the worst drinking water thereabouts. So to avoid water-borne sicknesses like cholera, the locals took to drinking beer like it was water. Not a bad alternative, I always say.
Craft Beers and Crafty Beards
Now, if you are new to the festival scene, you might wonder why you see a lot of us bearded folks in all shapes, sizes, and styles, drinking beer in merry solidarity. What’s the connection between beer and beard, you might ask?
Well, growing beards have always been a thing with craft brewers. Stone & Wood Brewer’s Nic Sandery said that there is a tradition of bad-ass bearding among ancient brewers, from Vikings to Trappist Monks to Germanic invaders. For All About Beer Magazine’s John Holl, it’s a trademark of creativity.
“Creative types have long sported facial hair, and beer, a creative concept and industry, breeds beards well.”, he wrote.
No wonder then that beards are popular in the local brewery scene and they have become a permanent fixture in every beer festival, especially Oktoberfest.
So What Beard Should You Wear to the Beerfest?
Alas, though, not everyone can rock a full bush of a beard. As variety is the spice of life, so do the variety of beards. One need only to look at these to get a sense of the choices one can have with regards to styling one’s own beard.
Would you like something suave and trimmed, so that you will look sexy to the ladies or get compliments when you’re carrying that mug of beer around? Or perhaps something artful in a way that accentuates your side profile when you lift your mug to drink? Or hell, maybe just let the beer foam stick on your bushy beard as you navigate your way through different glasses of craft brew.
Whatever you decide on, you need to have the appropriate tools to give your beard the proper treatment and style. And we, here at Naked Armor, will give you some tips to help you get your facial hair into a festive mood.
If you have the skill set to expertly wield the straight razor, you can actually use it for all categories of beard styles.
— Derek, Naked Armor Founder
Different Strokes for Different Folks
According to Bearbrand, beards generally fall into three categories: the full beard (which is the most popular), the partial beard and the mustache.
A full beard, as the name suggests, covers the entire chin.
This category, however, has a variety of styles depending on the preferences of the individual. This will range from a scruff, to a full natural beard, or one may even have a terminal full beard.
If you are going to go for the full bear, err, beard, you will still need to trim it because you would want to go for the Cool-Hipster-Brewer look, instead of looking like a Wildman of the Woods. A good beard trimmer and some beard scissors will do the trick. But before taking on your facial hair, always remember to prep it first.
A partial beard is good for those who can’t deal with food and drink messing up their full beards.
It also happens to be the de facto look for those who don’t have the genetics for a full crop of facial hair. If you want to have a beard that stands out, get a partial beard. Look at what it did to Wolverine. Styles under this category include the goatee, the Amish beard, and the Van Dyke look.
To be able to pull off an awesome beard style in this category, you will need a safety razor. A safety razor will get you around the curves and hard-to-reach areas of your face easily and smoothly. And since it’s a ‘safety’ razor, newbies won’t need to have a mad set of shaving skills to prevent the cuts and nicks which would otherwise mar a sexy and classy partial beard look.
Now, if you really want to go to town with your beard styling, then a mustache should be just your thing.
It’s a bold and brave style to wear—and the coolest, dare we say. It used to be popular in the late 19th century and so it also carries a lot of historical background. Think of Count of Monte Cristo or Man in the Iron Mask. Some of the popular styles in this category include the Handlebar, the Walrus, and the Fu Manchu.
For this category, you need to bring out the big guns. This is because you need to do some heavy trimming and sculpting all over your beard to get a kick-ass mustache. And nothing can do a better job than a straight razor.
Cut Throat Razors
Also known as Sweeney Todd’s favorite accessory-rather unfairly though, I must point out, a straight razor will give you total control over the pressure and shaving angles needed to bring about a smooth and sharp mustache.
But not just mustaches, really. In fact, if you have the skill set to expertly wield the straight razor, you can actually use it for all categories of beard styles.
Using a straight razor will give you an even smoother and closer shave because it has a very sharp and narrow blade that can cut close to the skin with the least amount of passes. In fact, there’s a reason why the best barbers always have a straight razor in their toolbox. It allows them to give their clients a detailed shave, especially along the neck and beards.
Here at Naked Armor, our artisanal straight razors are fitted with sharp world-class Japanese steel blades and luxurious, valuable sandalwood handles.
It’s perfect for beard styling because our blades are topped off with rounded Dutch points to ensure that the razor smoothly shaves your stubbles and trims your mustache sharply without getting you cut unnecessarily as one would with a square point razor blade.
In fact, our razors come in classy, elegant sandalwood boxes, complete with accessories. We have starter razor shave kits that include everything you need to shave with at home and on the road. From a high quality strop to a badger friendly shaving brush. And we’ve included an all natural shaving soap too. It’s guaranteed to make your shaving a luxurious experience.
So if you’re looking for the perfect razor to prep your beard for Oktoberfest, look no further. Our Razors are ready to craft your beard the way the finest beers are crafted. Click Add to Cart and Order now.