In a year and a half, I have competed in 20 competitions. I have gone from CT to LA to OH and most places in between. It’s been a crazy ride where I have met a lot of people and done a lot of things I wouldn’t have done otherwise. From newbie to VP of the RVA Beard League. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and taken interest in this crazy ride.
At a recent competition I was talking to a guy about products and whatnot, and he mentioned he worked for Honest Amish. Perfect. I have been a big fan of theirs for a while. When I asked for samples they gave me beta products to try out and they were great (Heavy Duty Beard Balm, in particular). I said I would definitely try some of the other products, and within a few days, I had a whole box on my doorstep.
I honestly thought he was just joking, but he was good on his word, and I was able to use some and spread the love to some of the guys in the RVA Beard League. They, and I, really dig their products, and I routinely use the beard balm (regular and heavy) as well as the bar of soap. Both have really good scents, and its not too strong. I tend to pair the soap up with an oil, just because I have noticed (and maybe its the colder weather) that it’s been getting drier and I have to balance that with some jojoba (or Dr. Donegal). It lathers better than other soaps I have used, and I just really like it. They do a blended scent one that is my favorite, but it all smells good.
I like the beard balm because it really works for a longer beard. It stays in well and gives a nice sheen.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
As usual, it’s been busy around here. So much so that I have regretfully been lacking updates. 2013 was a crazy year. This weekend would mark the anniversary of my very first contest at Asbury Park, NJ.
Myk O’Connor (L) and me (R)
Since then I have placed 14 times, been anywhere from CT to NOLA, and had a blast. I was picked up by Vitabeard and Honest Amish, both of which I would support without any incentive. Hampden-Sydney did a nice story, as did Louisa County’s Central Virginian.
I am really excited to see what 2014 brings. Having been nominated the philanthropy chair for the RVA Beard League, I am glad that i can give back more to the community. I am looking forward to another 10-12 competitions, schedule permitting, and getting to see everyone I have gotten to know over the past year.
October 5, 2013 Pittsburgh, PA
I have been looking forward to this competition for a really long time. I met some of these guys in Ohio and had a blast. They through one hell of a competition.
The raffles were awesome, the contest ran smoothly and quickly. Props to some awesome judges, a great DJ and MC, and RVA rolled deep into Steel City and did really well. We came back with 6 trophies and some really fuzzy memories.
I participated in the largest category, <9″, and took home first against some impressive competition.
I had a great time, as expected, and cannot wait for the next competition. Looks like Wilmington, NC, but not 100% sure yet.
On September 5th I started the 16 hour roadtrip down to New Orleans with my dad. The trip was conveniently segmented with stops to highly rated beer stores in NC, SC, GA. The highlight of the entire trip was Greenville, SC. If you EVER have any reason to be within a few hours of there, I would highly… highly… recommend Barley’s for food and drinks, and the Greenville Beer Exchange a couple doors down a side street. Both of them were stops there and back, and I would easily find an excuse to make it back down there. If you go to GBX, hopefully a guy named Zack will be in to help- he was a veteran in the craft beer world.
New Orleans was an amazing time overall. We stayed at the French Market Inn on Decatuer, which was also equally conveniently located just two doors down from Crescent City Brewhouse. The beer was pretty good.. no real standout, but as good as any beer i had from LA.
On Friday we got a group together to volunteer at Villalobos Rescue Center, which is featured on Pitbulls & Parolees. Look for some hairy guys featured on a new season… This was truly a great opportunity, and I hope more active volunteering will be done before competitions. It was nice to get to meet some of the guys, as well as take an active role in donating time. Note: most of competitions are held with a charity in mind.
The competition was held at the House of Blues on Bourbon Street. That has to be one of the coolest places I have been to.
We met up at the Sheraton to have a parade down Canal and Bourbon Streets, which attracted a huge crowd of spectators.
We were lead by a jazz band, and this was probably one of the most memorable things I have done while bearding. The only downfall was the heat/humidity which nearly put some people down for the count.
My category was one of the largest, and certainly not very diverse since it was about a full beard under 8″. Overall, I lost a tiebreaker to get into the finals, which definitely stung and made the 16 hour drive home less enjoyable.
There are certainly pros and cons to the National Competition. I hope that a charity will be featured since it is a nod to the community that allows these competitions go on. I hope that women can be included since they are the women who put up with us and sacrifice a lot for us to compete. I hope that the leadership can learn and grow, but ultimately the competition itself was awesome.
I can say that I stood on stage at the House of Blues along side some of the top beards in the nation and had a blast.
Saturday August 10th, 2-8pm
This was an awesome competition. Not that all competitions are family friendly, but this competition definitely had a great community-vibe with a ton of vendors, a great turnout, and just a great time.
Taylor aka Beardimus Maximus from Save the Beard put a lofty goal of raising 250k for charity. Please note: ALL LOCAL competitions give money to charity. It’s what we do. But this goal was huge. He did it up big and I think it really showed from everyone who turned out.
The judges were some of the whos who of bearding, and I had a great respect for them, and they really did a great job.
With that being said, I was shocked to win 1st in the Full Beard Natural under 12″. There were some great beards, but it felt good to compete against people who had some sick beards.
Great time. The rain stopped, the weather was manageable, and for an afternoon in August we all did ok.
Next up, Rochester!
This July RVA Beard League travelled to Nasvhille TN and Cherry Hill NJ. First of all, Nashville was amazing. The beer scene is a dark horse. We hit Yazoo and Jackalope, as well as a nice trip to Corsair Distillery.
Corsair serves a bunch of local beer, and they had a chicken and waffle truck. How could things get any better??
The food and drink scene is second only to the music scene, which we did not have time to explore. The competition itself was small, but had a bunch of great guys there. I took home second in the groomed category.
New Jersey was another 1st annual competition, much like Nashville. The guys from the Northeast are awesome, and once again put on a stellar event. I took 1st in my category and was second place in best-in-show to Jeff Langum, who easily took first. RVA repped well- including the first EVER reigning national champ in etched beard MAXX.
Big comps coming up over the next couple of months. I also will be reviewing a few more new products and hopefully be bringing some good news soon…