The ultimate test of lupine-dom ensued at Carver Brewing Co. on Thursday night as Wolfmen lined up in a contest of true class to see who could absorb the most beer with his beard.
“I’d like to thank my dad, actually, for the good genes,” absorption winner Ryan Lowe said.
Among others, Lowe also wanted to thank Herbal Essences, a company renowned for its luxuriant shampoo.
Despite widespread doubt from several of Lowe’s competitors, he said performance-enhancing drugs such as Rogaine were not part of his winning strategy.
“He did pretty good,” Peter Clevano, event coordinator, said. “He put down 18 ounces of beer in 30 seconds, and then he drank half.”
Lowe admits at first he was intimidated by his adversaries – seven other rugged Durango males who grew highly absorbent beards in their own attempt at the alpha-title.
Backcountry skiing and cold weather is what stimulated the growth of participant Kyle Hood’s beard, he said.
Hood said he has been practicing his absorption techniques on a daily basis, mostly by getting belligerently drunk and trying to avoid spillage on his practice shirt.
“I just try to drink as much beer as I can and see how much dribbles down under the chin,” said competitor Scott Guttman.
Contestants began their growth Nov. 11 when they showed up to Carver Brewing Co. sporting their best baby face to have their picture taken. Participants finally arrived at the moment they had been growing for after three months of careful cultivation.
Competition organizers tried to involve women by creating a “best leg hair” prize category, an initiative that began last year, but to no avail, Clevano said.
“We did have two girls who came in to shave last year,” he said. “Only one of them showed back up, so she automatically won by default.”
No women showed up to the brewery last November to shave and begin growing, he said, and as of Thursday, the Wolfwoman throne remained up for grabs.
Clevano said he felt sympathy for the women whose boyfriends or husbands weren’t shaving for three months, and he thinks a flip-flop should be in order.
“I’d love to see some women in for some leg hair,” he said. “I think it’s a great concept, especially in Colorado. We’ve got some mountainous women up here, and I’d love to see some great leg hair.”