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Beard contest more than facial hair

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Just in time for the cool breeze of fall, the inaugural Beards & Brews Championship will heat up a battle of beards, many representing local breweries. The event will be held on from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Eighth Street and Maple Avenue parking lot (behind the Visitor Center alley) in downtown Noblesville.

“One of our objectives is to find new opportunities to showcase the people, places and experiences of Noblesville. As a collaborative effort, this is a great event to pull people from outside our community to downtown,” Spokeswoman Keriann Rich said. “With this event, the goal is to be reoccurring. Everybody’s excited. There is a camaraderie of the different communities doing something together.”

Prior to the Nov. 1 championship, five Central Indiana brewing companies will host a preliminary beard contest at their brewery. Rich said each of these participating breweries will invite interested contenders to participate in their qualifying contest, naming a bearded representative in the following categories: Best of Show, Longest Beard, Thickest Beard and Most Creatively Groomed Beard.

“Everybody uses the same criteria and concept. Each brewery will send four contestants to the championship,” Rich said.

Noblesville’s Barley Island, Grand Junction Brewing Company from Westfield, Fishers’ Triton and Indy-area breweries Fountain Square and Three Wise Men Brewery will all host preliminary beard contests on their turf during October.

“This contest is not exclusive to those representing the participating breweries,” Noblesville Main Street Director Chris Owens said. “Anyone wishing to enter their beard into the ‘community callout’ portion of the event is encouraged to do so – the more bearded, the merrier.”

During the championship, a panel of judges will name an overall winner for each category for brewery contestants and public applause will determine the “walk up” contest.

“We’re trying to keep it simplistic,” Rich said. “We’re trying to have fun and create an event that’s different.”

In addition to the contest, the five host breweries and Sun King Brewing will all be on site selling their craft beers. DJ Helicon will provide music, Circle City Roller Derby Girls will have hourly demonstrations and there will be boutique shopping straight from the Retro 101 fashion bus. Nickel Plate Arts will be integrating unique and engaging experiences from a beard-making table to special local artist exhibits.

“Noblesville is known for having an abundance of great events,” Owens said. “This one will be for those 21 years and older, which we feel adds to the diversity of our event offerings.”

Tickets are $5 and provide five tickets for beard voting. A portion of proceeds from the event will be donated to Movember Indy in honor of November and its efforts to bring awareness of cancers affecting men. There is no fee to enter your beard in the “walk up” community category.  For event updates and information, visit facebook.com/hipstoricnoblesville.

How to participate

Beard preliminary competitions will be held at each brewery:

Three Wise Men, 1021 Broad Ripple Ave, Indianapolis – 7 p.m. Oct. 22

Grand Junction Brewing Co., 110 S. Union St., Westfield – 7 p.m. Oct. 23

Fountain Square Brewing, 1301 Barth Ave., Indianapolis – 7 p.m. Oct. 23

Triton Brewing, E. 116th St., Fishers – Online contest results announced Oct. 25


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