Why do brewers wear beards?

IN THIS WEEK’S column, we ponder the greatest mystery in beer: Why do so many brewers wear beards? (I mean male brewers, naturally, not female, which perhaps is a column for another day.)
I’ve been noticing this for the last couple years, but it came into full light at the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia this month. You couldn’t walk three steps without encountering a fur-face.
Now, just so we’re all on the same page, I’m not talking about …