Cheers for Beer … Shampoo, That Is


Written by Angela Haupt for

Pour another—for your hair. Turns out that pumpkin ale could be exactly what it needs to look healthy and shiny. No joke: Beer hair isn’t just what happens when some drunk guy spills his Guinness on you, or when you accidently dip your locks into your drink. On the contrary, beer shampoo is trendy—intoxicatingly so, some might say—and it’s landing everywhere from high-tier salons to your neighbor’s shower.

“People put beer in lamb, in bread, in pastries,” says Francky L’Official, a celebrity hairstylist who works with clients like Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Mena Suvari, and Vanessa Minnillo. “Why not use it for your hair, too? It gives it body and makes it shiny and bouncy.”

That’s because two of the basic ingredients in beer—malt and hops—are packed with protein, which acts as a nourishing and strengthening agent. Soaking, rinsing, or spritzing your hair with beer will strengthen the cuticles and help repair damage. Alcohol also contains B vitamins and natural sugars, which add a glossy shine. “Beer is great for fine or fragile hair,” says Marta Wohrle, founder of Truth in Aging, a website that reviews beauty products. “The proteins bind to the hair shaft and give it more volume,” boosting the appearance of thickness.
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Beer Profile: Southern Tier Pumking

Profiled by Ken Carman for

If this really is “imperial,” as claimed, it is well hidden.

This is probably one of the best pumpkin ales I have ever had. You have a great background of caramelized malt: in nose, mouthfeel and taste, although taste is more malt, nose is more spice, mouthfeel the slick sense of pumpkin essence. Spice is allspice-like, ginger, cinnamon: all you would expect. The balance is damn near perfect.

Nice head, mostly pillow. Color: 2-3 srm. Clarity: a light gold. excellent. Mouthfeel: a chewy pumpkin, I suspect they used some real pumpkin, though my guess is not tons. It can really screw up a mash.

Dominant spice: ginger and nutmeg.

Mouthfeel: sweet, spicy/pumpkin pie with caramelized malt giving very solid support.
There’s a sweet aftertaste that could be cloying, but they backed off enough to avoid. Hint of slick, but not diacetyl: pumpkin.

What’s nice about this is they went overboard with nothing. the hit the balance just right.

All I can say is: buy this damn beer.