Craft & Social—at 305 East Franklin downtown—is home to 20 taps of some of the most unique craft beer (with a nice selection of bottles of both wine and beer), bicycle art (along with some employees’ bikes) and an owner with possibly the most recognizable facial hair of any local business owner, Rafael Terrazas. We caught up with Terrazas to talk bikes, beer and facial hair—you know, the finer things in life.
What kind of bike do you own?
I have a 1980s U.S. Schwinn. There is a difference, because later on they started making them in China, so the U.S. ones are supposed to be a little bit better.
You worked in Austin where bicycling is a lot more common. What do you think El Paso has to do to be a more bike-friendly city?
There are a couple of things: One thing (we need) is more bike lanes that lead to places. It almost seems like there are only sporadic bike lanes; they don’t lead anywhere. The other thing is seeing more bikes on the road so drivers can get accustomed to them. I’ve heard horror stories where drivers would hit cyclists, run over them, mock them… In addition, more bike racks as well. Most importantly, it’s educating the driver. People right now don’t feel comfortable riding a bike. I don’t use my bike without my helmet on because I don’t know who’s driving next to me. It’s sad because it discourages people from riding bikes.
How did you come to grow such an impressive mustache?
To be honest, I was in Austin working and my buddy had a really sick mustache like this. His mustache got really long and curly; I didn’t think I could grow it out like his. So I started growing it to see if I could grow it like that, and I kind of left it.
Aside from brewers and connoisseurs often having facial hair, can you think of any other connection between the worlds of craft beer and facial hair?
There’s actually a beer from Rogue Ales where they cultivated the yeast in one of the brewer’s beard. Because yeast is everywhere, so you can gather them from anywhere and cultivate it and put it into beer. It’s called “Beard Beer.”
It’s Spring. What do you recommend to drink during these hotter days?
The Deschutes Fresh-Squeezed IPA. I believe it’s called that because they use fresh hops and not dehydrated hops; usually that’s one of our rotating taps. I recommend this one in particular because it’s so refreshing, so tasty. I order it again and again.
What are 5 things everyone should know about craft beer?
Quality: Craft beer is about drinking better vs. drinking more.
More options: A true craft beer bar should focus on educating its customers.
Seasons: There are craft beers for different seasons, occasions, time of day, etc. Ask about seasonal taps.
But I don’t like beer: People who don’t like beer simply haven’t been offered the right craft beer for them. #challengeaccepted
Fact: People who drink craft beer tend to have happier and more meaningful lives.
TEXT: JOHN DEL ROSARIO