Neighborhood Heroes: Brian Christenson, Blinking Owl Distillery

Amid the catastrophic coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s essential to take a step again and acknowledge the positives. Appreciating glimmers of sunshine conjures up us to beat these darkish and difficult occasions collectively.

One beacon is selfless service. We have now observed the numerous acts, each small and enormous, by organizations and people alike, working arduous to reduce lasting injury. These will not be solely of us on the entrance traces—ER docs, nurses, first responders—but additionally the great Samaritans subsequent door, stopping this disaster from damaging their instant communities. These are the grocery retailer stockers, the postal staff, the small enterprise homeowners, and even those that are searching for their aged neighbors. These are the Neighborhood Heroes.

We tip our hats and lift our glasses to all the native heroes on the market—to honor these doing the thankless work now to assist their communities down the street to an unsure future forward.

On this first installment of Neighborhood Heroes, we’re highlighting the crew of Blinking Owl Distillery in Orange County, California. We just lately caught up with CEO Brian Christenson to search out out what he’s doing to assist.

blinking owl
Left to proper: Head distiller for Blinking Owl Ryan Friesen, and co-owners Brian and Robin Christenson Photograph: Courtesy of Blinking Owl Distillery

Title: Brian Christenson
Title: Chief Government Owl, Blinking Owl Distillery
Location: Santa Ana, Calif.
Years on the Job: 5

MJ: How has your work modified within the final two weeks?
BRIAN CHRISTENSON: It’s drastically modified. Our whole logistics has converted from manufacturing of vodkas, aquavit, gin and whiskies to producing hand sanitizer full-time. This implies sourcing new elements, new bottles/packaging, new gear, and a brand new course of which requires a whole lot of improvising and studying on the fly.

What’s the best problem at hand proper now?
Not having the ability to produce sufficient hand sanitizer to satisfy demand, which additionally means we will’t get it to as many individuals as we wish to.

Do you’re feeling at-risk or threatened?
I believe all of us really feel a bit in danger and uneasy from the unknown of this pandemic. These emotions don’t overpower the overwhelming response of gratitude and assist we’re receiving day by day from the neighborhood, who’re encouraging and thanking us day by day. It actually propels us ahead.

Do you acknowledge any indicators of hope?
The overwhelming constructive response from people who find themselves donating materials, money and time. It’s wonderful to see and expertise the assist, kindness and willingness from individuals throughout who wish to contribute to our efforts.

Do you’re feeling that individuals must be working proper now? How can of us assist in all this?
I should not have an excellent reply apart from attempt to do what the consultants ask for the higher good of us all. We are attempting to do what we will by making hand sanitizer, whereas additionally doing what we will to restrict the chance of publicity to our workers, prospects and neighborhood. Hopefully that is offering one thing of worth to everybody throughout these unusual, unsure occasions.

You possibly can donate to Blinking Owl’s initiatives here.

Have you learnt a Neighborhood Hero making a distinction on the entrance traces of your neighborhood? There are three simple methods to appoint somebody to be featured: 1. Nominate your Neighborhood Hero within the feedback beneath and easily tell us why they should be featured and the way we will contact them. 2. Ship us a Direct Message on Men’s Journal Instagram together with your nomination. 3. Publish their photograph on Instagram utilizing #weoweyouadrink (both on Tales or Feed). 

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