Recently we had the opportunity to get to know Christopher Glenn and his team over at Bottleshare. Christopher’s dedication to the craft industry and his journey to Bottleshare left us inspired and excited to shout from the rooftops the incredible work they’re doing.
The Origin Story
On his way home after closing down the tasting room at Dry County Brewing Company in Kennesaw, GA, Christopher Glenn was struck by a drunk driver. Left with a multitude of physical injuries and neurological damage, Christopher’s life as he knew it was never going to be the same. Christopher was one of the lucky ones to walk away with his life, but a life he must live with lasting brain damage and emotional trauma from that night.
After the accident, which took place two years ago, he was in a very dark place, unable to work or even think and process day to day tasks. “My wires were all mixed up,” says Christopher. “I sometimes lost complete self awareness. I didn’t know who I was, where I was, why I was there.” It was in this state that he made the choice to brave the storm and keep living.
That’s when Bottleshare was born.
“I have a chance to live a second life while still in my first,” said Christopher, when talking to us about Bottleshare. “I want to share what I’ve received through the craft community and give people hope.” It’s with this tenacity and love of craft that drives Bottleshare’s mission to help industry workers in adverse situations—when they’re unable to work or pay the bills.
Image courtesy of Bottleshare
Raising Glasses, Saving A$$es
Bottleshare is a charitable organization founded with the sole purpose of keeping craft players in the game when times get tough. With a vision of not only helping but uplifting our craft family, instilling hope, and celebrating life, Bottleshare supports industry workers and their families in the darkest of times.
Bottleshare partners with craft destinations to raise money in order to give back to this one of a kind industry. They collaborate with breweries across the country to create charity beers & help host craft events like the 2020 Brownie Bash—a celebration of brownie inspired beers from breweries from all over the country—started by Pontoon Brewing Company in Sandy Springs, GA.
It’s festivals like these and the help from personal donations that allow Bottleshare to fulfill their micro-grant program for workers year after year.
Bottleshare and COVID-19
But what happens when a pandemic hits? It’s no surprise to anyone that 2020 has thrown the whole craft industry off-course, causing an uptick in the volume of grant applications from individuals left without a job.
“I had about 2 minutes to lace up my Nikes and run harder than I’ve ever run before,” Christopher said when talking about how the pandemic forced the nonprofit to change course. They shifted from supporting individual workers to helping craft establishments—Bottleshare supplies grants to brewery owners and state guilds to help fund payroll and other expenses.
In April 2020, the Brewers Association reached out to partner with Bottleshare on providing relief to breweries and state guilds affected by COVID-19 shutdowns. The Believe in Beer emergency relief fund kicked off the partnership and provided an answer to the most common question asked by craft beer lovers as they watched brewery doors shutter across the nation, ‘How can I help?’
The Believe in Beer fund raised just north of $14,000 over the last three months and the donations are still pouring in. In addition to their Go Fund Me, Bottleshare partnered with MobCraft Beer out of Wisconsin to create the 1st edition Believe in Beer Blending Barrels craft brew—a delicious oak barrel aged fruited sour ale with 1,000 pounds of Georgia peaches and 100% of proceeds go to the Believe in Beer fund.
Image courtesy of Bottleshare
Bottleshare continues to build new partnerships within the craft industry and we can’t wait to see what they do next. In the meantime, pour me one of those fruited sour ales!