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Neighborhood Heroes: Brian Christenson, Blinking Owl Distillery

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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. Now we have observed the numerous acts, each small and huge, by organizations and people alike, working arduous to attenuate lasting injury. These will not be solely of us on the entrance traces—ER docs, nurses, first responders—but in addition the nice Samaritans subsequent door, stopping this disaster from damaging their fast communities. These are the grocery retailer stockers, the postal staff, the small enterprise homeowners, and even those that are looking for their aged neighbors. These are the Neighborhood Heroes.

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We tip our hats and lift our glasses to the entire 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 lately caught up with CEO Brian Christenson to seek out out what he’s doing to assist.

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 total logistics has converted from manufacturing of vodkas, aquavit, gin and whiskies to producing hand sanitizer full-time. This implies sourcing new components, new bottles/packaging, new gear, and a brand new course of which requires a variety 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 fulfill 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 feel 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 help we’re receiving every day from the neighborhood, who’re encouraging and thanking us every 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 superb to see and expertise the help, kindness and willingness from folks throughout who wish to contribute to our efforts.

Do you’re feeling that folks must be working proper now? How can of us assist in all this?
I shouldn’t have a great reply apart from attempt to do what the consultants ask for the better 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 employees, 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.

Are you aware a Neighborhood Hero making a distinction on the entrance traces of your neighborhood? There are three straightforward 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. Submit their photograph on Instagram utilizing #weoweyouadrink (both on Tales or Feed). 


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