Two years ago Christopher Glenn closed up Dry County Brewing where he managed the taproom and steered his Jeep down the road. He wouldn’t make it home that night. A drunk driver, asleep at the wheel, hit him at 60 mile per hour.
Christopher was left with severe neurological damage due to traumatic brain injury. He also experienced a plethora of physical injuries and many other long-lasting conditions. Recovery has been a slow and painful road. Almost 2 years later he’s still learning to live with ‘the new Christopher’.
For months he battled resentment and negativity. Thankfully his amazing family and support team stepped in and took care of everything for him so he could focus strictly on recovering. Throughout his recovery he began to think “why was I blessed with the optimal environment to heal while so many others who have suffered far worse don’t have anyone but themselves?”
About six months after the accident these thoughts began to coalesce on the idea of Bottleshare.
Bottleshare began because there is a huge void in the industry that needs to be both addressed and filled. There are a lot of workers out there who would struggle missing just one paycheck. What would happen if they missed 4 paychecks? How about 8? Try to imagine how devastating it would be to that individual. Those are the people we are here to help. We want to be the family and support system that many of our fellow craft industry workers wouldn’t otherwise have. It’s my way of paying it forward. If it wasn’t for my family and support team I’d be homeless or dead after my accident. All I have left is to give. It’s that simple.
Now Bottleshare collaborates with breweries and community partners to try to fill the financial gap often left when tragedy strikes a member of the craft beverage industry. So far they’ve had generous contributions from Dry County Brewing company (where it all began), New Realm and Mitch Steele, Pontoon, Burnt Hickory, Lyft, Monster Energy, and a handful of other local restaurants and bars. They’ve also had success with individual donations through Facebook fundraising.
Our first recipient of the year received a $15,000 endowment after her husband, Phillip Barnes – Co Owner of Modern Hops Distribution, suddenly passed away leaving behind his Wife, Jennifer, and their three children – all under the age of 5. He was loved and admired in this community, we all came together to make that happen for Jennifer, it was really special.
Recently the Bottleshare Collective was launched. This is a Mutual Aid Initiative Membership Program to benefit member of the craft beverage industry. Breweries commit to an annual membership, paid monthly, to become a member of the collective. The contributions support fellow craft beverage workers if they experience an emergency or extreme hardship, through the Bottleshare grant program. The plan is to disperse grants quarterly in 2020, doubling the number of grants every year for the first 5 years.
Recovery from his injuries is, and will likely always be, an ongoing struggle. Christopher has made tremendous progress in the last two years.
Brain injuries change your entire reality. You can have a great day, then suddenly fall hard. Symptoms range from confusion, terror, uncontrollable tremors that’ll occasionally knock you on your butt, stutters, anxiety, depression, all the good stuff. Those are the days I’m absent, I don’t like people seeing me while I’m having an episode. With all that being said, I’m a completely different person than I was just a year ago. There’s been incredible progression.
Focusing on Bottleshare has helped him dig himself out of the negativity and work through his remaining health issues.
Bottleshare is my purpose in life. I’ll do this until the day I die. Bottleshare will outlive me, and that stokes me out beyond anything imaginable! The purest form of healing has been through focusing on the healing of others.I’ll be damned if I don’t live up to the reason I was kept alive the night I was hit. I was lucky. There are so many who weren’t.
Individuals can help by volunteering, donating, and sharing the story. You can find info on getting involved at thebottleshare.org. The craft beverage industry can work with Bottleshare through collaborations, events, donations, recipe donations, charity partnership for large scale events, percentage nights, and Facebook fundraisers.