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’ve got seen the numerous acts, each small and enormous, by organizations and people alike, working arduous to attenuate lasting harm. These should not solely people on the entrance traces—ER medical doctors, nurses, first responders—but in addition the nice Samaritans subsequent door, stopping this disaster from damaging their instant communities. These are the grocery retailer stockers, the postal staff, the small enterprise house owners, and even those that are purchasing for their aged neighbors. These are the Neighborhood Heroes.

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 highway 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 total 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 tools, and a brand new course of which requires a number of improvising and studying on the fly.

What’s the best problem at hand proper now?
Not with the ability to produce sufficient hand sanitizer to satisfy demand, which additionally means we are able to’t get it to as many individuals as we want 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 help we’re receiving every day from the group, 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 individuals ought to be working proper now? How can people assist in all this?
I do not need a very good reply aside from attempt to do what the specialists ask for the higher good of us all. We are attempting to do what we are able to by making hand sanitizer, whereas additionally doing what we are able to to restrict the danger of publicity to our employees, prospects and group. 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 group? 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 are able to contact them. 2. Ship us a Direct Message on Men’s Journal Instagram along with your nomination. 3. Submit their picture on Instagram utilizing #weoweyouadrink (both on Tales or Feed). 

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