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State and local breweries raising funds for brewer Chris Gerard

State and local brewers are pulling together to help Bare Hands Brewery’s Chris Gerard, who recently suffered a brain injury.

Chris’ brother, Ryan, set up a fundraiser called “Raise a Pint,” hosted on crowdfunding website Crowdrise, to help Chris and his family pay his medical bills. 

On Tuesday from 3 to 10 p.m., Iechyd Da Brewing Company in Elkhart will donate a portion of its proceeds to “Raise a Pint.”  

Next Friday, Fiddler’s Hearth will also hold an event to help the Gerards. The South Bend brewing company invited Iechyd Da to do a tap takeover, and Iechyd Da will provide six beers for the night. Starting at 5 p.m. on June 6, a portion of Fiddler’s Hearth proceeds will be donated to the Gerard family.

New Paradigm Brewing in Elkhart is holding an event tonight at 9 p.m. and donating the voluntary cover charges. They also took a collection last week, bartender Brandon Stanley said, and have raised about $400.

Local brewers are spearheading fundraising efforts, but breweries from as far away as Indianapolis have been donating to “Raise a Pint.”

Triton Brewing Company in Indianapolis donated $500 on Crowdrise, according to the fundraising page. Starting June 2, Tomlinson Tap Room will have kegs donated from 10 Indiana breweries on tap, with proceeds going to the Gerards.

Bare Hands Brewery is keeping its regular hours while Chris is recovering. Chris’ brother Ryan Gerard, who put together the “Raise a Pint” Crowdrise page, said their father Barry Gerard and the assistant brewers will continue to brew.

Chris was released from the hospital Tuesday, Ryan said, and started outpatient therapy Thursday. 

“Things are coming back to him very quickly and he’s starting to find his speech,” Ryan said. “There’s definitely still a ways to go to fully get back to normal…but physically, he’s already out doing things.”

The Crowdrise fundraiser had raised over $21,000 by noon Friday, 35 percent of its goal.

“The craft brew industry is still pretty tightly-knit even though it’s grown a lot,“ Ryan Gerard said. “You get to know the other brewers and the other owners of the businesses. And I think that’s what we’re seeing here, is those people reaching out.”

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