Hi there, Reader! Anthony Buchanan, founder, here to fill you in on what Brewed Hope is all about. We are a combination of lifestyle design and charitable program to blend a number of my passions. After 16 years in retail, selling things for the sake of selling things and living for weekends and infrequent vacations, I’ve decided it’s time to choose my own adventure with a more fulfilling purpose that leaves a mark on the world.
I can most often and most happily be found exploring some new place for a run, hike, or bike ride or sipping a coffee or craft beer in whatever random place I’ve discovered. As someone who has lived with bipolar disorder for years and largely overcome it, I know all too well the struggles and stigma in our society around mental health issues.
For many people it is still taboo to talk about mental illness, whether in the form of bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, or anything else. When it is talked about it is often misunderstood and treated with a stigma unlike physical ailments. So the result is far too many live in silence and shame, when sharing their struggles openly with friends and family could do so much to support their recovery.
Over my years in management some of my most rewarding experiences had nothing to do with sales success or operational execution, but with supporting the people I worked with in conquering the personal challenges they faced, and in helping them better themselves both personally and professionally. In my role as a district manager it was so eye opening and humbling to realize that the ‘problem’ employee who was perpetually late was often fighting with depression just to get out of bed and had actually accomplished something by even showing up. That is but one of many examples of the secret battles our co-workers and friends face each day, unbeknownst to most of us.
When my own bipolar issues came to a head resulting in a breakdown, hospitalization, and diagnosis it was the care and understanding of my own leader that helped me greatly with getting through what for many could have been a career or even life-ending incident. I owe a large part of my recovery to her as well as to the friends and family that supported me through it. Today through a combination of therapy, medication, exercise, mindfulness, and other lifestyle changes I have largely conquered this condition and become a stronger person for it. Now it is time to live life on my own terms and pay it forward so others can find hope, recovery, and happiness as well.
This brings us to a transparent outline of future plans:
BREWED HOPE PHASE ONE (2018-2019). Initially we are raising awareness to the reality of mental health stigma and needs through the sale of Brewed Hope merch, and through my travel blog detailing the planning and journey of beginning a location independent lifestyle. The proceeds from affiliate links on this page, whether for gear used or travel deals on the places visited, will fund these efforts as well as support the D.B.S.A. In Spring of 2019 I will be hiking the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, both for personal reasons and to continue raising awareness and support of mental health needs. Along the way I will share interviews (over a good brew of course) about the inspirational journeys of fellow hikers and others’ mental health recovery, as well as explore various breweries and coffee shops. Following that, readers can expect more tales of travel and brews from around the world as we sweat for change in various rides, runs, and other exploits.
BREWED HOPE PHASE TWO (2019-ONWARD). Sweat For Change. Throughout the next year we are building partnerships with a number of breweries and coffee shops around the world to host Brewed Hope runs, walks, and bike rides. Whether it’s a run or a walk, nearly anyone regardless of fitness level can participate in supporting mental health and to receive the positive benefits of fresh air, physical activity, and sense of community. We are actively seeking partner breweries and coffee shops to host these events, with an ambitious goal of reaching all 50 states in the U.S. as well as many countries throughout the world. If you know of somewhere that would be a fit for this, connect with us to discuss! Proceeds from these events will continue to support mental health programs including and beyond the D.B.S.A., and help fund the next phase.
BREWED HOPE PHASE THREE (2021-ONWARD). Brewed Hope Brewhouse. Time to settle down with a physical location. While the travel adventures and worldwide brew runs and rides will continue, we will eventually be opening a limited-profit brewhouse. All employees will be paid a living wage, but beyond that all additional profits and tips will go directly to support mental health programs. We plan to offer daily wellness activities in our events room including yoga and mindfulness classes, a mental health themed book club, as well as of course our very own running and biking groups. Mental health resources will be available including a community-driven library of books on related topics. Tap takeovers from partner breweries and coffeeshops will see profits benefit those partners’ own passion causes around mental health. This will be a safe space for all, offering tasty drinks and baked goods in a relaxing and supportive environment. Community (Brewmunity?) placement to be determined during phase two.
If you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU for taking the time to see what we’re all about. Reach out through the contact page, on social media, or to BrewedHope@gmail.com. Take care of yourselves, and each other. Cheers, Friends!