Bare Hands Brewery owner recovering after brain injury

A St. Joseph County business owner is recovering from a brain injury.

Chris Gerard, who owns Bare Hands Brewery, is still in the hospital. Earlier this month, he fell and hit his head on concrete.

“The doctor compared it to a severe concussion,” said Ryan Gerard, Chris’ brother. “Now he has something called aphasia which affects speech and speech recognition. At times, he has trouble getting his point across.”

Chris is making progress in the hospital but it is still unclear when he will be fully recovered.

The mounting medical bills are putting extra stress on the Gerard family because Chris does not have medical insurance.

“He hasn’t gotten to a point in the business yet where he could afford to do it,” Ryan said. “He’s been looking into healthcare options and unfortunately didn’t find anything before this happened.”

The words “Raise a Pint for Chris” are painted on the windows at Bare Hands. While the brewery has remained open, the employees’ thoughts are with Chris.

Chris developed a love for craft beer after his parents got him a home brew kit nearly a decade ago. He has spent the last couple of years turning his love for making beer into a solid business.

The husband and father of three is still in a hospital bed but that is not stopping him from asking for updates on the brewery.

“That’s what Chris needs… our help to keep the business going,” Ryan said.

The Gerard family has gotten an outpouring of support from others in the craft beer community. Other breweries are posting about Chris’ injury on social media and helping with fundraising efforts.

There is a fundraising website to help the Gerard’s with medical expenses. For more information, click here

The family is also planning a golf outing to help defray medical costs. Event details can be found here

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