Mental Health Matters

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and over the last three years we have been fortunate enough to partner with The Scars Foundation, created by Sully Erna of Godsmack, through our Pours for a Purpose initiative.

In 2022, with the combination of proceeds from our Scars IPA, Dream Hops DIPA, taproom pours on Thursdays in both our MN and SD taprooms, our Metal Health for Mental Health concert, silent auction and t-shirt sales, we were able to donate a record $11,147 to The Scars Foundation, the most we have ever donated to a single organization!

Metal Health for Mental Health

On May 14th, 2022, we hosted Metal Health for Mental Health. A metal concert with a cause. Four face-melting bands took the stage and raged with the crowd while raising money for The Scars Foundation. It was truly an epic day and we could not be more grateful for all the support that made it possible. None of this would have been possible without a very special guy, Justin Crandall, who has made all of our work with The Scars Foundation possible.

Justin’s Story

“About three and a half years ago I started to get sick, going blind in both my eyes and my health took a turn for the worst, i couldn’t feel my arms or legs, was diagnosed with MS, Parkinsons, and more, the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Turns out, as my body develops stress, it dumps fluid behind my eyes causing me to go blind. I was put on antidepressants to help deal with the stress, and all of this led to my first suicide attempt.”

“I had a lot of trauma in my life, I just always put it behind me, never dealt with my childhood, never went to therapy, and never got the help I needed. The stress became too much and my body was giving up trying to handle it. Mentally I didn’t feel like I could handle it anymore. Thankfully I didn’t follow through with it, I think what kept me from goin down that path, was my children… Long story short, my body started to get better, I regained feeling in my legs and arms, I got one broken eye, one good eye, my band was set to play Rockfest, and I went and did it!  I re-taught myself how to play guitar, and by happenstance, our band was asked to open up for Godsmack.”

“I’ve always loved music, Godsmack, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, I was in love with all of the nu metal bands in my teenage years. We got to sit side stage during their set, it was so cool and I even got to fist bump the bass player. I looked up Godsmack and found The Scars Foundation that Sully had started because one of his really good friends that happened to be the graphic designer for their very first album had taken his life. After Chester Bennington had passed and a lot of famous musicians that Sully had known had left this world, he’d kind of had enough. It was hard for him to not do anything, and that’s how The Scars Foundation was started.”

“I was just so inspired by all of this, I sent an email to The Scars Foundation. I just told them my story about my health struggles and suicide attempt, that I work at Best Buy and we are doing a lot of work in the mental health space, my love of music, it just made sense and I hit send. I had zero expectations from it, I just decided to put it out there and see what happened. They responded and the next thing I knew, I was sitting across the table from Sully at Best Buy talking about mental health awareness programming, music therapy and more. That was that and it started my journey with The Scars Foundation.”

“None of this would have been possible if Naomi Fabricant, the Executive Director for the Scars Foundation, had not responded to my email. She is the heartbeat of The Scars Foundation and has been my partner in crime the entire time. I am so grateful she took the time to listen to my story and reply to my email.”

Metal Health for Mental Health

“How did the Metal Health for Mental Health thing come about? When I was talking with Sully about the work at Best Buy, I just kept thinking to myself how could I do more? I said to myself ‘Dude what do you got, well I don’t know, you play in a band dude…’ I felt like I just wasn’t doing enough with the stuff at Best Buy, and looked at how Sully uses his platform and the things going on in his life to move forward and help create awareness on this topic. He plays in a metal band, books shows, knows what he needs… you just have to find the people who want to join with you on it. Get out in the world and good will come back to you, and that is exactly what happened.”

“Metal Health for Mental Health was a name that I was bumpin back and forth with my friend Ian, and I was like ‘Metal Health for Mental Health!’ and he was like ‘Yes! That’s badass!’.  I  went to Marcus and told him that aside from the collaboration beer Scars, let’s do a concert too! I’ve got cool people that want to do cool things, let’s find more cool people that want to do cool things together. The mantra was share what you want to do and hopefully it will manifest itself, a lot like the email.”

“The Metal Health for Mental Health concert was an extension to the very first collaboration brew we were going to do with Sully and The Scars Foundation back in 2020. Obviously Covid had to put the concert plans on hold, but once we were able, I told a bunch of people about my idea and they were all like ‘Hell Yeah’ and we made plans!”

“This collaboration would not have happened without my dude Marcus. If it weren’t for him listening to me and my crazy ass ideas and just saying, ‘Let’s do it!’, it’s kind of our mantra! I love him so much, our friendship has lasted the past 20 years now! We have grown so much together! I am so grateful for him.”

Quotes Justin Lives By

You’re not alone” – So simple but powerful, people are walking around this world just trying to work through their own stuff and so often people think they are alone and that is just not true. If we could just share a bit more and realize you are not alone, it’s so much easier to ask for help and get what you need.

Leave the world a little bit better than you found it” – Small acts of kindness that can make the big things happen, we’re always so set on trying to do these massive changes and do very big things to make any change, but it’s the little things that make the big things happen. Try to do no harm to people along the way. The world is already hard enough the way it is, we do not need to make it worse.