Brandon Hernandez lives with an incurable auto-immune disease called lupus, which means COVID forced him to shut himself off from the world in order to protect himself from the potentially fatal infection.
"Lupus is a chronic (long-term) disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of your body," according to the Lupus Foundation. "It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system — the body system that usually fights infections — attacks healthy tissue instead.'
COVID has changed the lives of many, but Hernandez was able to turn the pandemic into something positive.
Before COVID times, Hernandez worked in the beer industry for 15 years and has also worked as a freelance journalist.
With a compromised immune system, COVID forced Brandon to literally close himself off from the world.
"It would force me to stop working and that was actually the prescription from my doctor: Stop working completely," Hernandez said.
So Hernandez turned his side-gig into a full-time job, launching San Diego Beer News.
"San Diego Beer News is kind of your one-stop shop, whether you're interested in the business of beer or you want to go find breweries," Hernandez said.
Now, just over one year later, Hernandez collaborated with Burgeon Brewing in Carlsbad to create a commemorative beer to celebrate.
"We did Cover Story IPA — real San Diego-style IPA, that is a thing." Hernandez said. "Very dry, very hoppy. And it was a really cool experience. I got to help come up with the recipe as well as the cover art, which was a newspaper wrap around the can, and people seem to really enjoy it, from brewers onto casual fans. I know I did and I'm almost out."
Pro tip: Don't drink the profits, Brandon.