FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — Since the coronavirus outbreak forced Maryland tasting rooms and bars to close down, a Frederick-based distillery has switched a portion of their production from making spirits to creating hand sanitizer.
Now, they’re distributing it to those who need it most.
“Last week we produced about 300 gallons of hand sanitizer. This week we’re looking to be producing another thousand gallons, give or take,” explained co-founder of McClintock Distilling, Braeden Bumpers.
The distillery has given away gallons of the disinfectant to first responders like Frederick County Fire and Rescue Services and non-profits like the Frederick Rescue Mission.
“Getting supplies has been difficult in some respects. We had quite a bit in stock, but we ran out and we keep reloading, ” explained executive director of the Frederick Rescue Mission, Arnold Farlow.
The mission’s kitchen continues to serve close to 300 meals a day through take-out with the help of members in the men’s Changed Life Recovery program as volunteers have been asked to stay home.
Everyone that walks in the kitchen uses a pump of hand sanitizer, and the same goes for those working in the on-site food distribution center.
Members continue to box up a grocery list of food items, donated through the Maryland Food Bank, to give to dozens of local families. Cleansers like hand sanitizer are essential and in-demand.
“If you want to pay 20 bucks for a small hand pump of hand sanitizer, you might get it in three weeks,” Farlow explained, “Places like McClintock and other places that are making it, it really helps fill a gap.”
The distillery aims to continue production and they’re getting some help from local wineries, including Knob Hall Wineries and Catoctin Breeze Vinyard, who have donated hundreds of gallons of wine to continue to distill for hand sanitizer.
Bumpers says so far, they’ve donated about $25,000-worth of product and they’re still ramping up to make more.
“We will be selling [hand sanitizer] to commercial businesses that are open during this time so that we can continue to bring in revenue so we can buy more materials to keep making alcohol for donation as well,” Bumpers said.
Donations of the hand sanitizer were also distributed to local assisted living communities.