FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Over the past few weeks, Tenth Ward Distilling Company has become one of dozens of businesses across the country to step up and switch operations to produce hand sanitizer for those on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.
But as nationwide distilleries continue to fill that need, Tenth Ward began to think of what else they could serve up.
“We see that hand sanitizer is taken care of, now what is another area that probably needs additional help?” questioned head distiller at Tenth Ward Distilling Company, Mark Vierthaler.
Vierthaler says staff thought that what was just as needed to clean hands, was also needed wipe down desks and counters, phones, and the surfaces people touch most.
Now the distillery is creating surface disinfectant.
“What we’ve done is we’ve essentially added an additional production shift into our standard production schedule here at Tenth Ward to produce ethanol that is exclusively meant to go into surface disinfectants,” explained Vierthaler.
The ethanol is distilled to a higher alcohol by volume measurement, about 94 percent. That’s higher than would be made for spirits, but enough to do the job on everyday surfaces.
“Most of what we’ve been producing so far has been offered to front line facilities, anybody that’s considered essential from nursing homes, to medical facilities, police stations, news stations, even plumbing companies,” said owner and founder of Tenth Ward, Monica Pearce.
The cleaning liquid has been both donated and sold to organizations including the Frederick Police Department, Community Living Frederick, Carroll Lutheran Village, and WDVM News.
Pearce estimates that about half of all production effort is going to creating hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant.
So far the distillery says they’ve been able to produce and distribute about 300 of these half gallons bottles of the disinfectant and soon enough they’ll be ramping up production to create even more.
“We’ll be focusing on producing 600 one-gallon jars. Luckily, because we got a donation from our bottle company. Offerings have just been pouring in, not just from bottles but also from wineries, other distilleries, and breweries that are giving us their product to distill into ethanol and that’s just been incredible heartwarming,” Pearce said.
Loew Winery and Philosophy Winery donated wine to distill, Pearce says, and Pathfinder Farm donated corn to distill. Pearce adds that Andler packaging provided jugs and closures.
For more information on Tenth Ward Distilling or their products currently available, visit https://www.tenthwarddistilling.com/