FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARYLAND DISTILLERIES ANSWER URGENT CALL FOR SANITIZER
In response to COVID-19, Maryland distilleries shifted production to surface and hand sanitizers for front line personnel.
(MARYLAND) APRIL 30, 2020 – The Maryland Distillers Guild (MDG) announced today that they have produced over 50,000 gallons of sanitizer, to help combat the COVID-19 virus. At least 17 Maryland distillers, with the help of some Maryland breweries and wineries, jumped into action in mid-March, after learning of a severe shortage of sanitizer, to begin the transition to creating hand sanitizer, in addition to making craft spirit.
“We don’t know how to sew or make masks, but we do know how to distill and blend. So shifting from making whiskey to hand sanitizer seemed like an obvious way for us to do our part for the community while keeping our employees working,” said Arch Watkins, co-founder of Old Line Spirits in Baltimore.
Transitioning was not without its hiccups. Limited access to supplies and ingredients complicated efforts to build an inventory of these much-needed supplies as urgent requests started pouring in.
“At one point, we had outstanding requests for almost 20,000 gallons of sanitizer and we were hearing from many first responders about just how desperate things were getting”, said Kelly Dudeck, Chief Strategy Officer for Grow & Fortify, a firm that represents Maryland’s value-added agriculture industries, including the Maryland Distillers Guild. “Once our distillers were online, we were able to fill those requests within a two week period.”
Although it currently remains unclear just how long distillers will be authorized to manufacture sanitizer under federal rules, many of them have committed to continuing with their production for at least a few more months. Sagamore Spirits in Baltimore, for example, has produced over 12,000 gallons and delivered close to 1,500 gallons weekly to The Johns Hopkins Hospital. McClintock Distilling, in Frederick, has been able to produce almost 30,000 gallons of sanitizer, even renting out another building to increase production.
While in most cases selling sanitizer has allowed these distilleries to keep the lights on, they have also managed to donate over 500 gallons of sanitizer to those in need. “I am incredibly proud that Maryland distillers were able to quickly satisfy the needs of the community during this time”, said Jaime Windon, producer of Lyon Rum, and president of the Maryland Distillers Guild.
Below is a list of distillers who contributed to the State’s sanitizer supply. Wineries and breweries throughout Maryland helped to offset ingredient shortages through the donation of unsalable wine and beer products.
Baltimore Spirits Company
Beach Time Distilling
BlueDyer Distilling Co.
Mt Airy, MD
Old Line Spirits
Painted Stave Distilling
Patapsco Distilling Company
Sagamore Spirit Distillery
Seacrets Distilling Company
Ocean City, MD
Tenth Ward Distilling
Tobacco Barn Distillery
Twin Valley Distillers
Windon Distilling (Lyon Rum)
St. Michaels, MD
About the Maryland Distillers Guild
Members of the Maryland Distillers Guild are a community of craft producers, dedicated to developing quality spirits and delivering a dynamic experience for visitors. We invite you to tour our distilleries, learn about our distilling processes, and sample locally-crafted spirits. Cheers to a rich heritage and spirited future!
The Maryland Distillers Guild can be followed on Facebook (@marylanddistillers), Instagram (@marylandspirits), and Twitter (@marylandspirits). Information about the Maryland Distillers Guild is updated at marylandspirits.org.