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Maryland Distilleries Answer Urgent Call for Sanitizer

MARYLAND –  On April 30, 2020 the Maryland Distillers Guild (MDG) announced 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
Baltimore, MD
www.baltimorespiritsco.com

Beach Time Distilling
Lewes, DE
www.beachtimedistilling.com

Blackwater Distilling
Stevensville, MD
www.blackwaterdistilling.com

BlueDyer Distilling Co.
Waldorf, MD
www.bluedyerdistilling.com

Dragon Distillery
Frederick, MD
www.dragondistillery.com

McClintock Distilling
Frederick, MD
www.mcclintockdistilling.com

MISCellaneous Distillery
Mt Airy, MD
www.miscdistillery.com

Old Line Spirits
Baltimore, MD
www.oldlinespirits.com

Painted Stave Distilling
Smyrna, DE
www.paintedstave.com

Patapsco Distilling Company
Sykesville, MD
www.patapscodistilling.com

Sagamore Spirit Distillery
Baltimore, MD
www.sagamorespirit.com

Seacrets Distilling Company
Ocean City, MD
www.seacretsdistilling.com

Shmidt Spirits
Beltsville, MD
www.shmidtspirits.com

Tenth Ward Distilling
Frederick, MD
www.tenthwarddistilling.com

Tobacco Barn Distillery
Hollywood, MD
www.tobaccobarndistillery.com

Twin Valley Distillers
Rockville, MD
www.twinvalleyd.com

Windon Distilling (Lyon Rum)
St. Michaels, MD
www.lyondistilling.com

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.

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