Sourland Mountain Spirits, the Hopewell-based distillery that has produced award-winning vodka, gin, and rum, has shifted its business during the coronavirus pandemic from producing craft spirits to creating hand sanitizers for health care systems, first responders and local nonprofits.
Earlier this week, the distillery made its first delivery of more than 2,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to the Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, Homefront NJ in Lawrenceville, and the Quaker Bridge Mall COVID-19 testing center.
“Within two weeks, our grain went from helping people celebrate life to helping save it,” said Ray Disch, founder of Sourland Mountain Spirits.
To make hand sanitizer, Disch’s team takes its organic neutral grain and distills it down to 80 percent alcohol, which surpasses requirements to kill a virus. After that step, aloe and hydrogen peroxide are added to the product.
As part of Sourland Mountain Spirit’s transition from creating spirits to making hand sanitizer, Disch received a helping hand from his son, Sage. The New York City-based entrepreneur joined his dad full-time to work alongside the Sourland Mountain Spirits team and devise a procedure to safely produce and distribute the hand sanitizer.
Disch plans to initially supply Sourland’s new hand sanitizer to health care systems and first responders. Once that demand is addressed, he plans on selling the hand sanitizer in 8-oz and 64-oz bottles.
Disch encourages health care organizations and first responders to reach out to distillers in their communities who have also pivoted to produce hand sanitizers.
“In record speed, our members have retooled their plants and sourced very scarce materials in a challenging supply chain to meet the overwhelming demands of hospitals, first responders and the military. All of us hope to be past this very soon and (be able to) toast our front-line warriors,” said John Granata, co-owner of Jersey Spirits Distilling Company in Fairfield and president of the New Jersey Craft Distillers Guild.
New Jersey distillers that have started producing hand sanitizers include:
- Sourland Mountain Spirits, Hopewell,
- Jersey Spirits Distillery Co., Fairfield
- Long Branch Distillery, Long Branch
- Corgi Spirits, Jersey City
- Asbury Park Distilling Co., Asbury Park
- Silk City Distillers, Clifton
- All Points West Distillery, Newark
- Milk Street Distillery, Branchville
- Nauti Spirits Distillery, Cape May
- Claremont Distillery, Fairfield
- Island Beach Distillery, Forked River
- Lazy Eye Distillery, Richland
- Little Water Distillery, Atlantic City
- Train Wreck Distillery, Mount Holly
- Tree City Spirits, Kenilworth
- Independent Spirits Distillery, Woolwich Township
To learn more about Sourland Mountain Spirits, visit sourlandspirits.com, call 609.333.8575, or email Info@SourlandSpirits.com.