Local whiskey distillery switches to producing hand sanitizer

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COLUMBIA, IL – There is a vital new link in the supply chain for St. Louis area first responders.  A whiskey maker in Columbia, Illinois, is now cranking out hand sanitizer. 

The Stumpf family, a long-time farm family, that grows corn and has been turning a portion of it into whiskey at Stumpy’s Spirits & Distillery for the past 5 years. 

The family now has the green light from the federal government to make hand sanitizer in accordance with World Health Organization standards.  They’re packaging it into their supply of whiskey bottles. 

So, police, fire, and ambulance crews may be soon be popping corks on the job.  

“Just like you do on a standard bottle of whiskey,” said Stumpy’s owner, Adam Stumpf.  “Use the sanitizer directly out of the bottle or refill a pump bottle that you have at home.”

The whiskey bottles have corks, not hand pumps. 

Converting from bourbon to hand sanitizer is hardly a “just-like-that” proposition. 

The idea for the move came when Stumpf noticed grocery store shelves stripped of all hand sanitizer and amazingly people started calling Stumpy’s to see if they actually made the stuff.  When the week started, the answer was, ‘no’.  Now, it’s ‘yes’. 

Stumpy’s is partnering with the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center at SIU-E, which will provide most of the product.  Stumpy’s will churn out up to 40 bottles per minute, even 5-gallon buckets and 55-gallon barrels if needed. 

The first shipment will be to the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency. 

“I think we’ve got 29 different departments that called and got on the list in need of hand sanitizer,” said Executive Director, Herb Simmons.  

“We already have orders of thousands of gallons.  We don’t foresee an issue fulfilling any of the orders we’ve received so far,” said Stumpf.

“Never in our wildest dreams did we think you’d go to StumpySpirits.com and there would be a sanitizer link on that web page.”

Stumpy’s expects to start selling to the public late next week, but not in person.  

Check the company’s website, www.stumpysspirits.com for details. 

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