COLUMBIA, Ill. — Stumpy's Spirits Distillery has been making booze for the last 5 years.
Owner Laura Stumpf says to make their liquor, they use ingredients from their eighth-generation family farm. Their method is from grain to glass. She'd never imagine they'd handcraft anything but alcohol.
But now they’re strictly making hand sanitizer during COVID-19.
After hearing the buzz of the coronavirus pandemic, she knew they needed to help.
"The ethanol is a byproduct of what we make in our everyday business, so we said, 'Let’s get the ingredients and see if we can start helping some people,'" Stumpf said.
From start to finish, it takes about a day to make their hand sanitizer, which has 80% alcohol.
The distillery posted a video on Facebook of labels being printed from Budnick Converting. It worked together with the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to formulate the product.
"This idea came after the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau issued a statement regarding guidance on production of hand sanitizer," NCERC said. "Just two days after the idea was introduced, NCERC staff had produced a test sample of hand sanitizer following guidelines released by the World Health Organization (WHO)."
They're selling the hand sanitizer in three sizes:
- 750 ml glass bottles: $6
- 5-gallon bucket with lid: $125
- 55 gallon drum: $1,250
The distillery said the orders are pickup only because demand is too high for them to ship at this time.
Stumpf said it's tough to keep up with the 1,000 orders already placed.
But as she checks the requests, many are telling her, why it's crucial to get this product in their hand. Stumpf says, "Children that have trach tubes. Hospitals are running low. It’s been heartbreaking, I was actually in tears the first night."
She just hopes, they can work as quickly as possible, to keep everyone's spirits up.
Stumpy's has stopped orders so they can work on the ones placed before they start doing more. They hope to have the order list up and running again by April 3rd.
To place an order when they re-open the order list, click here.
More local stories:
Previous story on Stumpy's