Distillery making hand sanitizer and providing it free with takeout orders

Posted at 5:52 AM, Mar 20, 2020

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. — Bier Distillery in Comstock Park, forced to close their dine-in services, is now using their spirits to help fight COVID-19.

The distillery is making and giving out free homemade sanitizer if you order from their new take out meal service.

“I’d heard about the shortages of hand sanitizer and obviously toilet paper,” says owner Joel Bierling.” So I kind of looked at this hand sanitizer, and I looked at the main ingredient -- the main active ingredient is ethyl alcohol-- well, all these barrels are full of ethyl alcohol.”

“This hand sanitizer that we're making is actually made from corn from a local farm, and basically that gets mashed up cooked, and then fermented and then distilled,” Bierling explained. The government-approved formula is “basically is ethyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin and water.”

As of Wednesday, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is providing certain exemptions and authorizations to let distilleries make hand sanitizer based on the guidelines put forth by the World Health Organization.

If you'd like to get your hands on a free mini bottle, they're handing them out when you place a pick-up order from their new Dutch kitchen. They only ask that you bring your own 4-oz. Bottles to fill up, because they are running short of those.

Bier Distillery is open every day from noon to 8 p.m. For picking up your orders or go inside and buy merchandise.

A pivot in their business style but not slowing them down.

Bierling tells us they're also working with the government to be able to deliver spirits to people's homes because at this point that only applies to beer and wine.

“The sad thing is that we opened this brand spanking new Dutch kitchen, serving authentic Dutch food,” says Bierling. “We opened that up about three or four weeks ago. It's like buying a house and somebody telling you that you can't live in your new house."

Coppercraft Distillery and Amway are also now making hand sanitizer and donating it to local hospitals.