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Lebanon’s Hidden Still Spirits has switched from making liquor at its distillery on Willow Street to producing surface sanitizer spray the company is distributing to local care homes and healthcare facilities.
Owner Dave Stein said he saw other distilleries making hand sanitizer to give away to essential services. But everywhere he went, store employees seemed to be using sanitizing spray to clean surfaces to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.
Figuring enough facilities were making hand sanitizer, Stein switched his facilities to producing a neutral spirit that can be used as a surface sanitizer spray.
“I just figured at one point that product would be out of reach for most people,” Stein said.
The facility has been making the spray for about three weeks, Stein said, and has donated some to Spang Crest and the American House. On Sunday, Hidden Still posted on Facebook to see if there were any local groups that needed the spray.
The post got an immediate response. A local dialysis facility called, asking for some, as did a fire department from the suburbs of Philadelphia.
“We’ll produce as needed as long as needed and we’ll donate as needed,” Stein said.
Cost not a concern
This comes as construction on Hidden Still’s new facility in Hershey has been halted by the coronavirus-related shutdown of nonessential business. Stein said construction will start up again once that is allowed.
Since the facility is already a controlled, sterile environment, with only a few employees, Stein said he is not concerned for their safety.
Making the spray has been a bit tedious – since nearly all of Hidden Still’s production is for for whiskey and bourbon, Stein said, so it is more difficult to produce sanitizer than it would be if they primarily produced vodka.
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The cost doesn’t matter to Stein – he said he hasn’t even calculated it.
“When I took notice to the fact that the virus seemed to be growing throughout Pennsylvania, and more and more people were being exposed to it … I figured I might as well focus on the surface sanitizer,” Stein said. “It just seemed to be a product that was going to be needed.”
HIdden Still joins other distilleries in the midstate in producing sanitizing products.
Recently, Hidden Still has teamed up with with Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works in Middletown to produce more sanitizer product.
Stein said the distillery is dedicated to helping local first responders and healthcare workers get through the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We’re just going to keep moving forward and donating,” Stein said.
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