by: Jacob Blount, Ozarks First
A local distillery in Branson has started making more hand-sanitizer than moonshine.
So far, Missouri Ridge Distillery has helped make over 3,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for parts of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The owner of the distillery, Greg Pope, says it was about two weeks ago when government agencies relaxed on their regulations on manufacturing hand-sanitizer to address the need.
“Earlier today, a gentleman with the American Kidney Foundation left with two-hundred and fifty gallons of it,” Pope said. “And they’ll probably be back in another week. He’s transporting this stuff to Chicago.”
Now Missouri Ridge Distillery is a distilled spirits plant, so they were able to make the switch from making whiskey to hand sanitizer pretty quickly.
With the help of a fueling company called Show Me Ethanol in Carrolton, Missouri, the distillery has been able to provide enough sanitizer for multiple states.
They also sell it locally in Branson. Mike Stuart, Lakeland Pharmacy owner, says his business would struggle to find hand sanitizing products for customers or staff if it wasn’t for Missouri Ridge and is proud of the distillery for stepping up.
“He was able to come up for a source for it and provide it. He’s done a fantastic job when it comes to meeting needs,” Stuart said. “It’s people like that who step up in these times that make you proud of what the industry has done.
They are pricing it regularly at forty cents an ounce while charging only ten cents per ounce for those in the medical field.
Pope says he wants to make sure the people on the front lines can get it at a reasonable price.
Pope says, “The forty cents an ounce is offsetting the loss on the ten cents an ounce. It’s important to me that this stuff gets into the hands of people who are keeping all of us safe. Right, so Missouri Ridge Distillery can help keep those first responders, EMS, and hospitals safe as well.
They charge per ounce plus the cost of the container unless you can bring your own.