Indian Creek Distillery making hand sanitizer to donate to local organizations, sell to public

Missy Duer described the changes happening at Indian Creek Distillery as a “seismic shift.”

“As my older daughter said to me, ‘You created a whole new product line in one week,’” says Duer, who along with her husband, Joe, owns the family-owned distillery just outside New Carlisle.

The 200-year-old distillery halted whiskey production a couple of weeks ago, and instead have started to produce hand sanitizer.

In light of coronavirus and a need for more hand sanitizer to be manufactured, Duer says regulations for small, artisan distillers changed.

“It’s a pretty drastic change,” Duer says, adding that they follow a World Health Organization recipe that creates hand sanitizers that are 83 percent alcohol.

All the hand sanitizer starts 5-gallon buckets that are mixed by hand. Multiple of the buckets are then poured into a larger container with a spout that the Duers use to hand-fill 4-ounce spray bottles that are also hand-labeled.

“Believe me — it is just like our whiskey. It’s a labor of love, just in a different direction — a direction for our community,” says Duer. The business has donated the new product to a variety of local fire departments, police departments, hospice facilities, food banks, and more.

Businesses and individuals can purchase the hand sanitizer in the distillery shop at 7095 Staley Road, where they are also still selling bottles of the business’ traditional spirits. This week, Indian Creek also launched an online sales option through Shopify that can be accessed through the distillery Facebook page.

“It’s very humbling to be able to have this opportunity because of a distillery. We never would have thought we’d go from whiskey to hand sanitizer,” Duer says. “We are able to keep our employees on, and it keeps our lights on. And in turn, it meets a need. It’s a big circle of blessings, the way I look at it.”

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Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.