NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On May 3, Tennessee distillers were honored by the Tennessee House of Representatives for their efforts in producing hand sanitizer to support essential workers throughout the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rep. Michael G. Curcio (R – Dickson), who sponsored the resolution (HR0097), applauded Tennessee distillers for stepping into unfamiliar roles to help fellow Tennesseans in need and putting people over profits.
“Tennessee distillers had to suspend their tours during COVID-19, and they took it upon themselves to put the needs of others above their own and began producing hand sanitizer instead of whiskey,” said Curcio in his address to fellow legislators on the House floor on May 3.
Over the course of the pandemic, 23 Tennessee Distillers Guild distilleries pivoted their production from distilled spirits to sanitizing products. In total, the group produced nearly 4.5 million gallons of hand sanitizer and sanitizing surface cleaning products and donated thousands of gallons to first responders, nursing homes, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and other essential businesses throughout the state.
“While 2020 was a rough year for everyone, Tennessee distilleries were fortunate enough to see their businesses survive, and in some cases thrive, during that time, which put us in a unique position to not only take care of our own businesses, but to also take care of our communities,” said Alex Castle, master distiller at Old Dominick Distillery and president of the Tennessee Distillers Guild. “It was inspiring to see so many of our distilleries step up and step out of their comfort zones to help produce something that none of us even knew how to make until March of last year.”
The Tennessee Distillers Guild worked with state government entities, including the state’s COVID-19 Unified Command and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), to ensure the needs of critical service personnel, such as local and regional hospitals, were met.
“Tennessee distilleries didn’t hesitate to help out during the COVID-19 crisis. Big and small distilleries alike jumped into action to keep essential workers safe,” said Sara Beth Urban, executive director of the Tennessee Distillers Guild. “Altogether Tennessee distilleries produced enough hand sanitizer to supply all 330 million Americans with a 50mL bottle of hand sanitizer. That’s pretty incredible.”
SOURCE Tennessee Distillers Guild