Kiln whiskey distiller kicks up hand sanitizer production

A South Mississippi distillery is helping to provide hand sanitizer to all of those in search of the much-desired product.
Updated: Mar. 30, 2020 at 5:23 PM CDT
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KILN, Miss. (WLOX) - Yes, they have hand sanitizer for sale, but please don’t call.

“My phone doesn’t stop ringing,” said Crittenden Distillery co-owner Matt Crittenden. “If you call me, it slows me down. I love you, and I want to talk to you but” he’d rather you just come by and let him fill up your jug.

“Everybody wants hand sanitizer right now, they need it right now,” he said.

Last week, they shifted production from whiskey to hand sanitizer. They are cranking out about 200 gallons a day, having almost quadrupled their production.

“I’m glad to be able to help, but trust me, I’d much rather be making whiskey than talking about this virus that’s going around,” he said.

Crittenden said that he has been working on Sunday, causing him to not see his family. However, he noted that there is an obligation there to help people, and since they have the ability to do it, it’s imperative that they do just that.

The company’s two-man operation has had to expand with Crittenden’s mother now helping out.

The biggest problem, Crittenden said, is packaging. They are selling 32-ounce spray bottles for $25 and have 5-gallon buckets, but they would prefer to fill your container as he said they are running short on packaging. He recommends for customers to bring one-gallon jugs or quarts, and they can fill them up.

“Come get a gallon. Fill up your spray bottle, fill up all your friends’ spray bottles,” Crittenden said.

Down the street, Lazy Magnolia brewery had been making hand sanitizer during the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, but they have backed off production as distilleries like Crittendon have stepped in. While their taproom is closed, they are still offering curbside service with their pizza and beer.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to help people maintain social distance, but have a tasty dinner and good beer for the evening,” said Leslie Henderson, co-owner of Lazy Magnolia.

She said their draught beer business has dried up, but grocery sales have been strong.

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