Moeller Brew Barn, which operates craft breweries in Maria Stein and Troy, has applied for a distillery license for its Mercer County location so it can produce hand sanitizer from its own high-proof alcohol and help fill a community and workplace need during the coronavirus pandemic.
After the pandemic subsides, Moeller Brew Barn has longer-term plans to produce small-batch craft spirits with its distilling equipment, owner Nick Moeller told this news outlet Monday.
In the meantime, though, to help ease the hand-sanitizer shortage, Moeller Brew Barn is gearing up to produce hand sanitizer from ethanol brought in from an outside source, Moeller said.
The initial batch of 80-percent-ethyl-alcohol sanitizer is called “Dr. Wright’s Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer,” named after Moeller’s wife, a pharmacist, the brewery founder said.
Moeller said he has been contacted by county emergency medical officials, local hospitals and other organizations and employers that are seeking hand sanitizer, and he is looking forward to helping fill that need. Production will start in the coming days, he said.
Moeller Brew Barn has operated a brewery and tasting room in Maria Stein, south of Celina in Mercer County, since 2015. Its second location, an 8,000-square-foot former-church-turned-brewery at 214 W. Main St. in downtown Troy, opened in August 2019.
There are no plans to replicate the distillery operation at the Troy location of Moeller Brew Barn, Moeller said.
“We are only planning to do this in Maria Stein, since we have the adequate space and warehouse and packaging equipment to handle the scope of this project,” he said.