It’s been almost a month since Red Deer’s Troubled Monk and Tap Room started making hand sanitizer.
Since then, they’ve handed out hundreds of jugs of the product.
The brewery started making hand sanitizer after the World Health Organization released a recipe and encouraged breweries around the world to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
When the pandemic hit, demand for hand sanitizer was high, with many grocery stores selling out of their supplies.
In late March, when Troubled Monk started making the product, jugs were going out the door quickly, said sales manager Bud Kelly.
“Demand was very, very high. As soon as we announced we were doing it, we had all kinds of calls,” he said.
The brewery has donated its product to shelters, seniors homes and to front-line workers at hospitals and clinics and other places of employment.
There are also people and businesses who are buying the product.
“The business community not only had the need for it, but they also wanted to support Troubled Monk,” said Kelly.
The brewery has made between 1,000 and 2,000 litres of hand sanitizer per week, ramping up to 10,000 litres at times.
“We see quite a mix of people coming in (to buy), whether it be for themselves or for their neighbours and relatives.”
People who come in to purchase the brewery’s primary products — beer, vodka and gin — often pick up a jug of hand sanitizer to go, said Kelly.
“But there are people coming in to buy just the hand sanitizer, too.”
The pandemic has had an impact on the brewery, he said, but sales of its primary products, and the hand sanitizer, have kept the doors open and the 25 full- and part-time workers employed.
“It’s our first and foremost goal to keep our staff employed.”
“It’s not all roses or anything like that, but we haven’t had to lay anybody off, and we haven’t had to cut hours or salaries, and that’s our intent with this situation we’re in.”