NANTICOKE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The coronavirus crisis leaves many essential items in short supply. One of those items is hand sanitizer which is why a local distillery has changed its business model.
At the front of the line outside LBC Distillery was Kelly Hughes who wanted to get her hands on a couple of bottles of hand sanitizer.
“Let’s face it. You’re having a hard time finding hand sanitizer in other places and I really would like to support local businesses,” said Kelly Hughes of Plains Township.
Jonathan Lang has been making vodka, rum and gin at his distillery since September 2017. He and his wife Maryann never envisioned they’d ever use the business to make hand sanitizer.
“We wanted to just follow our passion of making quality spirits and the need arose and we saw that we could meet that need so there was no good reason to not provide what is asked for,” said Jonathan Lang, Distiller, LBC Distillery.
So now he’s using a huge still and some 100 gallon containers to make the sanitizer.
“I, up until a week and a half ago, did not know what was in hand sanitizer other than alcohol. It’s the alcohol you can’t drink but we had to figure out how to make it,” said Lang.
He fills the still with sugar, yeast and water and through fermentation is able to fill these tiny liquor bottles with the sanitizing liquid he’s selling for $2.75 a bottle, tax included.
Speaking of help, the Langs donated several bottles of their homemade hand sanitizer to Nanticoke Fire Department.
“Hand sanitizer is very hard to come by with the outbreak of the coronavirus and we’re very appreciative of what they’re doing for everybody,” said Capt. Mark Boncal of the Nanticoke Fire Department.
Lang plans to brew up another batch of hand sanitizer early this week. He expects to have 300 if not more of these little bottles in stock and ready to sell by Thursday or Friday.