Sourland Mountain Spirits triples staff to improve production of personal protection

Sage and Erica Disch provide curbside delivery as cars line the street outside the Sourland Mountain Spirits distillery in Hopewell, New Jersey.

Sourland Mountain Spirits (SMS)—“New Jersey’s Farm Distillery”—announced recently that it has increased production of its life-protecting hand sanitizer to provide more personal protection against COVID-19 as businesses throughout the state gradually reopen.

In late March, SMS transformed its award-winning, craft spirits distillery into a small hand sanitizer factory that allowed the staff to use its prime ingredient—alcohol— to help protect first responders. The company’s solution contains 80 percent alcohol, which surpasses the requirement to kill a virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now, SMS is ready to deliver its protective solution to help businesses as they navigate the “new norm.”

“As New Jersey begins to open up, we want to open our form of personal protection to all businesses during this next stage of the pandemic,” said Ray Disch, founder/CEO of Sourland Mountain Spirits (SMS). “Thanks to community support, we have hired 10 people to fill, label, and package our product who were furloughed from bars and restaurants to help us keep pace with the growing demand.”

To date, the distillery has delivered more than the equivalent of 30,000 8-oz bottles to the American Red Cross, New Jersey National Guard, Princeton Medical Center in Plainsboro, Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, Homefront NJ in Lawrenceville, and the Quakerbidge Mall testing center.

As part of SMS’s transition from crafted spirits to hand sanitizer, Disch got a helping hand from his son, Sage, a NYC-based entrepreneur. Sage joined as a partner in March to work alongside the exceptional SMS team and devise procedures to safely produce and distribute the new product. (Watch the new video.)

In addition, Sage has helped the distillery launch its “Jersey Never Taps Out” fundraiser in partnership with A Stitch Ahead. The proceeds from each t-shirt sale will be donated to Mercer County food banks.

“Demand for food assistance is rising at a staggering rate around the nation,” said Sage, an alum of The Lawrenceville School. “When it comes to doing our part, our Jersey spirit won’t allow us to quit. There is more work to be done and more people to help.”

SMS is now selling its hand sanitizer in 2.5-oz, 8-oz and gallon bottles for curbside pickup, NJ delivery or USPS ground shipping.

Before transforming into a small hand sanitizer factory, SMS made various specialty craft spirits, including gin, bourbon, and vodka. In 2020, its Flagship Gin won a gold medal and best in category award from the American Distilling Institute.

Thankfully, the recent craft distillery boom—SMS sold its first bottle in 2017—has positioned the local distillery to help during a viral crisis.


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