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Local distillery kept alive by distributing hand sanitizer

Published: Jan. 10, 2021 at 6:00 PM CST
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KADOKA, S.D. (KOTA) - Many local businesses have taken a hit during the pandemic, but others are making an effort to aid in mitigating the coronavirus.

2020 was set to be a nightmare year for distillers across the country due to COVID closures and people staying home. Several distilleries, however, were able to stay in business by manufacturing something everyone could use, Hand sanitizer. Badlands Distillery in Kadoka produced sanitizer from the start of the pandemic to May. Co-founder Mark Eschenbacher said that there are several bottles left in storage. He also says he had hoped to make the sanitizer from scratch.

“We started manufacturing our own alcohol, but we found out within the first two loads that we could never keep up with the demand,” Eschenbacher said. “So, we started to purchase grain-neutral spirits and make it from that.”

Since March, Badlands Distillery has been able to distribute around 18,000 bottles of their hand sanitizer.

Marketing Manager Falon Meinzer said that it feels good for the company to aid in public health.

“Everyone was affected in some way by the pandemic and we were really lucky enough to keep in business and keep going with what we were doing,” Meinzer said. “But really, donating sanitizer to people who needed it was really reassuring.”

Meinzer hopes this effort can help propel the company into a post-pandemic world.

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