HELENA — With bars and restaurants closed across the country, the demand for draught beer is low. Which left George's Distributing, a beer, wine and cider distributor for Montana, in a pickle with more beer than they knew what to do with.
“With the restaurant industry the way it is, we decided that it would be a nice way to turn to what would normally be something that would be wasted into something that the community could benefit by," said Tatum Curtis, Design and Marketing Coordinator for George's Distributing.
On April 2, George distributors loaded a truck with 27 kegs of beer, backed it into the loading dock of Gulch Distillers, and donated it to Steffen Rasile and Tyrell Hubbard so the beer could be turned into hand sanitizer.
"Tyrrell and I are both born and raised in Helena, and this is where we want to be. So, to be able to offer this to our Helena community has been a big," said Rasile. "It makes us feel really good. Like we're doing our part and helping out as much as we can in this crazy world we live in now."
Though both Rasile and Hubbard, are distillers by trade, the two have been constantly studying on how to provide a product that meets the World Health Organizations guidelines for hand sanitizer. For the time being Gulch Distillers isn't offering up the product for sale to the public and is focused on providing help to Helena's health professionals.
Brian Lee, Vice President of Operations for Saint Peter's Health in Helena, said while the hospital's supply of hand sanitizer isn't low for the time being, the product Gulch is producing will be given to caregivers and patients who might not be able to get hand sanitizer. Above all, Lee said the Saint Peter's Health organization was thankful for the support that not only Gulch Distillers, but the entire community of Helena has been able to provide during these times.
“We feel so fortunate to have had so much support from the community, both individuals and local businesses all reaching out, and asking what they can do to make sure that our caregivers have the resources that they need," said Lee. "Whether that's different homemade personal protective equipment or now hand sanitizer.”