Church Street Brewing Co. finds when life gives you lemons, or craft beer, make hand sanitizer
It is not often that a beer van pulls up in front of a hospital's emergency room and starts unloading cases of product. But, during these times, things change.
Church Street Brewing Company donated 60 gallons of sanitizer to Loretto Hospital in Chicago's Austin neighborhood as they had run out of sanitizer. They have also been providing sanitizer to nonprofit organizations for free, including DuPage PADS, food pantries, homeless shelters, and Meals on Wheels.
Blending and packaging sanitizer requires many of the same skills normally used in making beer. For the brewers, switching to making sanitizer was fairly easy. Like everything else, there was a learning curve during the initial scale-ups of batch size. Everyone was dialed-in by the time full-time production began in early April.
The Church Street Brewing Company has gradually expanded sanitizer production to 900 gallons per day. They began producing small blends so that they could give away 500 2.5-ounce bottles for free. One thing led to another and Church Street's owner, Lisa Gregor, applied for and received a permit from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to manufacture and package sanitizer.
The challenge of making sure the concentration of ethanol, the sanitizer's active ingredient, was maintained at 80% has been met by utilizing gas chromatography performed by a large company that graciously donated their analytical services. Church Street is determined to make sure that every package of sanitizer leaving the brewery is well within specifications defined by the FDA.
Church Street has also been selling sanitizer to the United States Post Office, large manufacturing companies, home health care providers, and a shipment of 200 cases (4,800 cans) to one of the largest hospital systems in Illinois.
Church Street continues to give away 2.5 ounce portions of sanitizer to anyone stopping by the brewery. Pickup of free sanitizer outside of the building can be arranged by a phone call. They are completely out of small bottles, so anyone in need of free sanitizer is requested to bring a small, sealable bottle of their own. The bottle will be filled with 2.5 ounces of sanitizer and relabeled.
Church Street has also started selling 16-ounce cans of sanitizer to individuals, with a limit of 4 cans per customer. Church Street sanitizer can be ordered through their website (www.churchstreetbrew.com) for curbside pickup. Companies and health care providers can place an order by emailing email@example.com. Call (630) 438 5725 for more information.
Don't forget to also pick up some of their award winning #RighteouslyGoodBeer in 16 oz. 4 packs, growlers, or crowlers coming at the end of the month. Church Street Brewing Company appreciates the support of their loyal customers in order to stay open during this period and in return is happy to provide its facilities to help alleviate the hand sanitizer shortage.
But no, they cannot do anything about the shortage of toilet paper.
Church Street Brewing Company: The Church Street Brewing Company is an award winning craft brewery located in Itasca -- a western suburb of Chicago. We love what we do! We brew traditional and unpretentious lagers and ales that represent the old and new beer styles of European influence. A family business built on a dream to make quality beer for our loyal clientele. Although we have won several awards, our real passion is to serve our patrons with consistently good-tasting craft beer. We serve locally, nationally and internationally. Come on down and enjoy a beer and tour (free) of our brewery. We love to connect, converse and share our craft beer knowledge with fellow beer lovers! All are welcome!