Saturday, May 2nd, 2020

This brew is sanitized for you

By Leslie Gartrell

Cory Everman, brewmaster/production manager, and Nick Moeller, Moeller Brew Barn. . .

MARIA STEIN - Moeller Brew Barn is brewing up something good by distilling alcohol for hand sanitizer.
Owner and master brewer Nick Moeller had the idea to begin manufacturing hand sanitizer after Gov. Mike DeWine announced a stay-at-home order in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Seeing a need in the community, Moeller pursued a distillery license, which would allow him to make hand sanitizer under new U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency guidelines.
"We had a couple of county EMAs, local and regional hospitals had called and inquired about it," Moeller said. "So that kept us going down that rabbit hole."
Moeller said the Brew Barn has been adapting day by day, using 190 proof alcohol, glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and purified water to make Dr. Wright's Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer.
Named after his wife, Dr. Monica Wright, a pharmacist at Mercer Health, Moeller said the taproom has made roughly 48,000 6-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer. The brewer said the business can make about 4,000 bottles per day, and staff are working about 120 man-hours a day, including weekends, to distill the product.
Moeller said he's looking into getting 4-ounce and 2-ounce bottles and caps for the hand sanitizer, though he said acquiring those materials, including the raw materials required to make the sanitizer, has been difficult.
However, since the demand exists, he'll continue to do what he can to help Ohioans get back to work, he said. Manufacturing the hand sanitizer has allowed the brewer to bring back to work several of the brewery's serving, kitchen and hospitality staff.
The craft brewery has seen busier days, Moeller admitted, but sales of their canned brew and growlers have risen exponentially. While he would rather see customers in the taproom, he's happy they can still pick up cans at grocery stores and carryouts and order growlers for pickup. Moeller believes 2020 will likely be the year of the growler due to its current popularity.
The hand sanitizer is available at several area retailers, Moeller said. Dr. Wright's Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer can also be purchased at Moeller Brew Barn's taproom for $9, according to its website.
Moeller Brew Barn has been in business since May 2015, serving craft beer, brick oven pizzas and appetizers. The owner said he hopes employees can celebrate their five-year anniversary within the coming weeks. Until then, Moeller said he's proud his personal project is doing some good in the community.
"We're just so glad we can help people," he said. "It seemed like it was my due diligence to jump in head first."
Additional online story on this date
COLUMBUS (AP) - Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday issued an appeal for Ohioans to stick together as the state slowly reopens, underscoring a point he has made multiple times in recent days: that it's possible to restart the economy and keep people safe at the same time. [More]
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
CELINA - Two Mercer County officials on Friday weighed in on Gov. Mike DeWine's COVID-19 directives, saying it's time for state legislators to get involved and for local plans to be enacted.
CELINA - The Mercer County Health District reported five newly confirmed positive coronavirus tests on Friday, bringing the county's total to 26.
Auglaize County officials also reported one new case, bringing that county's total to 33.
CELINA - The season opening of the Celina Farmers' Market has been postponed until at least May 9 due to concerns about complying with state coronavirus rules.
Minster concert series canceled
MINSTER - Minster officials have canceled a series of concerts due to restrictions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
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