Natchitoches brewery bottles hand sanitizer

Local

NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Something different is being bottled at a northwest Louisiana brewery. Cane River Brewing Company is helping neighbors in need face the frontlines of the pandemic.

Beer kegs at the brewery are filled with alcohol – just not for drinking.

“We have the capability with our brewery and the equipment we have here, and so we just saw it as a great opportunity,” said Justin Krouse.

Krouse co-founded the business with Cade Gentry. The partners are using their beer vats to stir up batches of sanitizer during the public health crisis.

“We lost a pretty good portion of our business since all the restaurants are closed, so we started making sanitizer in our brew house,” said Gentry.

The tap room’s been transformed into an assembly line where potent germ-killing power is poured into eight-ounce bottles.

“It’s 83 percent alcohol, so it’s very effective,” said Krouse.

“And, if you’re a larger company, you can get it by the gallon, also,” said Gentry.

The duo is supplying sanitizer to those who need it most.

“Health care workers, retirement homes – they’re unable to get it from the big manufacturers,” said Gentry.

“We’re all putting our lives in jeopardy to help save other lives, and it’s a blessing,” said Tawanda Bernstine, who works for the parish detention center. “And it’s just a wonderful thing that those guys are doing.”

They’re making it in batches of 75 gallons at a time and orders are coming in from across the state.

“The response has been great,” said Krouse. “The outpouring of everybody and the support and donations…just a lot of people have been very thankful for what we’ve been doing.”

The demand for sanitizer has been so high, it may even score a permanent place on the menu.

“Now that we’re able to produce it, that might be something we keep,” said Krouse. “Because, I have a feeling that people are always gonna be conscious of it down the road.”

Cane River Brewing Company is accepting donations to help cover the cost of sanitizer supplies, that way they can give the product for free to frontline workers. You can donate online at their website, caneriverbrewing.com.

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