COVID-19 Hero Highlights: Cape Fear Distillery Turns Spirits to Sanitizer

Brooks Pierce

Brooks Pierce

This article is part of a series in which Brooks Pierce highlights clients that are going above and beyond to help combat the effects of the COVID-19 crisis in their communities.

Three months ago, Cape Fear Distillery® in Elizabethtown, NC, was best known for its four-time nationally award-winning Maritime Gintm and its much-anticipated Cape Fear Rumtm. Enter the coronavirus outbreak, however, and Cape Fear is quickly becoming known for something else – hand sanitizer in gin bottles.

Aptly named DistilliSantm, the hand sanitizer is the product of redistilled ethanol from gin and rum reserves. Owner and operator Alex Munroe began producing the sanitizer in late March and kicked off distribution by introducing it to local hardware stores and sheriff’s offices in the community. Within a couple of weeks, demand skyrocketed and the distillery had to purchase another still to keep up production. Munroe has largely focused on distributing to small businesses and first responders, donating much of his product to healthcare and other frontline workers. As word has spread about DistilliSan, the distillery has been approached by buyers as far away as Detroit and Miami, who are dispersing hundreds of gallons of sanitizer to low-income neighborhoods without access to crucial supplies.

This kind of major pivot does not come without sacrifice. Hoping to begin bottling barrel-aged bourbon in the next few months, Munroe chose to dip into his bourbon reserves to be able to produce enough sanitizer for a local hospice center in need of supplies. Producing as much sanitizer as is needed to meet demand means less ethanol reserves for their more profitable gin and rum products. But for a community-focused business like Cape Fear, the call to meet a public health demand was too great to ignore.  

Brooks Pierce is proud to serve businesses like Cape Fear Distillery, who are using their time, energy and resources to serve their communities in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

To learn more about Cape Fear Distillery and DistilliSan, please visit

*Image courtesy of Cape Fear Distillery

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Brooks Pierce

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