PORTLAND — It was only a year ago that Bald Hill, those surprisingly hip purveyors of blues inflected newgrass, folk and Americana, rocked the house at Maine Craft Distilling (MCD) for the first time. You know a gig is going well when the place is packed, which it was that April night — but also when the wait and bar staff have that frantic, slightly overburdened look in their eyes. It’s a sure sign the crowd is happy and our hosts are making money.
That evening seems a world away this April morning, and indeed it is. Bald Hill is not playing much music, not together, and the staff at MCD is probably wishing for steadier work.
During this strange and stressful time, we at BH wanted to send along our best wishes to the staffs at all the venues we wish we were playing this spring. We’ll be back with you so soon as we are able. In the meantime, we wanted to alert you to the good works now being undertaken by Maine Craft Distilling, which has cannily shifted its production from spirits to… hand sanitizer.
“Our customers and all Mainers are dealing with an unprecedented global pandemic, and it’s important for us to give back to our community and those in need,” the distillery’s founder and CEO Luke Davidson said in a statement. “We will keep producing the hand sanitizer as long as we need to.”
To assist with its new production line, the distillery has hired five new employees, who now work at the distiller’s Washington Avenue distillery and Public House in Portland. Customers have been visiting on a daily basis to pick up product — so we encourage all our Portland peeps to drop by. Davidson and MCD are also channeling donations to nonprofits serving Maine communities.
Manufactured in accordance with the World Health Organization’s formula, the MCD hand sanitizer consists of 80 percent denatured alcohol plus hydrogen peroxide and glycerin. It can be used in spray bottles or applied directly on hands. Davidson said it has produced more than 4,000 quarts of hand sanitizer in a matter of weeks, and raised more than $15,000 for several nonprofits.