Norfolk County’s Hometown Brew turned suds into sanitizer as their way to help residents safeguard against COVID-19.

The small craft brewery, located in St. Williams, near Turkey Point, was gearing up for the spring beer season in 2020 when the pandemic hit, forcing it to rethink some plans.

The brewery was sitting on hundreds of cases of beer with more brew fermenting. Since Hometown prides itself on their beer’s freshness, it was worried about some of the suds going to waste.

That’s when the Hometown team of Dusty Zamecnik, Tommy Devos and brewmaster Matt Devos decided to help meet the community’s need for hand sanitizer.

Matt Devos set to work to distill the company’s Blue County beer into 75% sanitizer grade alcohol.

“We all have a role to play during times like this,” Zamecnik said. “We have the ability, the time and the technology to produce sanitizer that was needed.”

Matt Devos put in dozens of hours to switch over some equipment to repurpose the beer and, by trial and error, make sanitizer, mixing in Aloe to make it gentler on the skin.

Large jars of sanitizer were donated to Norfolk Association of Community Living. Hometown customers placing an online beer order had the option to donate smaller bottles of sanitizer to Haldimand-Norfolk Community Support Services. Hometown then matched the value of those donations.

“Our deliveries skyrocketed with the pandemic alone, then once we paired purchases with sanitizer donations, it was full tilt,” Zamecnik said, thanking Hometown’s customers for their support.

Hometown Brew has an “intense sense of pride” that it could help, he said. “Being able to utilize our beer as a vessel of enjoyment as well as a vehicle for community charity was a match made in Heaven.”

Visit Hometown Brew’s website to learn more about the business.

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