By Marty Bass

Hi everyone!

It was almost exactly two years ago, as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic had knocked us for a loop, that the first ray of hope shone. There we all were looking for hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes–anything that might help in the smallest way to battle a virus we still knew little about. More often than not, we found empty store shelves wherever we went. Then, and I remember this vividly, the WJZ newsroom heard about a small distillery in Frederick that was stepping up to help.

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Enter McClintock Distilling.

A little background: I had heard of McClintock about a year before that. Situated in the historic district of Frederick, this distillery was earning a reputation for making some great spirits. The “foodie” scene took notice and word quickly spread about the distillery’s whiskeys, gins and vodkas. It was only a matter of time before awards began piling up for McClintock Distilling. Owner Braden Bumpers, company manager Zac Kennedy and distiller Seth Joy were on quite a roll at the time.

When COVID-19 hit, it didn’t take the trio long to realize their knack for making alcohol could make a meaningful difference. So they put their heads together and figured out that a quick pivot could help get hand sanitizer into the hands of the public–and fast. After conferring with state regulators, McClintock soon got the green light to pitch in on the pandemic response with their homemade hand sanitizer.

Over the next several months, the distillery made over 50,000 gallons of sanitizer and donated it. Talk about a great way to pay it forward.

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Listen to my interview with these gentlemen. They donated this much-needed product because it was the right thing to do. And on Thursday, about two years later, we simply wanted to pay those guys a visit and extend a very public thank you for their ingenuity and generosity. But, true to form, they were quick to point out that the distillery community as a tightknit group, and everyone was jumping in to help combat COVID-19.

Feel free to check out McClintock’s website. There you’ll find some of Maryland’s best spirits. As always, please drink responsibly.

Until next time,

– Marty B

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