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Twin Creeks Distillery reflects on 2020 after changing production to hand sanitizer

‘It was all a gamble. It was a huge gamble.’

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – 2020 is behind us, but one local business looking back on the difficult year brings fond memories.

Last year, anyone pulling up to Twin Creeks Distillery asking for “the good stuff” wasn’t handed Franklin County’s finest, but rather, hand sanitizer.

The family-owned operation halted alcohol production to meet the coronavirus pandemic’s needs.

“It was all a gamble. It was a huge gamble,” said Anna Prillaman, a manager at the distillery.

Months have passed since switching up the product, but Prillaman said looking back, they are grateful they adapted.

“It really helped us stay afloat and helped shed light on what we do here aside from making liquor. It’s like we make liquor that can go into sanitizer, who would have thought?” said Prillaman.

“It was exciting for us to think that there was something we could do in a small way, in our small community to make a big difference,” said tasting room manager Joni Bowman.

At the start, Twin Creeks gave it away, only asking for donations.

Now, they have a binder full of thank you notes.

“We got personal letters. We got a certificate of appreciation. We got all these things in the mail, brought to us, it’s just been heartwarming, it’s like physical evidence of it being worth it; taking that chance and seeing that the sanitizer was worth it,” said Prillaman.

Sanitizer production has halted, but there’s a sweet story to tell of 2020.

“One of the things we talked about as a team is - in 10 years from now, in 20 years from now, maybe my grandchildren will they ask me what happened. What was 2020 like? How did you respond in the pandemic and I love being able to respond, and I love being able to tell a story that I worked for a moonshine distillery and we made sanitizer and gave it away,” said Bowman.

“There was a small difference made, which a small difference is a difference,” said Prillaman.

About the Author:

After working and going to school in Central Virginia for over five years, Lindsey’s made her way back home to the mountains.