In episode 50 of the Disruptors for GOOD podcast, I speak with Andy Rieger, the Co-founder and President of J.Rieger Co Distillery on navigating the pandemic and turning their 50,000 sqf HQ into a full-time hand sanitizer production facility.
It all started in Kansas city during 1887, only to meet an early demise in 1919 with the onset of the 18th Amendment and Federal Prohibition. 95 years later, two ambitious young KC guys refused to let Prohibition be the final fate for J. Rieger & Co.
In 2012 Andy Rieger, Jacob Rieger’s great-great-great grandson (and only living direct descendent at the time), and Ryan Maybee, a career bartender and restaurateur set out to resurrect this historic brand. Together they formed a bond based on their shared vision of re-establishing not only Andy’s family legacy, but also reviving the distilling industry in Kansas City. And in 2014, they relaunched J. Rieger & Co., Kansas City’s first distillery since Prohibition with the release of “Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey”, a unique style of American Whiskey that pays tribute to J. Rieger & Co.’s history.
About a month ago the distillery made a decision to fully commit its resources and time to producing, at scale, hand sanitizer for the Kansas City consumers, hospitals and overall community. Since making the decision the company has produced and distributed over 110,000 individual bottles of hand sanitizer, that’s almost 36,000 gallons!
Personally, I am proud to be part of their efforts through a project I am involved with at Emoji My City, where we’ve created a Support KC Apparel Collection to support the service industry and its workers here in Kansas City.
Sanitizer will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and recipients will receive pickup instructions on April 25 if available. Pick-ups will occur on April 28-29 at the J. Rieger & Co. Distillery in Kansas City, Missouri.
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