Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for April, 2020

Budding CBD and Hemp Businesses Leverage Food Grade Stainless Steel

April 30th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Industrial containers are designed and certified for specific uses. A food grade stainless steel drum, for example, is made of steel that met the quality, durability, temperature resistance, and other criteria to be deemed safe for food preparation, storage and dining. However, food grade drums are not only used to process or contain traditional foodstuffs. Skolnik food grade drums are also used to store/transport other consumables. They are employed in distilling operations, breweries, wineries, and, most recently, are being utilized in the cannabis and hemp industry for the processing, storing and transporting of CBD and hemp oil.

Food grade stainless and carbon steel drums are a safe, efficient and reliable means to contain a whole range of food-related and consumable goods. To be considered food grade, the drums themselves need to be made, top-to-bottom, with food safe steel. That means everything from the fittings to the gaskets can safely make contact with the contents without contamination. At Skolnik, we offer food grade stainless steel containers in a variety of configurations, including conventional, seamless, open head, tight head and more. And every surface of those drums meets food grade sanitary standards to help maintain the purity of the CBD, hemp oil or other product it serves.

Our customizable food grade stainless steel drums are excellent vessels for the safe, reliable containment and transportation of extracted oils and trimmed leaves, buds and flowers. As they are, they are completely food safe, no additional linings needed.

Furthermore, food grade stainless steel is easy to clean and disinfect, so our winery, distillery, and CBD industry partners can sanitize and reuse containers as needed as their businesses grow and evolve.

From kitchen utensils to appliances, stainless steel has long been a friend to the food industry, but we’re always excited to see how food grade stainless steels’ usefulness continues to evolve and serve emerging industries, and to do our part to support businesses in need of exceptional, food grade containers.

Learn more about the benefits of Skolnik food grade stainless steel drums in the CBD and hemp oil industries.

Virtual Wine Tasting and The New “Normal”

April 14th, 2020 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

As wine country adjusts to social distancing, producers have found new ways to reach out to wine lovers who can’t make it to tasting rooms. In a recent issue of the Wine Enthusiast, Kathleen Willcox, writes that: “The wine business in California is responsible for about 81% of U.S. wine production, employs 786,000 nationwide and generated $114 billion in the U.S. in 2018. Direct-to-consumers (DTC) sales, meanwhile, have increased in importance to small and medium-scale wineries in recent years. In 2018, the DTC wine sales totaled $3 billion in the U.S., an increase of 12% from the previous year. Of those sales, about 38% happen in the tasting room, which translates to roughly $1.14 billion in annual sales.”

Kathleen goes on to say that: “The creativity of response to changing circumstances in the wine world has been astounding. Your favorite producers are available to you, some more than ever.”

Other wineries have tapped their staff’s strengths to stand out of the virtual pack. Evesham Wood is utilizing the skills its advanced sommelier, Christopher Lindemann. “We launched sampling packs that will bring the private tasting experience into a guest’s home,” says Lindemann. “We’re setting up private, virtual meetings on Skype, Google or FaceTime. Distance learning has been part of the cultural vernacular for some time, and though this will require an adjustment, we think that we can have real conversations, even over a distance.”

Ken Wright Cellars (KWC) offers one-on-one Zoom sessions with members of its winemaking team. The winery also helps collectors organize their cellars and provides in-depth information on vintage, vineyard, farming and production techniques for wines they own.

“The virtual tasting experience has been a long time coming, especially for a family-owned winery,” says Ivory McLaughlin, a KWC ambassador. “If anything, this crisis has just accelerated trends currently happening around the country and in our culture.”

Maggie Curry, Kendall-Jackson’s director of marketing, says the winery has adopted a “glass-half-full mentality.” It’s attempting to turn a time of isolation and social distancing into a positive for wine lovers and the brand. In the coming days, the producer plans to expand tastings to include virtual cooking classes, cellar restocking tips, yoga seminars and virtual sip-and-paint classes.

In Paso Robles, Hope Family Wines offers one-cent shipping on orders of three bottles or more, plus home delivery and pickup. Every tasting flight will include a video that features winemaker and President Austin Hope and other key members of the cellar team, as well as a curated playlist to pair with the wine. “This crisis has made us feel more connected than ever to our community,” says Hope. “The response has been incredible, but I have to say our favorite comment so far is that we ranked second only to toilet paper as one of life’s great necessities.”

Here at Skolnik Industries, our stainless steel wine barrels are “virtual” at www.skolnik.com . Note that our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.

Carbon Steel Drums Help Distillers Shift to Hand Sanitizer Production

April 10th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

If you are living in one of the many areas that have issued a shelter-in-place or safer-at-home order, you may have noticed that liquor stores have been deemed ‘essential businesses,’ or, at least they have in Chicago. And while you might have mixed feelings about whether or not a liquor store is really essential, you cannot deny that brewers and distillers have proven their necessity as dozens of distillers and breweries have begun producing and distributing bottles of hand sanitizer to help support the growing need across America.

The novel coronavirus has overwhelmed numerous industries and induced drastic shortages of key supplies, one of which being hand sanitizer.

Today, distillers and brewers of all sizes have joined the front lines of the pandemic response effort, helping our country combat COVID-19 with hand sanitizer. The product serves a different audience and purpose, but distillers can still rely on carbon steel drums with food grade linings to get the job done. From the macro to micro operations, the industry has mobilized — shifting their operations, sourcing other key ingredients and acquiring the necessary government approvals.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has waived provisions of internal revenue law to authorize production of ethanol-based hand sanitizers by permitted distillers. The World Health Organization has released a recipe for high-quality hand sanitizer. And essential manufacturers such as Skolnik Industries are still working hard, manufacturing the carbon steel drums with food grade lining that distillers regularly depend on for their typical product, and their new foray into hand sanitizer production.

While the CDC’s first and foremost hand cleansing recommendation is to wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol is their top alternative.

If you have questions about utilizing carbon steel drums with food grade lining in the manufacturing of hand sanitizer, please reach out to a Skolnik representative today. We are proud to be able to provide support to our fellow essential businesses during this challenging time.

Business as Unusual: Skolnik Industries

April 7th, 2020 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Emergency situations have a habit of sneaking up on those affected, but being prepared for various unknowns can set you up for success during a crisis. Chicago-based, specialty steel drum manufacturer, Skolnik Industries understands this better than most. Through years of business continuity strategizing, careful planning and communication, this essential industrial packaging manufacturer positioned itself to survive and thrive throughout a myriad of disastrous mishaps, including a global pandemic like Coronavirus (COVID-19). Both Chairman, Howard Skolnik and President, Dean Ricker, gave their invaluable insights on what the company has done to prepare for the current crisis we’re in and how it’s managing through it.

Early on, Skolnik Ind. recognized the importance of having contingency plans in place, should an emergency occur. In the spirit of preparedness, they partnered with Integrated People Solution’s, John Estrada, an executive coach and HR consultant, to further this endeavor of business continuity planning. Estrada regularly provided guidance on developing a more robust organization effectiveness and performance during a crisis. This helped leadership to better manage their talent, building a stronger rapport between them and all the employees — especially when devising drills and emergency scenarios the company might encounter. Through constant communication and care given to the workforce on all levels, the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis has been met with a smooth and purposeful, company-wide transition led by Dean Ricker. Recognizing the threat to health, Ricker proactively shifted the company to a mode of social distancing and applicable remote work to ensure a safer environment for all. Constant communication with employees throughout the crisis has helped to alleviate unnecessary stresses that managerial silence would bring.

No stranger to disaster, Skolnik Industries has realized the importance of preparing for the unpredictable. After the company suffered a devastating fire in 1987, it eventually bounced back stronger and with a renewed sense of paramountcy placed on the people that would run it. As they began to regain their footing as a company, Howard Skolnik came to see the incident as an opportunity that would not only help to create jobs, but also identify and obtain key talent that would help guide the business with informed experience. From this, a culture of safety and forward thinking was born, and subsequently came with the need for building out a contingency plan, should another crisis emerge. For decades, they’ve practiced some sort of disaster response training, emphasizing proactivity over reactivity. Ultimately, through the increased sense of teamwork and proactivity expressed within the company, they’ve not only identified better processes to work by, but set themselves up for a better adapted future.

Planning for business continuity is part of our corporate culture. For almost a decade, John Estrada, (john@ipeoplesolutions.com) of Integrated People Solution’s, has guided us in preparing for unexpected business interruption.

This interview was conducted by Ian Fortune (fortunewrit@gmail.com).