In an effort to protect – from the novel coronavirus, several area distilleries have begun manufacturing a new product – ethanol-based hand sanitizer.
As supplies of the coveted germ-killer have dwindled, or been nonexistent, at retailers locally and around the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, distillers are stepping forward to help – and assisting them are some local wineries and breweries.
Among the distilleries are Boardroom Spirits in Lansdale Faber Liquors in Trumbauersville. Among the wineries and breweries supplying raw materials are Sand Castle Winery in Erwinna and Free Will Brewing in Perkasie.
Last weekend, Faber Liquors, with the support of its strategic partners in this effort, pivoted from producing 45,000 bottles of spirits a day to 120,000 bottles of Faber Hand Sanitizer daily.
“Everyone on the frontlines fighting this virus or supporting other life-sustaining activities is in desperate need of hand sanitizer and we didn’t hesitate in changing course,” said Ashleigh Baldwin, Faber Spirits spokesperson.
“... we are producing 80 tons in a single shift and we execute three shifts a day. This would not be possible without Philadelphia’s oldest and largest distillery, Jacquin’s, who donated a huge amount of their ethanol which has become almost impossible to get!”
To create more ethanol, Sand Castle Winery had 6,500 gallons of its wine transported to Boardroom Spirits last week. Sand Castle Winery Managing Partner Chad Sletten said the wine would be converted to pure alcohol for use in hand sanitizer creation.
When asked why the winery got involved with this initiative, Sletten said “philanthropy.”
“I knew we had the resources they needed,” he added.
Boardroom Spirits is selling sanitizer in bulk for as fair of a price as possible while paying bills, providing employment to the people making the product, and supporting fellow businesses’ employees.
The distillery started supplying complimentary four-ounce hand sanitizer rations per person, per day to the public on March 16. Customers are required to bring their own container, preferably a spray bottle. For distribution times and information, visit boardroomspirits.com.
Following the recipe recommended from the World Health Organization, Faber Hand Sanitizer is packaged in traditional spirits bottles (because plastic bottles are currently impossible to find) and while many companies have been forced to shut down under government mandates, Faber has retained its entire workforce and is currently hiring to meet the rapidly growing demand.
Faber Hand Sanitizer will be distributed in bulk to area hospitals, police departments, fire departments, various national mail carriers and more.
Consumers also have the opportunity to purchase Faber Hand Sanitizer exclusively through Philadelphia retailer Art in the Age, which is owned by Quaker City Mercantile. The sanitizer will be available as production allows, and only after it is provided to local hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other at-risk communities, in one-liter glass bottles via artintheage.com for $8 per bottle. The Faber Hand Sanitizer will be sold online only.
The cost for consumer purchase helps subsidize the cost of production and allows Faber to cover production costs during this uncertain time, the company said.