Kim had an idea. She reached out to a few winemakers and brewers and asked if they had surplus product that they would donate to us to distill into hand sanitizer.
We had a slow start trying to understand the rapidly adapting legal and regulatory hurdles to begin making a hand sanitizer in bulk. Making things from Scratch is more costly and takes longer. Our state distillery association has cut through red tape at the state and federal level so that we can help fill the demand in our region.
It sounds crazy to take Sparkman wine or Elysian beer and make sanitizer from it, but everyone Kim has spoken to has found supplies for us. It’s the best form of renew, reuse, and recycle we can think of. We learned to distill the beer and wine in a blend to keep the foaming issue with the beer to a minimum!
Our process is not an inexpensive one, but because the wine and beer are donated, we are able to keep the price low for first responders and other groups that need it. This also allows us to keep our distiller, Ben, employed and busy with production work while the tasting room is closed.
One of our winemaker friends, Jens Hansen of Uva Furem Winery, has been the courier for all of our transport. Jens, an Air Force Veteran, is always smiling, always supportive, and tough as nails.
How long will this continue? We’ll keep making sanitizer while there’s still strong need and we’re able to work with our network to find supplies.