Whiskey Wednesday: Craft distilleries are starting to make hand sanitizer

March 25, 2020

The ramifications of the coronavirus have permeated every industry in the country, upending the economy and turning people’s lives upside down. But it’s during trying times like these that we see the most inspiring moments of kindness.

With bars closed, people quarantined and the like, the whiskey industry has taken a hit in recent weeks. But collectively, it’s rising to the challenge.

Amid so much uncertainty, people are stockpiling hand sanitizer and other cleaning products. Stores are running in short supply. Enter the world’s distilleries, who are pausing their whiskey manufacturing to make hand sanitizer.

Ordinarily, whiskey distilleries will take a grain — usually barley, corn, or rye — and distill it to alcohol, before aging it in a barrel until it’s ready to go into a bottle.

But alcohol is also a disinfectant, and the main ingredient in hand sanitizer (as long as it’s a minimum of 120 proof). It means distilleries are uniquely situated to switching over to hand sanitizer, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.


There’s a host of distilleries doing it, so Id’ recommending find a local craft distillery near you and buying a bottle. I’m in the New York City area so I did exactly that: Kings Country Distillery, in Brooklyn, converted its factory and is pumping out bottles for a suggested minimum $1 donation. There’s a limit of three per order, so I bought two: One for home and one for my golf bag.

You can buy those right here, and thank you to all the distilleries out there making a difference.

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