Distilleries across the Greater Cincinnati area have pivoted their standard spirit productions to focus on making high-proof hand sanitizer to help in the fight against COVID-19. (The CDC recommends hand sanitizers have at least 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropanol.)
Much of the hand sanitizer is donated or sold to first responders, health care workers, health organizations, food banks or community members who cannot find it in stores. Here are a few Greater Cincinnati distilleries that are utilizing their equipment and time to produce a rare and necessary product.
New Riff Distilling, located in Newport, has diverted some of its alcohol manufacturing to create more than 400 gallons of sanitizer per week — the equivalent of 2,400 travel-sized containers — to donate to Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati police and fire departments. "We are donating in bulk directly to first responders and hospitals in our community," says New Riff's Director of Communications, Amy Tobin. "We are not selling any hand sanitizer and are not able to give directly to the public. We believe with our limited supply we should send it to the folks on the frontline."
Northside Distilling Co. shifted their manufacturing and teamed up with John Frieda and Vivian Bastos to provide bottled hand sanitizer to frontline workers.
Brain Brew Whiskey, located in Newtown, partnered with distilleries across Ohio to offer large amounts of their homemade hand sanitizer to JobsOhio. JobsOhio purchased the sanitizer to give to Ohio's 12 food banks as a "creative and collaborative" way to help those in need. They ordered 3,100 cases — more than 1 million ounces — and will be distributing the sanitizer over the coming months.
Karrikin Spirits Co., a brewery and distillery based out of Fairfax, began producing hand sanitizer in March, available only to essential health care workers, goods manufacturers, first responders and local businesses.
Northern Row Brewery & Distillery has suspended its spirit productions to focus on producing hand sanitizer at their facility for both frontline workers and people within the Cincinnati community who have struggled with finding the disinfectant. According to their website, they have a booth set up outside of their distillery where you can pick up or place orders for hand sanitizer, food or growlers from their collaboration with Rhinegiest.
If you'd like to show your support for these local distilleries, you can donate, purchase gift cards or purchase goods from their businesses via their websites.