Several distilleries are making sure their communities have what they need during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
When Eight Oaks Farm Distillery founder Chad Butters heard the price of hand sanitizer had skyrocketed, he decided to be the solution to the problem, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Monday, his distillery in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, filled 20 bottles with homemade alcohol-based disinfectant that will be donated to charitable groups who have none.
This week, the distillery plans to ramp up production and offer the bottles at local farmers’ markets and on its website.
“We are in a national emergency,” Butters commented.
“What’s the right thing to do? The right thing to do is support this community by providing something that is in desperate need. We’ll flood the valley with hand sanitizer and drive that price right down,” he said.
In an Instagram post Monday, he assured the community that his decision was made out of love for them, not fear:
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We love this community, and we love all of you. Please read our update. We don’t take the situation with Coronavirus lightly, and as it continues to develop it is our responsibility to do what is best for our crew and our community, not by acting out of panic, but out of a sense of what is right. Here’s what we’re doing right now: We’ve immediately shifted our crew and our resources to begin making hand sanitizer and cleaning products for the community and our customers. We are actively working to have it available within the next week or so. Effective immediately, until further notice, we will NOT serve cocktails or samples in the Tasting Room. The Tasting Room will continue to be open for bottle sales. @tre_foodtruck will have food available for take out. We’re looking at delivery options to bring our spirits to your door, free of charge, within a specific area of Pennsylvania—please stay tuned. Watch for more information about our revised days and hours of operation about bottle sales and food. As this situation evolves we will continue to keep you posted. This situation is likely to get worse before it gets better—bars and restaurants around the country are closing, and while we know this may cause uncertainty and frustration, we’ll get through this together. Please know we don’t make this decision out of fear, but out of love, and we ask for your continued support. 8 Chad
Several other distilleries in Vermont and North Carolina are following Butters’ lead by making their own hand sanitizing solution to give away.
“We wanted to do something that would be as positive as possible,” said Harold Faircloth, an owner of Green Mountain Distillers in Morrisville, Vermont.
In a Facebook post Sunday, the distillery offered free hand sanitizer to restaurants whose customers and staff need it.
“We have spent the last few days distilling some high proof alcohol and we will be using it to make batches of hand sanitizer. We will have this available at the distillery starting today. Just bring in your used containers for a refill,” the post explained.
As word spread about what Butters was doing, he began getting messages from people and groups requesting his homemade sanitizer.
One note came from a mother whose 12-year-old son has heart disease.
“I cannot find it anywhere and this virus is especially dangerous to him,” she wrote.
Stories like hers are one of the many reasons Butters decided to change the focus of his business for the time being.
“We’re trying to make sure we continue to provide a paycheck for our employees and support our community however way we can do that,” he concluded.