Heritage Distilling to Make Homemade Sanitizer

The COVID-19 pandemic has made sanitizer scarce and distilleries are stepping up to produce it

While store shelves remain barren of cleaning supplies, Heritage Distilling Co. is taking matters into its own hands by producing 15,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and surface sanitizer per month for customers and hospitals to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The company will produce and sell this sanitizer in its tasting rooms including Eugene. Based in Gig Harbor, Washington, Heritage Distilling is known for making BSB or Brown Sugar Bourbon. The sanitizer will make its way to Eugene Saturday, March 21, and is expected to sell out quickly.

Heritage is not the only distillery producing sanitizers right now. Several others in Oregon, including Thinking Tree Distillery in Eugene are creating their own versions, all containing 80 percent alcohol as designated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Because of the urgency involved, the FDA has published a recipe and waived rules of getting the product approved, says Heritage CEO Justin Stiefel.

“Today we had our first batches ready to go,” he says. “We are one of the largest producers.”

Discounts will be offered for frontline workers including health care professionals, military, tribes, postal and delivery employees, grocery employees and first responders.

For those who spend $25 or more on products and bring in their own container, Heritage will give a complimentary 8 oz of sanitizer — on tap.

“I can say without a doubt that I think we are the only place in America with hand sanitizer on tap,” Stiefel says.

He adds that the sanitizer was released in their Gig Harbor flagship store, and it sold out in 90 minutes. Because of its popularity and possible price gouging, each customer is limited to two bottles of the sanitizer per day.

Heritage Distilling is also compiling a list of medical facilities and nonprofits in need of the sanitizing solution. If people wish to donate, they can purchase bottles of the sanitizer at the discounted price to donate to those organizations. They are also teaming up with local restaurants in delivering food, spirits and sanitizer. Heritage will not take profit from restaurants in delivering.

This is our way of trying to support folks who have featured our products,” Stiefel says.

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