EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. — Vodka, whiskey, rum and now hand sanitizer.
When the tasting room closed at Amador & Dry Diggings Distillery to comply with social distancing, production for its potent alcohol ramped up. But now, owner and distillery operator Cris Steller and his team are focused on the company’s latest product, surface and hand sanitizers.
“Yesterday we probably made 200 gallons of finished product that was delivered,” Steller said.
And that production and those deliveries are only going to first responders and health care workers. That’s because they need a very specific kind of alcohol-based sanitizer, which includes a handful of other chemicals Steller and his team can produce. The distillery is following a recipe approved by federal and state regulators.
“To give you an idea on how fast this has ramped up, last week we were buying 8-ounce bottles of stuff at Target. Now we are buying 55-gallon barrels. It’s a little bigger scale,” Steller said.
Thanks to donations on the distillery’s gofundme site, the sanitizers are being produced free of charge for first responders and healthcare workers.
“We are rapidly reaching out to as many industries as we can, so we can help them with all the things they need,” Steller, who is also director of the California Artisanal Distillers Guild, said.
The California Artisanal Distillers Guild is using its connections at the state level to get approval for other distillers to produce and distribute sanitizers.
“All the way through the governor’s office, we have been able to enact and mobilize statewide our industry to provide this to first responders,” Steller said.
If you are a health care organization or first responder, you can request the sanitizer by contacting Dry Diggings Distillery.
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