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Industry Updates

Distillery Converts to Hand Sanitizer Operation to Help Those in Need


Chad Butters isn’t just thinking about himself and his manufacturing livelihood during the coronavirus scare.

Butters owns and operates Eight Oaks Distillery in New Tripoli, Pa., which manufactures bourbon, whiskey, rum and other spirits. But not today. Today, Eight Oaks is manufacturing hand sanitizer.

According to an Associated Press story, Butters decided to act — after becoming miffed — when he heard about the price gouging going on in the hand sanitizer segment because of the coronavirus and the shortage of the product that the disease has created. Butters temporarily halted his spirits operation and converted it to make only hand sanitizer.

Eight Oaks made and gave its first batch of 20 bottles to charitable groups that have experienced shortages. According to CNN, the family-owned distillery planned to boost production and distribute the bottles to charities as well as offer them at farmers’ markets and through its website. There is no cost for the hand sanitizer, but the business is accepting donations.

“We are in a national emergency,” Butters told the Associated Press. “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.”

Butters is not alone. There are other U.S. distillers stepping up to help others during the shortage. Green Mountain Distillers in Morrisville, Vt., is giving it away to those who need it, and Durham Distillery in Durham, N.C., is donating to hospitality groups, according to the report.

“We wanted to do something that would be as positive as possible,” Harold Faircloth, an owner of Green Mountain Distillers, told the Associated Press.