Chicken Hill

Chris Kline and Dan Meyer fill bottles of hand sanitizer at the Chicken Hill Distillery in Kersey.

While healthcare facilities and the general public face a shortage of hand sanitizer around the nation, many distilleries have altered their production to meet that need.

One such distillery, CJ Spirits in Kane, stepped up to the plate and is expected to have a supply available in the next week or two.

“We saw an article a few weeks back on how distilleries were putting their resources into hand sanitizer, so we looked into it,” explained co-owner, Tom Jones.

With the help of a donation from the Kane Rotary Club, the distillery will be donating the first batch of hand sanitizer to first responders and various healthcare facilities, such as nursing homes and hospitals in the Kane community.

“After that, it will be available for sale in 4 ounce bottles to consumers and retail customers, as well as 750 ml bottles for medical personnel,” noted Jones.

After the federal government gave the go-ahead for distilleries to make hand sanitizer, Chicken Hill Distillery in Kersey also shifted production from spirits to hand sanitizer, which was a relatively easy process, according to co-owner Dan Meyer.

“It’s basically made the same way, though instead of adding flavoring we add chemicals,” he explained. “It was a relatively simple switch over.”

Meyer said they will be distributing the first batch on Saturday, which will be donated to local law enforcement, fire departments and other emergency healthcare personnel. Afterwards, they will start selling to industrial and healthcare facilities. Due to the high demand and lack of supplies, he said they will most not likely have it available for retail.

Distilleries must label each bottle of hand sanitizer with a label approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which lists the formula from the World Health Organization. The ingredient list includes 190 proof grain neutral spirits, distilled alcohol, glycerin and hydrogen peroxide. After it is bottled, it then has to sit for 72 hours before it can be distributed.