Tucson distillery producing hand sanitizer in response to COVID-19

Updated: Mar. 21, 2020 at 8:37 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Distilleries around the country have shifted their productions to stop the spread of COVID-19 by making hand sanitizer. Town Under Black Distillery, a local whiskey distillery in Tucson, has started producing hand sanitizer to give out to the community for free.

“We’ve been getting so many reports from hospitals, healthcare workers and just people looking on shelves and not being able to find things,” Town Under Black Distillery Co-Owner Rebecca Caroli said.

Caroli and Co-Owner Vlad Novokschenov typically produce blue corn whiskey and now have added hand sanitizer to the line-up.

Distilleries received the green light to start making hand sanitizer from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on Wednesday.

"That was sort of the go button for us to really commit to producing this for the community and for as many healthcare providers as we can," Caroli said.

She said the most challenging part is getting all the necessary ingredients to make hand sanitizer such as glycerol which is being prioritized to health care professionals amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Caroli and Novokschenov are experimenting with other ingredients like marshmallow root and eucalyptus as alternatives while also abiding by the World Health Organization's guidelines for hand sanitizer production.

Town Under Black Distillery plans to start giving out hand sanitizer by the end of next week and will continue making its blue corn whiskey infused with cacao called Six Sky.

“We’re gonna get a shipment of the whiskey out to a bunch of local retailers because we can still support them since they can still do bottle sells,” Caroli said.

The distillery is in need of small containers, bottles and jars -- preferably plastic -- to distribute the hand sanitizer to the community. Visit Town Under Black Distillery’s Facebook or email spirits@townunderblack.com if you’re able to donate containers or interested in getting hand sanitizer.

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