A distillery in Montgomery County began producing and selling hand sanitizer instead of spirits Wednesday morning in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Twin Valley Distillers started using the byproducts of the whiskey-making process, such as ethanol — since they can’t be imbibed — to make hand sanitizer after their business was suffering.
The idea spawned from an off-hand comment but became an immediate success. Their first batch released at 8 a.m. Wednesday sold out in three hours.
Since the distillery has limited ability to serve its drinks, they decided to dedicate all operations to producing hand sanitizer.
“We’ve been trying to get it out as quickly as possible. Not worried about how it looks, just worried about how effective in being able to get it to consumers,” said General Manager Jonathan Shair.
Residents are relieved to have a place where they can buy hand sanitizer, like 12-year-old Raquel Osario, who wants to spend time with her grandparents.
“Having hand sanitizer is like gold for me right now,” Osario said.
The distillery plans on increasing its production and having more bottles of hand sanitizer to sell on Friday.