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San Diego Distilleries Start Producing Hand Sanitizer

Misadventure Vodka, Seven Caves, and Cutwater Spirits have all pivoted their production

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As the nation faces a shortage of essential supplies, including sanitizing solution, distilleries around the country are stepping up and shifting their production from spirits to sanitizing agents.

Locally, several San Diego-based distilleries have already starting making sanitizers, including Seven Caves in Miramar, where founder Geoff Longenecker recently produced a few hundred bottles in collaboration with Bill Rogers of Liberty Call Distilling. Longenecker, who is president of the San Diego Distillers Guild, plans to give away his stock of sanitizer for free or with a donation to the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG). He’s grateful for the guidance of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which has authorized the manufacture of hand sanitizer products consistent with the formula from the World Health Organization (WHO).

And expect to see a sanitizing product from Cutwater Spirits, whose founder and master distiller Yuseff Cherney tells Eater, “Cutwater is in the process of developing a hand sanitizer that is effective and safe. Our product will include ethanol denatured with glycerin and will satisfy all applicable health and safety guidelines. We understand the demand and need for sanitizer is very serious at this time, however we would never release a product that the public is counting on to effectively kill germs and disinfect without assuring the product and its manufacturing process follow all applicable guidelines. Public safety is our very top priority. Although every ingredient in the process as well as packaging is in short supply, we have secured what we need to produce trial batches next week. We are working through the logistics as quickly as possible, while also exercising the most appropriate precautions. We expect to have a hand sanitizer available soon that we will donate to those that need it in our community.”

Vista microdistillery Misadventure & Co. has begun to produce large orders of sanitizer for local clinics, hospitals, veterans groups, and local governments and donated over two hundred bottles to the United States Bartenders Guild. The distillery, which usually produces a vodka from surplus baked goods, is focusing all of its efforts on manufacturing the spray says co-founder Whit Rigali; theirs is made following the recommended formula from the World Health Organization. Misadventure is also selling bottles of the sanitizing spray, priced from $7 to $24, online, though any state, federal or medical agencies that need liquid or gel sanitizer in bulk can reach out to info@misadventure.co.

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