Early next week Pine Bluffs Distilling of Pine Bluffs, Wyo., will have its first batch of hand sanitizer ready. The company decided to start making hand sanitizer to help out in their community.
“One of our customers sent us a screenshot of Dry Fly Distilling in Spokane, Wash., making hand sanitizer, so we looked into it,” said Chad Brown co-founder of Pine Bluffs Distilling. “And at that time FDA announced they were going to waive a lot of the regulations. So, we thought why not.”
The distiller wasn’t the only one looking to make hand sanitizer for those in need.
On March 24, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon directed the Wyoming Business Council to allocate funding to assist Wyoming distilleries and breweries in their efforts to help produce hand sanitizer.
Brown said before the governor’s office contacted them, he had already been looking into and purchasing supplies for making hand sanitizer.
The company is following the FDA guidelines for making hand sanitizer, which includes alcohol of 190 proof mixed with glycerin and hydrogen peroxide. The result will be 80 percent alcohol by volume sanitizer.
Brown said the distiller will use the corn and barley, they have on hand for making their beverages, so everything else needed for the hand sanitizer production is already on site.
Governor Gordon is utilizing Imminent Threat Grant funds available through the Community Development Block Grant Program to pay for the supplies distillers need to produce mass quantities of hand sanitizer to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“This collaborative effort represents the Wyoming spirit we all know and love,” Gordon said. “Folks banding together in challenging economic times to support public health and advance the greater good. We also recognize that other industries are stepping up and that this situation is temporary.”
When the governor’s office contacted Brown, they had already committed themselves to make the hand sanitizer.
“We are a very community-driven company and the community has given so much to us in the last two and a half years, this is how we can give back to our community,” Brown said. “It’s not just us doing this, it’s all of the Wyoming distilleries coming together and helping out.”
Along with Pine Bluffs Distilling, Wyoming distillers and brewers that have committed, and can contribute to the effort include Backwards Distillery of Casper, Koltiska Distillery of Sheridan, Chronicles Distilling of Cheyenne, Melvin Brewing of Alpine, Wyoming Whiskey of Kirby, and Jackson Hole Still Works and Grand Teton Distillery of Jackson.
The Wyoming Business Council is providing resources for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For additional information, visit wyomingbusiness.org/covid19.