SPOKANE, Wash. — Dry Fly Distilling announced Tuesday it will start making its own sanitizing spray called 'Spokanitizer' due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The company started packaging the sanitizer on Wednesday. Some of the bottles have been donated to Dry Fly by local companies. They expect it will be available to the public as early as Thursday.
On the company’s Facebook page, they said they received federal approval to begin production. They will provide the sanitizer without charge once they get the appropriate packaging.
"It's obviously crazy times. I was joking with my wife last night--it's like I can hardly believe that the most popular item that I'm going to create at Dry Fly is hand sanitizer," said Dry Fly Vice President of Operations Patrick Donovan.
The process to make their hand sanitizer is more than just emptying their bottles of vodka and mixing it with water and aloe vera. Donovan said distilleries are heavily regulated and have to follow specific guidelines.
"We are abiding by WHO rules a recipes for making sanitizer. We are abiding by FDA regulations. If you've ever been in our distillery we have a huge 25 foot column. The sole purpose of that is to create 95 percent pure alcohol. That is what you need to do to make vodka. So we have as high a grade of alcohol you can possible make. Then eventually you cut it with water and that creates vodka. What we'll be doing is cutting it with less water. So instead of taking it down to 40 percent alcohol, we'll take it down to 70 percent alcohol," he said.
Donovan said once the hand sanitizer gets packaged, first responders and nursing homes will get first dibs on bulk orders. Then, Dry Fly will make the rest available to the public, for free, through its website.
The hand sanitizer isn't the only way that Dry Fly is looking to help the community. If you come into the distillery and make a purchase of $40 or more, you can choose gift cards from one of three local businesses of the distillery's partners.
Distilleries around the country have done some thing similar. Glass Distillery in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood and Bob’s Lake City Liquors are making their own hand cleaner and offering it to customers at no charge.