LYONS, Colo. (CBS4) – At Spirit Hound Distillery in Lyons, they’re making a different kind of alcohol these days — the germ killing kind.
“This is hand sanitizer. It’s an important thing people need right now,” said distillery owner Craig Engelhorn.
He says local police and fire department staff approached him with the idea of producing hand sanitizer last week and by Sunday he’d switched from single malt to liquid gold.
“It’s alcohol content is 96% with just a little glycerin, hydrogen peroxide and a little water to finish it up.”
In only four days, the distillery has ginned-up 48 gallons of hand sanitizer and distributed it to health care workers and first responders dealing with the state’s coronavirus outbreak for free.
“We survived the flood of 2013 and we learned early on that a community helping itself is the best way to heal from all this.”
State Rep. Jonathan Singer heard about the effort and is now trying to help the helpers who’ve put others needs ahead of their own.
“Some super heroes wear capes. Others make hand sanitizer,” he said.
Spirit Hound Distillery is among thousands of small businesses that have been forced to close their doors for a month. Singer is asking the Department of Revenue to defer their taxes.
“We’ve got a choice in Colorado. We can make this a story of how we came together or fought each other. Efforts like this tell me we will come together and get through this.”
Engelhorn plans to make another 200 gallons of hand sanitizer in the next couple of weeks.
Another local business, Green Goo Skin Care, donated 1,000 small bottles, but Engelhorn says they need more. If you’d like to lend a clean hand, if you’re a health care worker or first responder in need of hand sanitizer or if you’d like the other kind of alcohol — whiskey, rum and gin — contact the distillery at Sanitizers@spirithounds.com.
“There’s a duty we have as a community to take care of each other,” said Engelhorn.
Rep. Joe Neguse, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, is sending a letter to the FDA asking for clarified guidance and for distilleries to be able to sell as well as donate hand sanitizer. Neguse is also calling on the federal government to address price gouging of products like hand sanitizer.