Shifting gears

3 Fort Worth distilleries produce hand sanitizer to alleviate shortage amid COVID-19

Fort Worth distilleries produce hand sanitizer to alleviate shortage

Acre Distilling hand sanitizer
Acre Distilling is pivoting its operations. Facebook/Acre Distilling

As hand sanitizer continues to fly off the shelves amid the fight against the COVID-19 virus, local distilleries are joining others across the nation in shifting their production efforts to help combat the shortage.

“At this time, we’re pivoting from alcohol production to hand sanitizer production — because we can, and because it’s important to the health and safety of our community,” Blackland Distillery says in a statement.

The Foundry District distiller of gin, whiskey, and vodka has closed its tasting room to the public following new mandates by the city of Fort Worth, but will make a gin-scented botanical hand sanitizer available for purchase beginning March 23. Their grain supplier, TexMalt, a local craft malt house in Fort Worth, has donated the grain needed, they say.

The eight-ounce bottles will sell for $7, with a limit of two bottles per customer, per day. The tasting room will be open from 11 am to 1 pm Mrach 23-27 for sanitizer and bottle sales only. Customers who buy a bottle of their spirits will receive one free bottle of sanitizer. They also will donate much of thir hand sanitizer produced to local hospitals and shelters, they say.

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., home to TX Whiskey, will also produce and donate hand sanitizer. The Fort Worth distillery’s parent company, Pernod Ricard USA, is working with the U.S. government on plans for distribution.

“Our company is proud to support the efforts of the Administration and communities across the country in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Ann Mukherjee, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard North America, in a press release.

Downtown Fort Worth's Acre Distilling Co. also recently debuted its ethanol-based sanitizing Hand Elixir, but with the initial intent to use the product in-house to clean and disinfect high-traffic areas.

“We’ve got plenty of ethanol on hand,” says Tony Formby, Acre Distilling owner.

Formby says he’s received calls not only for donations (one from a local nursing home) but for his recipe by some Austin-based distillers. The distillery officially closed its doors March 18, and Formby is hoping to continue production with no intention of selling the product to the public just yet.