MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - After their taprooms were forced to close earlier this week due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several distilleries in Minnesota have now pivoted to using their supplies to make hand sanitizer for their employees and their local communities.
Norseman Distillery is making its own hand sanitizer and giving it away to the most vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Norseman Distillery / FOX 9)
The distilling process already produces the main ingredients for hand sanitizer, so Norseman Distillery and Tattersall Distilling in Minneapolis along with Vikre Distilling in Duluth are all making their own house-made versions of it.
Norseman is donating its hand sanitizer to groups most vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak such as medical facilities, homeless shelters, group homes and first responders, according to owner and master distiller Scott Ervin. All week, employees have been delivering the hand sanitizer directly to those who have requested it.
"Right now, we’re still actually making spirits, but it’s more for production for wholesale for bars and liquor stores,” Ervin said. “But, we’ve since switched over to sanitizer at the moment."
Norseman's says its product, dubbed Loki Lather, is a World Health Organization-approved recipe. It is 77 percent alcohol.
Tattersall is using its hand sanitizer for its employees but is working on producing it for its partners and the community, the distillery said in a Facebook post.
Vikre, meanwhile, is giving away a spray-able sanitizer that is 70 percent alcohol, which it says is good for sanitizing surfaces and misting your hands. Those who need it can bring their own container to the distillery for them to fill, according to a Facebook post. The distillery is also offering to make gallon pails of their sanitizer for local businesses.
Norseman is funding its efforts by selling “staycation cocktail kits” for people who are practicing social distancing during the pandemic. Customers can pick up their cocktail kits onsite on Saturdays. The profits go directly to purchasing more supplies to make hand sanitizer, Ervin said. The distillery has also set up a GoFundMe page.