SPARTA, Ky. — Hand sanitizer has been in short supply for the past few weeks, but one local Kentucky distillery has decided to stop liquor production and start making sanitizer to give away for free.
"I never dreamed, ever, when I built my distillery that I would be making hand sanitizer full time and shutting down bourbon production," Royce Neeley, the owner and lead distiller of the Neeley Family Distillery, said.
After starting production of hand sanitizer, the distillery has produced more than 25,000 eight-ounce bottles of sanitizer, and customers are taking the sanitizer as fast as the distillery can produce it. And while the hand sanitizer is free, Neeley asks just one thing.
"We just ask that they bring their own jugs, so they'll bring water bottles or whatever," Neeley said. "We try to limit it to half the water bottle amount per person. That way we can spread it out as much as possible."
Karrikin Spirits in Fairfax, Ohio, also started producing hand sanitizer recently, but Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home order made them shift their plan. Now, they are making hand sanitizer for essential employees, and Neeley is following suit, making sure that first responders get their share, too.
"We're giving as much as we can to firefighters, EMS, police, the nursing home, places we know really, really need it," Neeley said. "They're out here essentially keeping everything going. They're in a dangerous situation, because they interact with so many people."