The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on industries across the nation, from health care, Wall Street, and tourism to restaurants, retail and manufacturing. One industry banding together to do their part in helping fight this outbreak are breweries and distilleries — and they’re not just producing delicious craft brews and spirits for Americans who could use a drink during this stressful time.
American breweries and distilleries are repurposing their brewing equipment and preparing fresh batches of hand sanitizer to distribute them to the hospitals, nursing homes, first responders and the general public as they can. After hand sanitizer went flying off the shelves, these breweries and distilleries responded to the shortage. Cheers to that!
Here’s a list of some of the breweries around the country helping to combat the spread of coronavirus in their own way. And when social distancing is over and we can travel again, it will be nice to stop by these establishments and support them by enjoying a brew or cocktail.
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Motorworks Brewing, Bradenton, Florida
This brewery is no stranger to philanthropic causes — you may have seen them featured on the Ellen Degeneres show for its special-edition cans featuring the faces of shelter dogs. Now the Bradenton-based brewery is concocting hand sanitizer in an effort to help the local community stay well and fight the coronavirus. The brewery’s first batch of bottles went out to first responders and elderly facilities in the region, and have made a limited supply for the general public who may not be able to find sanitizer on store shelves. Stay tuned to the Motorworks Facebook page for more updates. Motorworks has an expansive tap room and outdoor area where patrons (and their pups) can enjoy live music, corn hole and other games — definitely something to look forward to when social distancing is over.
Two other distilleries in the Bradenton-Sarasota area are also producing hand sanitizer in response to the shortage, including Loaded Cannon Distillery in Lakewood Ranch and Drum Circle Distilling on Siesta Key.
Griffin Claw Brewing Co., Birmingham, Michigan
This Michigan-based craft beer brewery has shifted its production to make hand sanitizer for the community, first responders and health care workers in response to the coronavirus. And with social distancing in full force, Griffin Claw Brewery began making food, beer and sanitizer deliveries within a 5-mile radius. You can also still visit the brewery for carry-out options. The brewery took to Facebook to thank its community for the outpouring of support during these times, and hopefully when it’s all over you can visit the taproom to enjoy a bite to eat and a cold brew or hard seltzer.
Old Fourth Distillery, Atlanta, Georgia
This Atlanta-based distillery is known for its vodka, gin and bourbon. Now the business is using its brewing talents to prepare hand sanitizer for heroes — batches intended for first responders in the local community. The distillery is currently taking donations to continue its hand sanitizer production, so if you stop by to stock up on your social distancing spirit supply consider donating. Planning a trip to Atlanta once the world can travel again? Stop by the distillery for a tour and a tasting.
Spirit Hound Distillers, Lyons, Colorado
This distillery in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is known for its whiskey, gin, rum, sambuca and moonshine. However, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Colorado-based distillery has made limited batches of hand sanitizer to support its community. It is free and limited to one bottle per person, and you can stay up to date with its supply via social media. You can stop by the Spirit Hound Tasting Room to pick it up, and maybe a bottle of spirits too to enjoy while social distancing.
3 Daughters Brewing, St. Petersburg, Florida
This west coast Florida brewery began producing hand sanitizer for the local community and its health care workers and first responders, filling 4-ounce bottles to distribute to anyone in need. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and while the brewery prepares more batches to restock, they’re also offering to-go sales of its six-packs and growlers of beer, cider and seltzer. The brewery is encouraging people to follow health guidelines and social distancing when stopping by the brewery to pick up their favorite drink. Stay tuned to the brewery’s Facebook page for updates on when hand sanitizer is available. Once the outbreak is over and we can return to visiting our favorite restaurants and bars, be sure to stop by the 3 Daughters Brewing Tasting Room to enjoy a hand-crafted beer. The St. Petersburg brewery also hosts live music on weekends, as well as yoga classes and trivia nights.
Ann Arbor Distilling Co., Ann Arbor, Michigan
This award-winning spirits distillery is helping its community keep their hands clean by handing out samples of a house-distilled hand sanitizer. It also offered to fill containers brought by patrons. The sanitizer is free and made locally, and you can stay up to date with its supply on social media. While Ann Arbor Distilling Co. is supporting its community, you can help support them by buying local, including gift cards, merchandise, and more — all of which you can do online while social distancing. Once coronavirus has cleared up, be sure to stop by the tasting room to sample some spirits, including vodka, bourbon, gin, schnapps and more.
Eight Oaks Distillery, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania
This veteran-owned, family-run distillery in Pennsylvania has responded to the coronavirus crisis by shifting its focus from spirits to hand sanitizer in an effort to support the local community, hospitals, assisted living homes and beyond. The distillery is producing an antibacterial hand sanitizer with aloe and due to tremendous positive demand, it is now working on ways to distribute the product to the community while keeping up with the suggested health guidelines. If you’re interested in this product, the distillery is working on an online option and you can contact the distillery on its website or social media. You can also donate to the cause online. This small-batch distillery offers whiskey, rum, vodka and gin, all of which you can taste and tour at the distillery when the outbreak is over.
Litchfield Distillery, Litchfield. Connecticut
This Connecticut-based distillery’s slogan is “the spirit of hard work,” and during this difficult time in the nation, Litchfield Distillery is hard at work brewing batches of hand sanitizer to give to local health care organizations and personnel, as well as high-risk individuals like seniors and those with pre-existing conditions. Stay tuned for updates on the distillery’s production of hand sanitizer via Facebook or Instagram. Consider adding a tour of this distillery to your post-social distancing bucket list, so you can experience the “Batcher’s Philosophy” first hand and taste whiskey, gin and vodka.
Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., Lexington, Kentucky
A trip to Kentucky isn’t quite complete without a taste of Kentucky bourbon, and Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. is a staple in your stop for spirits. While the visitors center is currently closed to promote social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak, this brewery is doing its part by using its alcohol to produce hand sanitizer in order to help supplement the shortage. Organizations in need of hand sanitizer can email [email protected] to submit their request. When you’re able to travel again, be sure to make a stop by Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. to sample bourbon, craft beers and more.
Pretoria Fields Brewery, Albany, Georgia
“It takes a collective.” A slogan Pretoria Fields Brewery is known for and one that continues to shine through as we come together as a community during this difficult time. As breweries and distilleries across the country stepped up to fill the growing need of hand sanitizer, Pretoria Fields didn’t waste time to utilize their resources to do the same. While these efforts are in place to help the community, it’s also helping the brewery’s employees stay working in a time of uncertainty in the service industry. We know it may be some time before you can make it the tap room at Pretoria Fields Brewing, but when you do you’ll be greeted with the choice of four staple brews ranging from a golden ale full of flavor to a complex and satisfying stout as well as select seasonal creations. It’s definitely a must-visit on your next trip to Albany, GA.