Hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer bottles from Griffin Claw Brewing Company

(The Center Square) – Amid medical product shortages, private companies are stepping up to supply needed materials.

Coppercraft Distillery in Holland is producing and donating approximately 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to local hospitals and healthcare providers.

“Times of crisis require each of us to determine how we can use our work for good,” Coppercraft Distillery CEO Brian Mucci said in a statement. “This is an opportunity to step into a need and assist our community, and we are honored to do so in such a practical way.

“As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, we have been inspired by numerous stories of people lending a hand to assist one another,” Mucci said. “This is one way our team can express gratitude for all front-line healthcare workers during this exceptional time.”

That’s possible thanks to temporarily waived regulations from The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) that allow licensed beverage distillers to make ethanol-based hand sanitizer.

Normally, distilleries must have an industrial manufacturing permit to produce hand sanitizer, but that requirement has been waived through at least June 30, 2020.

All TTB-permitted Distilled Spirits Permittees may manufacture hand sanitizer products comprised of:

  • denatured or undenatured ethanol
  • Glycerol, not less than 1.45 percent of the finished hand sanitizer product on a volume basis
  • Hydrogen peroxide, not less than 0.125 percent of the finished hand sanitizer product on a volume basis

“Even in times of crisis, Michiganders have shown their willingness to step up and help each other,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a news release. “I am profoundly grateful for the Michigan distilleries who are putting people before profit and are using their production facilities to make hand sanitizer during this COVID-19 emergency.”

Coppercraft will follow the guidelines of the World Health Organization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and TTB to create a hand sanitizer barely below 80-percent alcohol that they say will be ready for distribution this week.

Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, Coppercraft’s Michigan distributor, plans to donate its trucks and drivers for delivery.

Some of that hand sanitizer is flowing to Holland Hospital.

“There is a critical need in our community and our nation for safe and effective hand sanitizer,” Rob Schwartz said in a statement. Schwartz is Holland Hospital’s vice president of quality, IT, HIM, and risk. “We are so appreciative of companies like Coppercraft Distillery who are choosing to rally behind us and show their support in unique and creative ways.”

That distillery isn’t alone. Griffin Claw Brewing Company is giving away hand sanitizer bottles with each order and is working with the state government to donate sanitizer to emergency services, as well as donations to Gleaners Food Bank.

“We just saw the impact of COVID-19 and everyone running out of sanitizer. We operate a distillery, so we got creative and were able to make our own,” Griffin Claw Marketing Director Christopher Lasher said.

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.