Tennessee Distillers Shift Spirit Production to Hand Sanitizer to Support States Essential Personnel

 In Blog

Distillers across the country continue their efforts to pitch in to the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Tennessee Distillers Guild members are pivoting their production efforts from distilled spirits to sanitizing products to help support essential workers throughout the state. 23 members are producing and providing hand sanitizer and sanitizing surface cleaning products to hundreds of hospitals, nursing homes, police and fire departments, EMS services, postal workers, food ministries and health care facilities throughout the Volunteer state.

“We saw a need in our communities, and we are on a mission to make a difference,” said Kris Tatum, president of the Tennessee Distillers Guild and co-owner of Old Forge Distillery in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. “It’s a great feeling when competitors collectively decide to put profits aside to jointly support the communities that have made us successful in the first place.”

Distilleries are working closely together to share information and source essential FDA-approved materials needed for sanitizer production. Some distilleries, like Gate 11 Distillery and Chattanooga Whiskey in Chattanooga, have even teamed up to co-produce sanitizers with fellow distillers.

“With our bottling capacity and Gate 11 bringing in the bulk sanitizer, we’re just proud that we were able to collaborate with our distillery friends across the street,” said Founder and CEO of Chattanooga Whiskey Tim Piersant.

Tennessee distilleries are also working with state government entities, including the state’s COVID-19 Unified Command and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) to ensure the needs of critical service personnel, such as local and regional hospitals, are met.

Some organizations traveled significant distances to obtain sanitizer from Guild members, including the Mount Clemens Sheriff’s Office in Michigan and CSX Railroad in Kentucky.

“These are difficult times for Tennessee distillers who have had to suspend tours and tastings, cancel events, and furlough employees,” said Sara Beth Urban, executive director of the Tennessee Distillers Guild. “Amid these challenges, our members didn’t hesitate to rise to the occasion when they found out they could help. It’s amazing to see what we can accomplish together.”

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All Tennessee Distillers Guild distilleries are adhering to the latest Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines in the preparation, production and distribution of their alcohol-based sanitizer products to ensure the utmost safety and efficacy of their products.

Here’s a list of Tennessee Guild members that are making hand sanitizer. Check with individual distilleries for purchase and distribution policies.

View all Tennessee Distilleries.

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