SD Distillers Guild creates 10K+ gallons of hand sanitizer

Family members help bottle hand sanitizer (photo courtesy of Liberty Call Distilling)

In support of its San Diego community and frontline workers near and far during the COVID-19 crisis, the San Diego Distillers Guild announces a multi-member initiative that has seen more than a dozen San Diego craft distilleries switching operations to produce large quantities of hand sanitizer in lieu of artisanal spirits. As produced, Guild member distilleries have and continue to supply thousands of gallons to first responders and those on the frontline, while distributing free and low-cost hand sanitizer to the public during a time when demand for the product has risen exponentially.

“The last several weeks have been nothing short of extraordinary for our small but mighty distilling community here in San Diego. The combined efforts of our member distilleries have impacted and greatly benefited virtually every corner of California and beyond. The story that will be told of this effort is one for the ages, and we can’t wait to tell it,” said Geoff Longenecker, President of the San Diego Distillers Guild and founder of Seven Caves Spirits, a Miramar distillery that has so far produced more than 6,000 gallons of sanitizer in an equal-parts effort with fellow Guild member Liberty Call Distilling.

The lineup of San Diego Distillers Guild members participating in the production and distribution of hand sanitizer includes 117 West, Cutwater Spirits, Henebery Spirits, Liberty Call Distilling, Malahat Spirits Co., Mike Curphy Distillery, Misadventure, Oceanside Distillers, Old Harbor Distilling, Pacific Coast SpiritsSan Diego Distillery, San Diego Sunshine, Seven Caves Spirits, Shadow Ridge Spirits Company and Storyhouse Spirits.

To date, Guild members have produced and then donated or sold more than 10,000 gallons of sanitizer to agencies and organizations such as the City of San Diego, United States Postal Service, UPS, the US Navy (including the USS Portland, USS Pearl Harbor, and USS Independence), the City of Los Angeles, and Amazon, as well as most local police and fire departments, banks and credit unions, grocery stores, hospice and healthcare workers, and civic organizations locally and as far away as Texas and Hawaii.

Many members have also made simultaneous efforts to distribute hand sanitizer to the public, often with no purchase required. Several pop-up sanitizer giveaways have and continue to happen around the county, with people lining up six feet apart to receive a bottle for personal use. While distributed on a first come first serve basis, Guild members have yet to run out of hand sanitizer and together are continuing production to steel against possible future shortages caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.

“This has been a crazy run. Six weeks ago we were trying to open a new tasting room, and now we’re making thousands of gallons of sanitizer with Seven Caves Spirits. I would have never in a million years seen that pivot coming,” said Bill Rogers, Treasurer of the San Diego Distillers Guild and founder of Liberty Call Distilling with locations in Spring Valley and Barrio Logan.

The San Diego Distillers Guild has created a webpage listing members currently making sanitizer, with contact information provided for each craft distillery, at www.sddistillers.com/handSaniProducers. In addition to hand sanitizer, several distilleries with kitchens also remain open for takeout of food and spirits; interested parties are encouraged to contact each directly to confirm hours and availability.

About San Diego Distillers Guild: Established in 2014, the San Diego Distillers Guild promotes artisanal distilled spirits production in San Diego County through pursuing a two-fold mission including (1) raising the public’s awareness about the quality and uniqueness of spirits created via craft distillation and (2) serving as an educational and networking resource for those interested in craft spirit production throughout San Diego and the United States. Learn more at www.sddistillers.com and socialize on Facebook and on Instagram at @sddistillersguild.