Black Band Distillery's grand opening was delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic. But they want to start producing alcohol as soon as possible -- but they do not want to make liquor, they want to make sanitizer for those on the front lines in the fight against the virus.
When the agency that governs distillers announced regulations to allow businesses to produce sanitizer, the team at Black Band decided they could make it happen. Owner Chris Ober says their plan is to help those who need it the most.
"We want to get it to local EMS, fire, police, we've had several messages about local entities requesting it," said Ober.
While he was at first disappointed about delaying their opening, he's happy that both his equipment and staff can now go to work to help combat the spread. Ober says most of the work required will not be very different from what they already do -- just mixing some different alcohol and chemicals.
"It was surreal that our plans basically got put on hold, this is a means for us to keep moving forward and doing something that we are at least somewhat familiar with, we want to be useful and helpful to the people that need it," he added.
They plan to have their first batch ready within a week and they are currently fundraising to ensure they can provide sanitizer free of charge. They want to raise $25,000 to cover the cost of employing staff and running the equipment. The GoFund Me page can be found here.