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On tap: Two Richmond-area distilleries making hand sanitizer

On tap: Two Richmond-area distilleries making hand sanitizer


Toilet paper and hand sanitizer seem to be in short supply these days.

At least two Richmond-area distilleries have come up with small solution to one of those.

Reservoir Distillery, a bourbon whiskey producer based in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition area, and Three Crosses Distilling Co. in Powhatan County have started making what might be called a “hand-crafted hand sanitizer.”

“We’re still making whiskey, and we are also making hand sanitizer,” said Jay Carpenter, who co-founded Reservoir Distillery along with Dave Cuttino in 2008.

It’s a product that distilled spirits businesses are in a unique position to make, given their production process. Carpenter said the liquid sanitizer exceeds the 60% alcohol content typically defined as a sanitizing agent.

“Everything we make could be used as a cleaning agent,” Carpenter said. “Ours is just our distillate — what becomes our bourbon.”

“It started out just to do something for the neighbors and anybody local who needed some hand sanitizer,” he said.

Now, Reservoir has started offering up small amounts of liquid hand sanitizer free of charge for people who stop by the distillery at 1800 Summit Ave.

At Reservoir, there are rules to follow. There is a limit of 10 ounces of sanitizer per person. Customers have to bring their own bottle. Only one person is being allowed in the distillery at a time, and customers waiting outside have to maintain a distance of at least 8 feet from each other.

The distillery’s current hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Saturday and Sunday.

Three Crosses Distilling has made several gallons of sanitizer, said Michelle Davenport, co-owner of the distillery on Old Buckingham Road.

“We have it broken into smaller bottles for the general public, and we are giving it to police and first responders if they need any,” she said.

Three Crosses, which makes a variety of spirits, is asking for a $4 donation for each bottle so it can keep sourcing the materials and ingredients needed for the sanitizer. The distillery is limiting customers to no more than 10 on site at a time.

Reservoir also is asking visitors to make a donation to the Holli Fund, which offers financial grants to food and beverage employees experiencing economic crisis through injury, illness or loss of wages due to coronavirus restrictions and other emergencies.

Like other craft beverage makers in the Richmond area, Reservoir has had to scale back its hours and close its tasting room because of the coronavirus, but visitors can still buy bottles of whiskey there.

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