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Sudbury distillery producing hand sanitizer

Crosscut Distillery making 'small but mighty' effort to help combat COVID-19

Crosscut Distillery is brewing up a batch of something new at its Sudbury facility: hand sanitizer.

The locally run business, which produces several varieties of gin, vodka, and whisky, has been making hand sanitizer to give out to community members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On its Facebook page, Crosscut said the gesture was a small way it could help the community as people social distance and self-isolate in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

“A small but mighty amount of sanitizer that we want to offer to our community,” the March 20 post said. “We have been working hard and pulling all of our resources together to make sanitizer in this time of need.”

Hand sanitizer is one of the items that has quickly disappeared from store shelves following local instances of "panic buying" as COVID-19 spreads.

So far, the distillery has produced 100 100-millilitre bottles of the sanitizer, which it planned to give away on Friday evening to community members, for free, until supply ran out.

Additionally, Crosscut said it was looking to donate quantities to local health-care centres that are in need of the product, and said it planned to release another batch directly to health-care centres within the next few days.

The facility is also providing a free bottle of hand sanitizer with every purchase, while supplies last.

Crosscut joins a number of distilleries across North America that have been putting to good use the waste alcohol that is produced as a part of the distilling process. Some have switched gears entirely, devoting their operations just to producing sanitizer.

Owned and operated by Shane Prodan, the distillery opened in the West End of Sudbury in 2017.

Since then, it’s garnered a loyal following for its unique spirits, which are infused with local ingredients.

In its online post, Crosscut had one final request of community members.

The company said it had sourced containers from the biology department at Laurentian University, but it was in need of additional chemicals to add to the high-proof alcohol to produce the sanitizer.

The distillery put a call out to local businesses for financial help in acquiring those chemicals, along with packaging and labels, so it could continue producing the product.

“We hope that as a community we can come together to support each other through these tough times,” the post read. “We appreciate your understanding and ongoing support.”