As we follow stay-at-home measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, many Oregon businesses are getting creative with ways to support one another and their communities. For some local distilleries that means pivoting the production process to make hand sanitizer for local front-liners.
To say the least, we think that’s pretty cool and hope you agree. Join us by giving three cheers for Oregon distilleries (hip, hip, hooray!) for going above and beyond right now.
Cheers to Oregon’s distillery-made sanitizers
In March 2020 the FDA changed its policy for compounding alcohol-based hand sanitizer products during the COVID-19 public health emergency, essentially giving distillers the green light as long as their formula follows World Health Organization guidelines.
Portland’s Shine Distillery is credited with being the first local distillery to manufacture hand cleaner to combat COVID-19 in early March. Others in the Portland Region soon followed suit, including New Deal Distillery, Stone Barn Brandyworks, Rose City Distilling, Aria Portland Dry Gin, Freeland Spirits and Straightaway. The Oregon Coast’s Newport-based Rogue Spirits and Astoria-located Pilot House Distilling joined the cause, as did Glacier 45 Distilling and Oregon Grain Growers in Eastern Oregon, Hood River Distillers in the Gorge and Central Oregon’s New Basin Distilling, Oregon Spirit Distillers and Crater Lake Spirits. In the Willamette Valley, Thinking Tree Spirits and Swallowtail Spirits are doing the same.
Cheers to donations to Oregon front-liners
Most Oregon distilleries are selling hand sanitizer to consumers at low prices, if not free, with significant discounts offered for refills or bulk orders. Many of them are also donating their sanitizer products to local community organizations.
Rogue Spirits continues to give its Helping Hand Hand Sanitizer to fire departments, police departments, county offices and ambulance services around the Central Oregon Coast. The Pacific Northwest’s largest spirits producer, Hood River Distillers, is bottling thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer for first responders. Glacier 45 Distilling donates their bottles to first responders and local restaurant industry workers. Freeland Spirits made 500 gallons of hand sanitizer for Portland’s TriMet transit workers. Rose City Distilling also contributed to TriMet, as well as Tigard police and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. Crater Lake Spirits is offering free bottles in their tasting room, one per customer, as well as donating to local health care workers. Swallowtail Spirits and Thinking Tree Spirits recently ceased consumable-liquor production to produce hand sanitizer that is donated to first responders in Lane County and beyond.
Cheers to Oregon’s top-notch spirits, always
Nearly two decades ago, Oregon’s small-batch spirits revolution first began — now there are some 60 distilleries and tasting rooms across the state. You can find their bottles in Oregon liquor stores and beyond. Many makers offer their own unique twists, from Marble Caves Distillery‘s hand-blended rum and brandy, to Stillweather Spirits‘ multilayered botanical gins, to Ewing Young Distillery’s fragrant sipping gins and whiskeys. Some producers honor Old-World traditions, like Elixir Craft Spirits‘ fernet and classic liqueurs. Oregon Grain Growers Brand Distillery produces whiskey with rye grown on the family farm in Pendleton. Portland’s Freeland Spirits is one of the only all-women-run distilleries anywhere, from the farmers to distillers to bartenders. Find a map of Oregon Distillery Trail sites so you’ll be ready to visit once the social distancing is over.