MANASSAS, VA —has completed the retooling of its equipment to allow the production of its Bare Knuckle Hand Sanitizer. The distillery plans to begin producing about 2,000 gallons of the hand sanitizer each week to meet demand during the coronavirus crisis.
The distillery initially will donate supplies to Manassas area first responders, hospitals, charitable organizations and nursing homes. Additional quantities are being sold through government channels or to essential businesses to help cover production costs and support the employment of the distillery’s 15 employees.
The hand sanitizer is available in 5-gallon buckets, each of which has a sealed lid with an extractable pouring spout. KO Distilling is offering the buckets for $195 each. Customers can get discounts when they order six, 12 or 24 buckets per order. For each emptied, cleaned, and dried bucket that is returned, the distillery will offer a $10 discount on a future order.
On March 12, KO Distilling closed its distillery and tasting room to the public. All employees were provided work to be done remotely. KO Distilling Co-Founder and CEO Bill Karlson said the company had been planning some upgrades to the distillery plant's chill water cooling system and planned to use the coronavirus-related closure to perform the the upgrades.
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"During the ensuing weeks, the severity of the pandemic and, importantly, the demand for hand sanitizer became clear, and we knew we had to join our distillery colleagues in producing this important tool for first responders," Karlson said.
When coming up with a name for the hand sanitizer, Karlson said, it was fitting for the distillery to use Bare Knuckle. "We are glad to be able to help the community fight the good fight during this coronavirus pandemic," he said.
While the plant upgrades were being made, Karlson and KO Head Distiller Ryan Hendricks began planning how to produce hand sanitizer. They modified the distilling processes and equipment to be able to produce high-proof ethanol needed for hand sanitizer with 80-percent ABV ethanol, as well as buying other ingredients, including hydrogen peroxide, glycerol and a denaturant, to ensure the hand sanitizer was in compliance with FDA and WHO guidelines.
KO Distilling will accept vehicles driving up to the distillery to load the product Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If a buyer requires shipping of product, the company will arrange for shipping as long as the buyer pays the shipping cost.