West Virginia distillery switches production to hand sanitizer

By  | 

JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Appalachian Distillery has decided on a new recipe. They are switching most of their production from making moonshine and other hard alcohol products to making and bottling hand sanitizers.

Appalachian Distillery is switching most of their production from making moonshine and other hard alcohol products to making and bottling hand sanitizers.

Last Saturday, President Donald Trump praised West Virginia and Kentucky for re-purposing alcohol production facilities, like Appalachian Distillery, to make hand sanitizer.

"They went out and re-purposed their alcohol production capabilities in Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas, and West Virginia to make hand sanitizer," Trump said Saturday. "That's a big difference and they'd been unbelievable."

Dwayne Freeman owns Appalachian Distillery in Jackson County near Ripley, West Virginia. After the state lifted required licensure to make hand sanitizer last weekend, they decided to use the alcohol usually used for whiskey, bourbon and moonshine to make hand sanitizer.

"We are just trying to help out and we are just letting anybody and everybody that can't find it or needs some to come in and get some," Freeman said.

He said they had extra alcohol so he bought the necessary supplies outlined on the World Health Organization's website to make hand-sanitizer. Freeman said the process to make and bottle the product is labor intensive.

"Yeah, that's my wife and kids and like I said we have someone watching the still running the still we have used up all of our extra alcohol to make hand-sanitizer," Freeman said.

Freeman said for first responders, nurses and anybody that needs, Appalachian Distillery is limiting supplies to 10 per person so everyone has the opportunity to get it.

Dennis Overton lives in Jackson County and took a trip to the distillery because Overton's family members work in the medical field in Charleston.

"We was watching Channel 3 News, and hey I jumped in my truck and my wife said at least get ten," Overton said. "So I came on over to get ten you know."

Freeman says he, his wife and children are working more than 10 hours a day to bottle and label the hand sanitizer. He said they will give out a few for no charge but if someone wants more its $1.50.

"We won't charge them for it," Freeman said. "That way, they got it. Somebody wanting a lot more for other people, other family member, we charge a little bit for it -- just trying to recoup the expense," Freeman said.

Appalachian Distillery is still selling the whiskey, moonshine and bourbon they are known for. They also sell local products like nuts, coffee, candles and gift cards. So when you stop in for hand sanitizer, you can support them by purchasing those other products.