Ontario distilleries are shifting focus from spirits to hand sanitizer

Ontario distilleries Spirit of York and Dillons have started producing hand sanitizer in order to help with the demand during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Since hand sanitizer is so hard to come by these days, both distilleries have started creating their own homemade alcohol-based disinfectant and distributing it to people across Ontario.

Dillons, Beamsville’s biggest craft gin outpost, distributed 3,000 bottles of aloe-infused hand sanitizer on March 18 to the Niagara police, health care workers, and Meals on Wheels volunteers.

During Doug Ford’s address at yesterday morning’s press conference, the Premier mentioned the work of these small-batch distilleries. “Yesterday I spoke about the ingenuity of Ontarians, I heard from many businesses, many manufacturers, for instance, companies like Dillons Distillery are showing the Ontario spirit we hold so dear,” said Premier Ford.

Dillons will also be distributing some of their hand sanitizers to the City of Hamilton.

Since the overwhelming amount of interest in the local hand sanitizer, Dillons is working to produce more bottles for the public. But as of right now they are completely sold out.



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a LITTLE UPDATE: in the 24 hours since we posted about our disinfectant and hand sanitizer we have received an enormously overwhelming number of calls and emails. We are working hard to get back to everyone as quickly as possible both by phone and replying to emails, messages and comments.⁠ ⁠ As of 4:30pm on March 18th we have unfortunately run out of 3000 bottles of sanitizer and nearly all the disinfectant. Have no fear, we are working quickly alongside so many wonderful supporters, officials and government to have more available as soon as possible. We will be sure to make everyone aware when more is available. ⁠ ⁠ If you would like to email with your name + contact details, we can add your name to the list to be contacted as soon as more is available.⁠ ⁠ Thank you and please stay safe.

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Spirit of York in Toronto’s Distillery District is following suit. Their entire facility has shifted its production to making hand sanitizer. Following the strict WHO guidelines, Spirit of York is making an alcohol-based sanitizer they plan to give away to those in need, and sell for $3 for those who can afford it.

Over 1,000 bottles are said to be ready for purchase today at their Distillery location 12 Trinity St., from 11 a.m. onwards.



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HAND SANITIZER UPDATE 💦⁣ Wow, we’re overwhelmed by the love and support we’ve received by our local community these last 24 hours. Thank you all, truly. ⁣ ⁣ As promised, our hand sanitizer will be available to the public TOMORROW (March 19), until supplies last. Here’s everything you need to know before coming by:⁣ ⁣ ◆ Our hand sanitizer will cost $3 which will allow for exact change only, as we try to adhere to higher sanitary practices. For this community support initiative, all proceeds will be dedicated to local food banks. Sanitizer will continue to be FREE for those who can’t afford it or over the age of 65⁣ ⁣ ◆ Donations – we are welcoming donations beyond the price of the hand sanitizer, with ALL PROCEEDS going to local food banks⁣ ⁣ ◆ Distillery hours – For now, we are open seven days a week from 11-6 p.m. Our Hand Sanitizer will only be available on-site. We have taken additional precautions to ensure the safety of staff and customers during this time, which means customers will only be able to pick-up at our walk-up window. ⁣ ⁣ We encourage everyone planning to come to our distillery to be safe! Take all the necessary precautions you can and if you’re feeling unwell, to please stay home. ⁣ ⁣ Thank you everyone for supporting our community initiative! For the latest updates, continue to follow up here. ⁣

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Many other Ontario distilleries are also doing their part to combat COVID-19. Reid’s distillery and Niagra on the Lake’s Limited Distilling are also making their own versions of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


Article exclusive to TRNTO