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Coronavirus In Minnesota: Local Distilleries Crafting Hand Sanitizer

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Some unlikely warriors have joined the fight against COVID-19. Minnesota and Western Wisconsin craft cocktail makers are making those on the front lines of the illness safer.

Typically, Saturday is the busiest day of the week at Norseman Distillery. But nothing about this week is typical.

Jordan Webb and her husband own Norseman Distillery, "It's usually very vibrant and hopping in here, it's quiet and lonely in here today."

​Norseman is heeding the governor's advice, closing their doors to the public. But they're opening up production for a product they never thought they'd make: hand sanitizer.

Webb explains, "It's 77% alcohol, glycerine and hydrogen peroxide which were all things we had on hand at the distillery and then we add essential oils because we are Norseman and we can't help ourselves, so it smells nice."

​They decided to join other distilleries around the country and use their alcohol for the greater good, she says, "Right from the first day we made it we were like we are only going to allow this to car providers and first responders in an effort to minimize the movement of people, only for the people who have to go out on this, the ones we are going to rely on to help us when we call."

They are not alone in their re-purposing for a purpose.

45th Parallel in New Richmond is also making Sanitizer, they say they can barely keep up with the large demand. J. Carver in Waconia is making sanitizer too -- for first responders and healthcare workers.

Back at Norseman, they've had hundred of requests. And they plan to resume production on Monday.

So even though they can't serve cocktails, they've found a way to serve others.

"It honestly gives us a lot of happiness and purpose to help out," Webb says.

The hope here at Norseman is to make many more bottles of sanitizer. They're obviously not getting a revenue stream in right now so they started a GoFundMe page. If you'd like to donate to that and help them serve others, click here.

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