Local distillery brewing up hand sanitizer amid national shortage

A Plymouth distillery is turning from the hard stuff to the clean stuff, with 12 gallons of hand sanitizer already made so far and being handed it out for free.

PLYMOUTH, Mass. — A Plymouth distillery is turning from the hard stuff to the clean stuff, with 12 gallons of hand sanitizer already made so far and being handed it out for free. It's all to help with the nationwide shortage due to coronavirus.

Brenton Mackechnie is head distiller at Dirty Water Distillery, but he's cranking out more than just booze.

“As a stop-gap measure, we might as well use resources we have on hand to help out,” he said.

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The Plymouth distillery is brewing up their own hand sanitizer using high-proof alcohol and glycerin to get just the right consistency. The recipe is based on guidelines from the World Health Organization

"I figure if we have this material that serves no other purpose except for cleaning, might as well use it for another application, for cleaning," Mackechnie said.

So far Dirty Water Distillery has produced about 12 gallons of hard-to-find hand sanitizer. But they're not selling it – they're giving it away for free.

Mackechnie says it's a community-wide effort. The Plymouth Walmart donated the hydrogen peroxide, while a local brewery has donated cans. The distillery in turn is giving away the hand sanitizer to first responders, including the Plymouth Police Department.

"All these people on front lines, they don’t have ready access to soap and water because [they’re] not near a sink," Mackechnie said.

People can stop by their Water Street business to grab 2-to-3-ounce bottles. Mackechnie said the distillery has enough supply to make a few more batches.

“Hopefully, supply on [the] commercial side will ramp up and will meet demand so people can have something a little more easily attainable and relatable and a supply they would prefer,” he said.

The distillery says they prefer you bring in your own small bottle to fill up. If you can’t, a group of boy scouts is expected to help out with bottling and packaging the hand sanitizers.