Historic Memphis distillery producing 10,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to meet demand

Updated: Apr. 7, 2020 at 6:20 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Old Dominick Distillery is producing a new brew in Downtown Memphis these days -- hand sanitizer.

If you were to walk into Old Dominick distillery right now you’d find the staff working hard to provide a high demand product during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve got members of marketing, sales, administrative people out there, our bar managers out there, fortunately, everyone knows how to fill a bottle,” said Alex Castle, master distiller and senior vice president of Old Dominick Distillery.

But you’ll notice the bottles don’t contain the beverages the distillery is famous for.

“Never once in my mind did it occur to me that I would have to stop making whiskey and start making hand sanitizer,” said Castle.

Each bottle contains 80% alcohol, in line with guidelines from the World Health Organization.

“Fortunately, making hand sanitizer is a very similar process to blending our Home Belt Vodka,” said Castle.

They plan to make 10,000 bottles and give them to the Shelby County Commission.

“We are getting some reimbursement for the raw materials but when they go to distribute it, it’s going to be completely free,” said Castle.

But getting materials wasn’t easy, because every distillery in the country is trying to source the same materials.

The distillery originated from D. Canale and Company, which survived two world wars, yellow fever and the great depression.

“The Canales have been in this city for over 150 years. Old Dominick wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Memphis,” said Castle.

They hope to keep fighting the odds again and remain a staple in the city.

“It was the least we could do to help our hometown,” said Castle.

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