Vernon distiller partners with brewery to make hand sanitizer

From beer to sanitizer

A boozy collaboration between two Vernon businesses is producing more hand sanitizer for frontline workers.

Tyler Dyck at Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery says a partnership with Vernon's Okanagan Spring Brewery is seeing excess beer made into the sought-after product.

Ordinarily, excess kegged beer must be discarded, and with restaurants and pubs closed the last nine weeks, brewers are sitting on a stockpile that can't be used.

Beer lovers may want to sit down for this – but that excess production goes down the drain, and brewers must pay to dispose of it.

But Dyck says he successfully lobbied the province to allow that product to be repurposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

"It has worked out really well," he said. "A lot of alcohol would otherwise go to waste in kegs that would normally go to bars and restaurants.

"They have to pay to destroy it, so it would have been an added expense, and we wouldn't have been allowed to touch it."

But, with the changes, Okanagan Spirits was able to receive about 5,000 litres of discard beer that is in the process of being distilled down to produce the 80% alcohol needed for sanitizer.

"It will make a few hundred litres of sanitizer, which works out to about 600 to 1,000 bottles of sanitizer that we can donate.

Okanagan Spirits has already donated about 40,000 bottles of the sanitizer to frontline workers across the region.

"We've had trouble keeping up," said Dyck, "so this is a really useful gift from Okanagan Spring."

He notes that due to the regulatory change, distillers and brewers across the province will also be able to take advantage of the ability to produce more sanitizer as the pandemic continues.

Every purchase of the company's gins, whiskies and vodkas pays to produce another bottle of sanitizer, and customers get a free bottle as well under Okanagan Spirits' Harness your Inner Superhero program.

More Vernon News

Recent Trending



Send us your News Tips!


Vernon SPCA Featured Pet

Ollie Vernon SPCA >

Support Local Media
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada