COLD LAKE – A Cold Lake business has added a new product to their production line in response to the coronavirus.
Cold Lake Brewing and Distilling started bottling and selling hand sanitizer after seeing local residents and businesses were struggling to get ahold of the product.
Owner Dusty Kiziak described the decision as a “necessity.”
“There was lots of demand for it. We wanted to help the community and keep businesses open. There’s been quite a few shortages (for) hand sanitizer and masks.”
The company announced earlier this month that they'll have a limited amount of bottles available for sale.
“It went absolutely viral,” Kiziak recalled. “We had about 200 messages in the morning and about 100 phone calls.”
When they opened their doors at 7-5106 51 Ave. to the public, they sold out of their stock in minutes.
“There were people wrapped around the block, it was crazy,” Kiziak noted.
Customers are now limited to purchasing one bottle per person or household and the hand sanitizer is sold on a first come, first serve basis. Cold Lake Brewing and Distilling has been working with businesses to provide more if needed, and are offering discounts for essential services and healthcare jobs.
The first small batch distillery and craft brewery in the area, Cold Lake Brewing and Distilling opened their doors in 2016. Since then, one of their goals has been to support their neighbours using as many local resources as possible.
“Anything that we can do to help the local businesses, we’re doing it. We believe in the community.”
Kiziak added, “We know how it is. We’re a local start-up company, and if it wasn’t tough before, it’s even harder now. It’s ridiculous, and we just keep getting shots on the chin.”
Although the process of making hand sanitizer is a little different than their usual spirits and beer, Kiziak noted it's pretty simple.
They’re distilling ethanol, also known as drinking alcohol and mixing in a few other ingredients. Once completed, a 500-millilitre bottle has approximately 70 per cent alcohol in it.
Due to the demand for hand sanitizer, Kiziak said finding the packaging for the finished product has become difficult.
“We’re running into the fact that you can’t find plastic bottles, you can’t find the ingredients and the materials to make it,” he detailed, adding that they will continue to offer it to customers for as long as they can.
“We’re just going to carry on doing this until this (situation) goes away.”