As a number of B.C. liquor makers have begun producing hand sanitizer rather than booze, a Kamloops brewery is hoping it can use a new still to do the same.
Red Collar Brewing recently finished installing the equipment in its Lansdowne Street facility.
“Roughly a year ago, we decided that with everything going on in the craft beer industry, we should look at some diversification,” co-owner Annamarie Beardsell told KTW.
Red Collar was hoping to start production last fall and, while approval in principle was granted last August, there are still many licensing hurdles needed to jump through before it can operate as a distillery.
And that’s even if Red Collar is only producing alcohol for hand-sanitizer and not for consumption.
“At the end of the day, official-dom is going to have to say, ‘OK, we’ll allow you to do this while the alcohol is needed for the hand-sanitizers,’” Beardsell said.
And producing the alcohol is only the first step.
Red Collar will also need to source additional ingredients like aloe vera or glycerin, as well as containers for distribution.
According to Beardsell, the still is up and running and ready for the moment all the approvals are in place, though still to be determined is whether the product can be given away or sold in order to cover the costs of manufacturing.
But that’s a decision for another day, Beardsell said.
For the moment, she said, it’s a lot of hurry up and wait.
“When you have the ability to produce a product that’s in very short supply and there’s this huge demand, maybe they’ll move a bit faster,” Beardsell said.