Local distiller sells sanitizing vodka
With store shelves mostly wiped out of cleaning items, one local company is offering a solution for sanitizing surfaces.
Yahara Bay Distillers is producing and selling a high-proof vodka which has enough alcohol content to kill viruses and germs.
Just Vodka, a 140 proof, 70 percent alcohol-by-volume spirit went on sale today. General Manager Nels Forde hopes it can help curb the transmission of coronavirus when sanitizing supplies are low or nonexistent on grocery store shelves.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, consumers should protect themselves with sanitizers containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
The local company had 360 one-liter bottles of Just Vodka available for sale this morning at $17.49 each, plus tax. “We’re trying to keep it as inexpensive as possible for people,” Forde says. As usual, IDs will be required.
More will be produced today.
Currently, the product is only offered at Yahara Bay’s location, 6250 Nesbitt Road in Madison. “We’ll see what the weekend brings,” Forde states, “but the plan right now is to continue making it until our employees no longer feel safe.”
Yahara Bay is taking all necessary precautions for its employees and customers. “Legally, purchases must be handled inside our building,” Forde says. Yahara Bay staff is preparing to meet people outside and, if customers agree, take their credit cards inside to complete the transaction.
The company is working with a Milwaukee-based distributor to place the product in retail stores throughout the state while staying in line with Wisconsin state liquor laws.
Hand sanitizer next?
The distiller hopes to be producing hand sanitizer next week, after the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, relaxed rules that make it easier for distillers to move forward in the global battle against COVID-19. Forde says he’s ordered the additional products he needs and hopes they arrive on time.
Whether this is a short term or long-term situation is not known.
“Our employees are our first priority,” Forde emphasizes. “We want to minimize exposure as much as possible to keep people healthy. We will be spending the weekend with our families and will monitor the situation locally, then reevaluate things on Sunday.”
Yahara Bay is open today until 4 p.m. and tomorrow, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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