Wichita Brewing Company makes hand sanitizer for those on the COVID-19 front lines

Published: Apr. 1, 2020 at 9:02 PM CDT
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A Wichita business known for it's craft beer is stepping up to brew a different type of alcohol. It's all part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Wichita Brewing Company is answering the community’s call for help.

“Two weeks ago, the Sedgwick County Sheriff's office reached out to us asking if we could make hand sanitizer,” said Wichita Brewing Company's co-owner Jeremy Horn.

Horn knows his brewery is capable, but it didn’t have the right licensing to make hand sanitizer. So WBC and the Kansas Craft Brewers Guild reached out to the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control.

“The director, Debbie Beavers, within an hour authorized Kansas breweries, farm wineries and distilleries; the ability to purchase non-beverage alcohol,” said Horn.

There are two rules they must follow though; these manufacturers can only sell their hand sanitizer within Kansas and only to health care workers or first responders. That’s when Horn realized the need in his community.

“We have received dozens and dozens and dozens of requests for hand sanitizer," said Horn. "From a large scale for Sedgewick County Sheriff, the VA hospital, they’ve requested a large amount. Then we’ve had dozens of requests from as small as a couple gallons all the way up to 20 gallons for smaller police departments, clinics. It’s been a lot and we’re just trying to process through all of them and just get it out as fast as we can.”

The brewery’s first batch made just under 750 gallons of hand sanitizer and that’s only one order. Horn is grateful volunteers could help with the entirely manual process of filling, sealing and delivering containers. He hopes the support continues for future batches.