Local Distillery Suspends Regular Manufacturing Operations to Provide Public Service in the Wake of Coronavirus Global Pandemic
ROCHESTER, NY (March 17, 2020) – In response to the shortage of hand sanitizer caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic, Rochester, NY based distillery Black Button Distilling, one of the top five craft distilleries in the USA, will manufacture ethanol-based hand sanitizer to be distributed to Rochester-area hospitals, doctor’s offices and other at-risk communities.
The distillery, which is now closed to the public, has modified operations to manufacture hand sanitizer in the wake of the public health crisis. Made according to recent FDA Guidelines, the hand sanitizer will be packaged utilizing Black Button’s standard size 750ml glass bottles but the distillery is searching for additional pump dispenser packaging. Currently, this hand sanitizer will not be sold to the general public but will be provided to local hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other at-risk communities at cost.
“We are uniquely qualified to safely handle and bottle ethanol-based hand sanitizer, and we have an extensive network of contacts to bring bottles, labels, labor, and ingredients to bear,” said Jason Barrett, Black Button Distilling President and Master Distiller. “We are doing this to help our community, to hopefully save lives and to get our employees back to work. We want to do our part in these unprecedented times.”
Barrett added that the turnaround time to learn a new set of federal regulations and retool a major production plant and teams of employees in order to make a food grade product for the first time was extremely quick – a mere 48 hours. “Our machines have to be modified, new processes have to be created, team members trained and our licenses have to be checked with relevant state and federal authorities,” he said. “I couldn’t stand by and watch this pandemic ravage my hometown of Rochester. We will work around the clock to help as many as we can,” he said.
In the event that production can be increased, interested hospitals, homeless shelters, senior citizen centers, paramedics, fire stations daycares and other high-risk operations should reach out to email@example.com with hand sanitizer requests. Please provide approximate need, address, contact information, packaging requirements and explanation of your at-risk population. Black Button Distilling will not respond to non-critical entities until we have met this demand. Hand sanitizer will not be available for purchase directly to consumers, and we ask that consumers respect that our work must be geared to the most vulnerable in our community.
Currently the Black Button Distilling Tasting Room is offering limited service in the form curb-side pick-up for spirits and specialty cocktail kits. Additionally, Black Button Distilling spirits are also available in locally-owned and operated liquor stores. Black Button encourages consumers to support locally owned liquor stores and buy locally made spirits.
About Black Button Distilling
Black Button Distilling is the first grain-to-glass farm distillery in Rochester, NY since prohibition and one of the top 5 Craft Distilleries in the USA, according to USA Today’s 10 Best 2016 and 2017 Readers’ Choice poll. Founded in 2012 and housed in a 9,000-square-foot space near Rochester’s historic Public Market, Black Button Distilling specializes in farm to still products, using unique and all-natural ingredients from local farms to craft 4,000 bottles of award-winning spirits each week, distributed in 12 states and Japan. Black Button Distilling has been named to Inc. Magazine’s Top 5,000 list twice, making it one of the fastest-growing private companies in America two years in a row.