The Covid-19 pandemic has made many items scarce, especially for health care professionals and emergency responders.
In Scottsbluff, Great Plains Distillery is lending a helping hand by turning their vodka into hand sanitizer for area organizations.
“I got calls from the cities, fire department, and the hospital to make hand sanitizer,” said Phil Mitchell, co-owner of the distillery. “It’s very difficult to make because there is a certain recipe you have to use, or you’ll get in trouble with the FDA.”
Mitchell spent two weeks looking for and getting the chemicals. He also had trouble getting bottles, but Bovidar Laboratories in Scottsbluff came to the rescue with the correct kind of bottles and caps as specified by the FDA.
The vodka Great Plains distills is made from corn and is usually stored in big vats. Mitchell is bringing the vodka over in small batches of about two gallons, which he has to denature the vodka before mixing it up for bottling. The distillery is following FDA guidelines with the bottles containing 80 percent alcohol and required labels.
The first batch which was ready on Monday was dispersed to the hospital, EMTs, and fire stations.
After the emergency services have what they require Mitchell said, he’ll also be making some hand sanitizer up for the public.
“I want everyone to be safe and get what they need, the government has allowed us to do this, and we can get it out to the public right away,” he said.
Great Plains Distillery will be making hand sanitizer, and the public can purchase a 16 oz., bottle for $15.