Bars have been shuttered as part of Gov. Newsom’s coronavirus-control efforts for some time, and as a result of a shift in public needs, many local distilleries altered their business models. For some, this means using some of their equipment to turn out a different kind of alcohol: hand sanitizer.
Dry Diggings Distillery & Amador Distillery
Since the beginning of COVID-19, these two local distilleries—under the same ownership and located in El Dorado Hills—have been turning out hand sanitizers for essential workers. Now, anyone can buy personal-size hand sanitizers or a bulk supply. Come to the bar or grab personal sizes curbside—there are aluminum atomizer sprays and 12–ounce refills available (liquid, not gel formula). For bulk orders, including the 1–gallon and 2½-gallon commercial options, order ahead. The formula is 80% ethanol and follows FDA, CDC and WHO guidelines. Prices run from $5–9.50 and $35/gallon. 5050 Robert J. Mathews Parkway, El Dorado Hills; drydiggings.com
Gold River Distillery
Based in Rancho Cordova, Gold River Distillery also turned its alcohol stills into hand sanitizer production machines after COVID-19 hit. Their last production ran in September, with the help of a mini grant from the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce, but that should be enough to get locals through the holiday season. If you’re trying to get your hands on a 4-ounce spray ($5) or 750 ml bottle ($15), step into the tasting room to purchase. Larger quantities are available upon request. 11460 Sunrise Gold Circle, Suite C, Rancho Cordova; goldriverdistillery.com
You don’t have to be close to Patio 29 distillery in Winters to get the 80% ethanol hand sanitizer it produces. The online shop sells twist-top bottles in 2-ounce and 4-ounce options (packs of six and four respectively) as well as ½–gallon, 2-gallon and 5-gallon buckets. (The last two are pickup only.) Costs range $18–$110. 723 Railroad Ave., Winters; patio29.com
J.J. Pfister Distilling
The Sacramento distillery put vodka and gin operations on hold earlier this year to produce hand sanitizer instead. The team took on the responsibility to fill a national shortage in the early days of the pandemic. With curbside pickup, J.J. Pfister sold the product in 8-ounce bottles for $6.47 and 1-gallon containers for $65, with a priority line on release day for seniors, health care workers and people who are handicapped. Today it’s available in-person at the distillery and online through Amazon. 9819 Business Park Drive; jjpfister.com