Olympia Pivots from Producing Vodka to Making Hand Sanitizer

Tumwater, WA – In response to the unprecedented demand created by the coronavirus pandemic, this week Olympia has converted production at the Olympia Distilling Co. in Tumwater, WA to make hand sanitizer. If you haven’t yet heard of Olympia Distilling Co., you’re not alone. It’s a new project from the makers of Olympia Beer that has been in the works for the last two years, but yet to be publicly announced. In response to the urgent needs of the community, they have delayed their plans to release a new premium vodka and are focusing their attention on doing what they can to offer a helping hand amidst this health crisis.

Ray Watson and Lesa Givens, Master Distillers at Olympia Distilling Co. have already produced over a thousand bottles of their hand sanitizer and are giving them away at no cost to the people on the front lines. On Monday the first batches were dropped off at the Lacey Fire Department in Lacy, WA and Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA. The second batch was donated on Wednesday to the Adult Family Council for use in their several adult family homes and care facilities in the Olympia and Tumwater area.

“This community has always supported Olympia,” said Watson. “In this time of intense need it was a no-brainer for us to use our facility to do what we can to support our community right back.”

The opportunity for Olympia to help in this way was created last month after the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, waived parts of a federal law to allow distilleries to immediately commence production of hand sanitizer without having to obtain authorization first. Olympia Distilling Co. now plans to produce even more hand sanitizer over the coming weeks to continue to meet the needs of the community.

“We have lived here in the Pacific Northwest all our lives,” Givens stated. “These people risking their own safety for the health and wellbeing of others are our friends, family and neighbors and we’ve been contacted by many of them who need help. We’re proud to do our part.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible to kill the coronavirus and prevent infection. But if soap and water are not available, the agency says, hand sanitizer can be used if it contains at least 60 percent alcohol and is rubbed vigorously for about 20 seconds.

About Olympia

Olympia Distilling Co. recently opened in Tumwater, WA – the original home of Olympia Brewing Co. – where they are set to produce a new premium vodka distilled and bottled with the area’s famous artesian water. The vodka will be hitting shelves in stores around the PNW later this spring and will be officially launched later in 2020.

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