Local Brewery & Distillery Team Up To Produce Hand Sanitizer

Mon 3-23-2020

(West Okoboji)-- WestoBeer of West Okoboji and Century Farms Distillery of Spencer are combining their resources to produce hand sanitizer. Michaela Matthiesen, who along with her husband Matt own WestoBeer in West Okoboji tells KUOO news the severe shortage of hand sanitizer and the fact they have the necessary ingredients to make it is what led to their decision...Matthiesen01 

"Matt and Connor, our brewer, were talking you know, they had some extra isopropyl alcohol and they thought they could make some just for the staff and around the brewery, and then we spoke with Amanda and Ryan Bare and they were thinking maybe they could make something, they could make something there as well, so we put our heads together and obviously they make alcohol, they distill it. So it was a perfect combination."

Michaela says they came up with a recipe after doing some research online...Matthiesen02 

"So we messed around a little bit in the kitchen, we did and the Bares did in their kitchen and we came up with this recipe where we're using the xantham gum, their alcohol, their distilled corn whiskey, and a little bit of food coloring and some essential oils to give it a little bit better smell in there."

She says now that the word has gotten out, they've been getting a lot of interest in the hand sanitizer from throughout the region...Mathiesen03 

"As of yesterday we had 15 gallons produced, and Ryan and Amanda were going to try to maybe make some more. Because we were just going to do a couple of, you know, local giveaways of four ounces at a time, but since we put this out onto the local release we've been getting some emails and phone calls from different counties in the corridor where there's a definite need and nursing home facilities, and EMTs and you know healthcare givers are running low on those as well."

Having said that, Michaela says they still plan to give hand sanitizer free of charge to the public, with a limitation of four ounces per family. They'll be doing that today and tomorrow (Mon. and Tues.)...04 

"One tonight from 4:00 to 6:00 at the Century Farms Distillery and then one tomorrow from 4:00 until 6:00 at WestoBeer. But we will probably talk with Amanda and Ryan and see if there's a way we could make more possibly to get to these facilities. We just know yet, it's such a fluid. We really just came up with the recipe basically yesterday."

People should bring their own dispenser with them. In addition, they will be asked to follow social distancing guidelines while standing in line. She says one or two people at a time will be allowed into the building.