GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Long Road Distillers is among the West Michigan companies shifting operations to make items needed during the coronavirus pandemic.
With the necessary equipment already on hand, the Grand Rapids-based distillery is making hand sanitizer.
The only thing that slowed Long Road down was that it doesn’t have a lot of fermentation capacity. To overcome that, it partnered with The Michigan Brewing Company, Founders Brewing Company, Perrin Brewing Company and Shorts Brewing company to get beer.
Long Road then distills the beer into the ethyl alcohol needed to make hand sanitizer. Co-owner Jon O’Connor explained the process is similar to distilling vodka.
The hand sanitizer is already going out to about 300 health care providers, nursing homes, grocery stores and other essential businesses.
Companies interested in buying the hand sanitizer can go to Long Road’s website. Priority will be given to front-line providers and essential businesses.
The public can also buy individual spray bottles using the takeout option on Long Road’s website. It’s available for pickup from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday and noon to 6 p.m. Friday in Grand Rapids and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Grand Haven.
New Holland Brewing Co. has also adapted to make hand sanitizer, as has Saugatuck-based Coppercraft Distillery. Amway in Ada created a hand sanitizer, too. Other West Michigan companies have shifted to making masks and filters.