Local distillery adapts to coronavirus pandemic by making artisan hand sanitizer

A Kansas City distillery is adapting to the coronavirus pandemic by making artisanal hand sanitizer.

J. Rieger and Co. Distillery in the East Bottoms will soon begin producing Rieger’s Remedy, a hand sanitizer the distillery will begin manufacturing onsite.

“We just ordered the ingredients that we need to make it all here so that it’s not straight alcohol, which, of course, we already have,” says Andrew Olsen, J. Rieger and Co.’s beverage director.

Other products like cocktail syrups will soon follow.

The hand sanitizer will be sold as “pay what you can” on Thursday, March 19, starting at 11 am.

Suggested pricing is five dollars for two-ounce bottles and thirty dollars for two-liter bottles.

“Please know we are committed to paying our entire ninety-five person staff (mostly hourly workers) the next two weeks even though they are unable to work during this time and our only revenue is coming from these weird side hustle projects,” the company wrote on Facebook.

The sanitizer will be first come, first served at the distillery, 2700 Guinotte Ave., KCMO.

“We will have a tent set up outside the distillery for curbside pick up,” the company says. “Limit five bottles per customer. We are trying to reach as many people in need as possible right now. As more supplies arrive and we can increase production, we will offer larger quantities.”

“The aim is less to maintain some thriving business and more about protecting our staff,” says Hey! Hey! Club bar manager Derek Branham. “It’s about reaching out and offering our goods to other people, particularly those that may be quarantined or furloughed in their own way and offering them some respite to get through the next few weeks.”

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