Like many local breweries and distilleries, St. Petersburg Distillery shifted production from craft liquors to hand sanitizer back in March, when there was a shortage in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, every Saturday through the fall, distillery workers will distribute free bottles of hand sanitizer at select Feeding Tampa Bay mobile food pantries. The hand sanitizer is created by the distillery’s trained chemical engineers and meets World Health Organization and Food and Drug Administration guidelines.
This isn’t the first time the distillery has donated hand sanitizer to the community. In April, they gave free bottles to first responders, city offices and local law enforcement agencies.
“It was clear from the overwhelming number of people who came out to our other free sanitizer giveaways that this is a great way for us to meet a serious need and help take care of our community,” Skip Ragan, senior vice president of St. Petersburg Distillery, said in a news release.
Every Saturday in June, they will be giving out the hand sanitizer at the Feeding Tampa Bay “mega pantries” at Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry campus (4001 W Tampa Bay Blvd., Tampa) and Tropicana Field (1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We’re happy to partner with Feeding Tampa Bay, which has been a perfect fit for safely distributing sanitizer to those most in need and making sure the public has access to the products needed to help slow the spread of the coronavirus," Ragan said in the release.
Another way the distillery has provided some relief to the community was by hiring 50 out-of-work bartenders, musicians and restaurant and service industry workers to help with packaging, labeling and distribution of the hand sanitizer.
The hand sanitizer is also available for purchase at stpetersburgdistillery.com. Sizes range from 1.7-ounce bottles to 5-gallon buckets, which were needed by hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes and medical offices.
St. Petersburg Distillery is still selling their spirits, too. A free 50-milliliter sanitizer comes with each purchase of a bottle of distillery brands Tippler’s, Oak & Palm or Banyan Reserve. Two free 50-milliliter sanitizers come with every bottle of their Old St. Pete line.
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