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Local distilleries make hand sanitizer with product in high demand

Distilleries are making hand sanitizer for first responders, nursing homes, and healthcare workers.

MINNEAPOLIS — Tatersall Distilling in Minneapolis is closed and the cocktail room is quiet.

In the back, staff is busy.

"With a much smaller staff than normal," said co-founder Jon Kreidler.

He still has a license to make hand sanitizer, which as we all know is needed these days. So he is working with other Minneapolis distilleries, and self funding the operation to give it out for free to those who need it the most.

"First responders, hospitals, nursing homes, healthcare centers, people who are out on the streets people who are deemed essential to fight this," said Kreidler.

In St. Louis Park, Kyle Kettering at Copperwing Distillery is doing the same.He and his partners have set up a GoFundMe to help pay for his efforts to make hand sanitizer for first responders.

Copperwing Distillery and Long Lake Fire Department are seeking donations to manufacture hand sanitizer for Long Lake Fire Department and other first responders in our community. Sanitizer has been difficult or impossible for fire departments and other critical care organizations to acquire since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis.

"They need this product to stay safe," said Kettering.

First responders like those at the Long Lake Fire Department and Chief James Van Eyll. "For us it's difficult for us to wash our hands. This is the only way we're going to replenish it because our normal supply chain is just not there right now," said Van Eyll. 

Funding may be an issue though for these distilleries as they continue their production.

That's why Jon and others are reaching out to the Governor for help.

"We've presented ideas to the state to see if we can get some help from them," said Kreidler.

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For now, the operation continues behind the scenes at Minnesota's distilleries. 

"A lot of partners are stepping up and doing their part," said Kreidler.

Jon says if they can't get funding from the state he will seek private funding.

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