Blurred image of a distillery

Craft distilleries are halting their production of hand sanitizer as demand for emergency supplies dwindle.

A number of craft distilleries across the United States began making hand sanitizer several months ago as a way to help consumers get their hands on hygienic tools while also replacing some of the income they lost due to COVID-19 shutdowns. But now, regular manufacturers of hand sanitizer have caught up to demand and restocked supplies, so there's not much point in distillers continuing the efforts, one distiller tells News 4 JAX.

When most bars and breweries across the nation were forced to shut their doors to regular business, hundreds of distillers and brewers were able to keep the bills paid by making hand sanitizer that they filled in makeshift bottling. Others donated the supplies. Some of those same brewers and distillers are now stuck with all the hand sanitizer they didn't sell, as well as the plastic bottles the would have held the gel. For example, St. Augustine Distillery in St. Augustine, Florida, still has 1,000 gallons of the hand sanitizer it made on hand, reports The New York Times. The leftovers are stored by the distiller in 250-gallon containers. The ingredients that weren't put to use sit in 50-gallon drums.