Old Dominick Distillery working with Shelby County to make hand sanitizer

WATCH: Old Dominick Distillery working with Shelby County to make hand sanitizer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Old Dominick Distillery in Downtown Memphis will switch from whiskey and vodka production to make hand sanitizer for the community.

The distillery’s Vice President told FOX13 things are moving quicker than they expected in this partnership with the Shelby County government. Alex Castle said their business has been impacted by COVID-19, but they want to create a positive impact on people in the community feeling those same effects.

“All of this is happening incredibly quickly and definitely was not planned for,” said Castle.

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He said they are now in the process of pausing production on whiskey and vodka to make thousands of units of hand sanitizer.

“We really aren’t supposed to be making hand sanitizer, and it was only about a week ago that we got the green light on that,” he said.

Old Dominick has partnered with the Shelby County Health Commission to make the switch happen after the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau gave its approval to begin production. From there the distribution will go through county government.

“We’re working on logistics. We’re hoping the Health Commission will control that. They’re going to know where the need is a lot more than we will,” Castle said.

Commissioners recently passed a resolution for the production, including up to $50,000 of emergency funding to cover the costs and create up to 10,000 units of sanitizer.

“Old Dominick is a Memphis brand. This is our home and we want to be able to take care of it,” said Castle.

According to the county government, Old Dominick will monitor the need for the hand sanitizer in the community until supplies can be restocked in stores. It will also be used by partner organizations to get sanitizer into the hands of the homeless, lower-income families and the elderly.