South Florida Craft Distilleries Are Sitting On Hundreds Of Gallons Of Unsold Hand Sanitizer
It’s an unusual irony for spirit-makers: Between March and mid-July, booze sales boomed online, according to a July report from Nielsen – but not at craft distilleries. Unlike bars, which remain closed but can offer curbside liquor and cocktails to-go, South F
At ChainBridge Distillery in Oakland Park, Bela Nahori spends his days distilling fruit brandy, basil-infused vodka – and stressing out about the 500-gallon stockpile of hand sanitizer taking up space in the back room.
His distillery stopped making spirits and started pumping out much-needed hand sanitizer for the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nahori donated 5,000 gallons to frontline workers and emergency responders, and sold tiny bottles to the public. By June, Nahori stopped, as demand for hand sanitizer plummeted and big brands like Purell returned to stores.
He’s barely sold any since, and doesn’t know what to do with the surplus of unsold disinfectant sitting in 55-gallon drums next to his copper still. Nahori is back to making fruit brandy, but hardly anyone visits his distillery to buy it.
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