For well over two decades, Dogfish Head Brewery has cemented itself as one of the nation’s most unique breweries, evolving the craft beer landscape with both experimental and robust efforts. In the process, it’s become Delaware’s most well known beer producer and now, during the uncertainty of COVID-19, Dogfish Head is brewing something new, to give back to the first state.
Last week, the brewery announced its distillery in Milton is now producing hand sanitizer, using an FDA-approved proprietary blend of its house-distilled grain neutral spirit, hydrogen peroxide and reverse-osmosis purified water. It will be used not only in-house by Dogfish Head employees but soon by several state agencies fighting the virus, which is rapidly spreading throughout Delaware. The company plans to send out bulk shipments of the hand sanitizer in the next couple of weeks that will be sold to the state at market price – and 100 percent of the profits will fund affected locals. So far, 12 gallons have been produced with plans to ramp up that number to 100 gallons next week and 200 the following week.
Dogfish Head has been distilling spirits in Delaware since 2002. There’s no immediate estimate as to how much money sanitizer sales will raise but it will go a long way.
“I never thought Dogfish Head would be in the sanitizer business. But this is a time of crisis, and necessity is the mother of invention,” said Dogfish Head founder said Sam Calagione in a statement. “It is our duty to do what we can to keep as many people safe and healthy in our community.”
Originally created for the nearly 1,800 employees that work at Dogfish Head and Boston Beer Company – the two merged late last year – word spread of the creation and it became clear that creating the hand sanitizer could help benefit those fighting the virus and those in need. There are several other breweries across the country following suit, including Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company, Motorworks Brewing Company and Griffin Claw Brewing Company. As of Saturday, Delaware had 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19.