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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

Dogfish Head to start making hand sanitizer for First State

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney announced a partnership with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery to produce hand sanitizer for the state.

Hand sanitizer is in big demand during the coronavirus pandemic - and Dogfish Head is committing to use its distillery to produce some and make it available to the state government.


Dogfish Head distillery general manager James Montero says conversations about making hand sanitizer began last weekend.

"It was sort of a confluence I think of government and the spirits industry, and what resulted in some work with the TTB and FDA with support from other government agencies to really put out there and encourage distilleries around the country to fill in this gap for hand sanitizer.," said Montero.

This week, they put together a recipe, lab tested to see if it can kill the virus and bottled for its workers. Now they’re bottling for distribution. 

Montero says they can make hundreds of gallons a day.  And employees from its various restaurants and tasting rooms that are currently closed can help package it.

The company will provide bulk shipments of the sanitizer to the state as it ramps up production. It is dedicating its sanitizer inventory to help fill critical needs in the state, including getting it into the hands of healthcare facilities and first responders.

Montero says the major work starts next week.

"We will be producing for the state of Delaware to ship up north so they can disperse within their public buildings as well as their agencies, but then we've also been fielding some potential opportunities with customers so next week is sort of the tiptoeing and ramp up," said Montero.

Dogfish Head intends to sell the sanitizer to the state at market price, with all of the profits going into a fund to support Delawareans affected by the coronavirus.

Gov. Carney praises Dogfish Head in helping the state at time of need.

“It’s great to see this nationally known company, with its roots in Delaware, step up in a time of such significant need to provide this vital product,” said Carney in a statement..

Dogfish Head founder, Sam Calagione, didn’t see his business going in this direction.

“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 Calagione in a statement. "It is our duty to do what we can to keep as many people safe and healthy in our community.”

Dogfish Head’s brewery and distillery continue operating, producing its usual line of products.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.
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