While the pandemic lingers in Washington state, one of its relics disappears.
A local distillery, Copperworks Distilling Company, has been ordered to shut down its manufacturing of hand sanitizer, a pivot the company made in 2020 away from supplying local bars and restaurants with spirits and into providing crucial health care supplies while the country experienced shortages.
In March 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxed its requirements for the manufacturing of hand sanitizer, and allowed distilleries to produce alcohol-based alternatives to accommodate the supply shortage.
Copperworks Distilling in Seattle’s downtown waterfront district was among the region’s first to use their grain neutral 191 proof spirit to supply first responders, health care workers, and the health care community at large with hand sanitizer.
“When the pandemic forced us to slow down production of our spirits due to the closure of our tasting room, and virtually all bars and restaurants across Washington, we felt it was our community responsibility to respond to the hand sanitizer shortage,” wrote Jeff Kanof, co-owner and vice president of Copperworks Distilling Co., in a news release. “While it was a costly endeavor upfront, it enabled us to retain employees so they could continue to work and earn a living.”
Now, the FDA, guided by health care and consumer data that indicates there is no longer a shortage of the product, has ordered that all undistributed hand sanitizer manufactured under the temporary guidelines before Dec. 31, 2021, must be destroyed by the end of next March.
Copperworks reports that it still retains

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