Flaniganâ€s Distillery and Winery, located just 35 miles southwest of Copperas Cove in Bertram, now sells alcohol to sanitize both a personâ€s insides and outsides, according to co-owner Dana Flanigan.
With the novel coronavirus pandemic and the need for hand sanitizer, especially among first responders and essential workers, owners Kevin and Dana Flanigan decided to shift gears and begin making their own sanitizer, following World Health Organization guidelines which require 96 percent ethyl alcohol.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people use sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol. Flaniganâ€s sanitizers, which come in two sizes, are 80 percent alcohol.
Last week, Flaniganâ€s Distillery and Winery donated cases of hand sanitizer to the Coryell County Sheriffâ€s Office and the Copperas Cove Police Department. Theyâ€ve also donated to the Bertram Volunteer Fire Department and other smaller first responder agencies. There have also been members of the communities surrounding the distillery who have purchased cases of the sanitizer to gift to law enforcement and first responders.
Dana Flanigan said that the idea came about after realizing that the bigger cities and hospitals were receiving some donations, while smaller departments werenâ€t receiving anything.
â€œSo, we just decided that we would try to help as much as we could with the smaller communities because they were getting nothing, and then weâ€re also trying to sell to the public, the general public, because thatâ€s helping to defray our cost, plus we also knew that they werenâ€t getting any either because everythingâ€s going to the hospitals and the big cities,â€ Flanigan said. â€œWeâ€re relatively small, but weâ€re doing what we can and just cranking it out as fast as we can.â€
The hand sanitizer is made using a distilling process, which is different from the more industrial type isopropyl alcohol, according to Flanigan.
Flaniganâ€s spirits are made with potato. They also sell a corn whiskey and a grappa made with grapes.
â€œWe did our distillate and have repurposed some of it for the hand sanitizer, but of course weâ€re adding the ingredients that the World Health Organization has recommended: the hydrogen peroxide and the glycerol and that kind of stuff, in order to make it stay in solution so that itâ€ll actually kill the virus,â€ Flanigan said. â€œItâ€s just another distillation process but itâ€s basically the same for us, and weâ€re doing everything we can to keep up and distill.â€
â€œWeâ€re still just an old-fashioned distillery,â€ she added.
Flaniganâ€s is trying very hard to make sure that their product is available to the public as well.
â€œWe knew that weâ€re certainly not big enough yet to be putting out as much of a product as Titoâ€s does, and God love them for what theyâ€re doing, but we thought, â€˜Okay, what we can do is we can at least try to make it as available as possible for people who typically wouldnâ€t be getting it because theyâ€re not in a big group,â€ and thatâ€s okay,â€ Flanigan said. â€œWe love that we can do that.â€
The hand sanitizer is in liquid form and is bottled in either a 200 mL spirits bottle, for $8, or a 750 mL wine bottle, for $20. A case of 12 750 mL bottles is available for $225 plus tax.
Flaniganâ€s is also still selling their wine and spirits as well, which they remind customers of when they come to purchase hand sanitizer, Flanigan said.
â€œOur hand sanitizer is not for drinking because it is following that World Health Organization formula and itâ€s got other stuff in it, so we say, â€˜If you want something to sanitize your insides, then we got that too, but do not drink the hand sanitizer,â€â€ Flanigan said.
Flaniganâ€s Texas Wine and Spirits is located at 330 N. Lampasas Street in Bertram, Texas. Their hours are Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Monday, Tuesday and Sunday, customers can call 512-777-3162 for service.