Local distilleries have been given clearance by the American Distiller's Association to produce hand sanitizer in response to the shortage due to COVID-19. The outbreak caused hand sanitizer to fly off the shelves, and has left at-risk locations like hospitals, nursing homes and first responder locations with little supply. The Tobacco Trade Bureau has mandated that the sanitizer must be free, and made with a specific recipe from the World Health Organization. 

Loaded Cannon Distillery in Lakewood Ranch will be distributing its hand sanitizer on Friday, March 20 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., with social distancing recommendations kept in mind. Doctors, first responders and nursing home representatives are expected to stop by and stock up.

Loaded Cannon Distillery marketing director Michelle Russell says the distillery was prepared and ready to go.

"We had a citizen donate 1,000 bottles for us to fill, and we are now producing labels," says Russell. "Our owner Steve is a chemical engineer and had already made a batch before we received clearance." 

"We will do as much as we can for our community," she continues. "We are making sure bottles are sterile, and will continue making sanitizer as long as there is a need." 

Drum Circle Distilling on Siesta Key, the maker of Siesta Key Rum, is also doing its part. After receiving proper materials from the World Health Organization, the distillery is planning on distributing free individual and industrial-sized bottles to local hospitals, nursing homes and other organizations. Stay tuned to Siesta Key Rum's Instagram page for updates.

Darwin Brewing Company in Bradenton has also announced it is canning and giving away six-packs of sanitizer, which can be used on household surfaces. Packs will be available at the back of the brewery.

Loaded Cannon Distillery is located at 3115 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Suite 110, Bradenton. For more information, click here or call (941) 900-1482.

Drum Circle Distilling is located at 2212 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota. For more information, click here or call (941) 702-8143.  

Darwin Brewing Company is located at 803 17th Ave. West, Bradenton. For brewery hours, click here or call (941) 747-1970. 

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