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Local brewery converting to produce hand sanitizer

Local brewery All or Nothing Brewhouse has halted beer production in order to help fight COVID-19. The brewery will be producing hand sanitizer for local hospitals, front-line emergency workers and major utility companies.

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express

All or Nothing Brewhouse has halted beer production to produce hand sanitizer exclusively for local hospitals, frontline emergency workers and major utility companies to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Jeff Dornan, one of the brothers behind the operation, said they started thinking about this about a week ago when things really started going crazy.

“This is our way to contribute to the community,” Dornan says.

Dornan says that before production could start they had to reach out to vendors to get some of the added equipment and materials needed to be able to produce the hand sanitizer in their facility. This includes a special yeast that is being shipped from California as part of the fermenting process.

Dornan says the production of the hand sanitizer takes several steps, starting with a combination of yeast, sugar and water that gets fermented to create alcohol. The alcohol then gets distilled down (concentrated) and water is added back to get the desired strength of the hand sanitizer.

Since production began recently, Dornan says a number of organizations have reached out to them in the hopes that they will be able to get their hands on some of the product, including the city of Oshawa, Durham Regional Police, and a variety of at-home nursing care companies.

While Dornan is aware that there is a shortage of hand sanitizer across the city and throughout the region, the supply is not available to the public at this time.

“We’re trying to help as many people as possible,” he says, adding that they’re going to be prioritizing their supply the best they can to hospitals and healthcare organizations.

The brewhouse remains closed to the public. Members of the public are asked to not come to the facility until further notice to ensure uninterrupted production and the safety and well-being of their staff.

Dornan says that the facility is currently operating 18 hours a day with a staff of eight, and is hoping to increase production soon to 24 hours a day.

“We just want to do our part to help.”