Instead of alcohol, one Rochester distillery is distilling hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's really been a full court press around the clock for the last four days," said Jason Barrett, chief distiller at Black Button Distilling.
He and his team made 5,000 bottles of hand sanitizer Thursday, but on Sunday his business was forced to close under the governor's orders.
"I never thought I would have to […] put 96 people out of work," said Barrett.
It became his mission to put his employees back to work.
Since their normal products, vodka, gin and bourbon all require high grade ethanol, hand sanitizer emerged as his saving grace.
"These guys are my family. I spend more time with them than my wife. I want to see them taken care of with the bills; they're going to need to survive through this," said Barrett.
Barrett explained they had never made sanitizer before, so it took some adjustments.
On Monday, the FDA gave them guidelines saying the product needed to be 80% ethanol with a small percentage of glycerol, a food additive and hydrogen peroxide.
"All of those things combined when rubbed across the hands, it disrupts the cell wall and the process of the bacteria in the virus." said Barrett.
For now, their main priorities for distributing the hand sanitizer are hospitals, doctor's offices, post offices, and nursing homes.
"I'm hoping that the community starts to see that there are things that we as citizens can do to help during this pandemic. This is us doing our part. I guess my challenge to everybody is, what can you do to help your fellow citizen in this time of need?" said Barrett.