O.H.S.O. brews up a way to help: hand sanitizer

O.H.S.O. Brewery & Distillery
O.H.S.O. Brewery & Distillery is delivering hand sanitizer it has made to Banner Health in five-gallon kegs. (Courtesy O.H.S.O. Brewery)

O.H.S.O. Brewery & Distillery is delivering hand sanitizer it has made to Banner Health in five-gallon kegs. (Courtesy O.H.S.O. Brewery)

O.H.S.O. Brewery & Distillery has turned much of its distilling efforts toward a new product: hand sanitizer.

The local chain, with four Valley locations including one in Gilbert, has agreed to deliver to Banner Health 400 gallons of the supply that is vitally needed during the coronavirus outbreak.

And that may not be the end of it. Operations Manager Adam Davis said he optimistically believes his distillers can produce up to 300 gallons a day if they can procure enough ethanol. He said distributors are rationing that key ingredient.

“It's tough for them to differentiate who's legitimate and who's not,” Davis said. “We have a good standing relationship with these distributors, but even prior to all this, they'll only give you so much.”

But what they do get will go to the medical community, Davis said.


Banner approaches O.H.S.O.

Originally, O.H.S.O. was considering producing hand sanitizer for guests because supply was expected to run low, Davis said, but then he got an email from Banner Health asking if he could supply any. He said he is not sure how they knew to contact him except possibly word spreading that some breweries were making sanitizer.

Davis told them he could have 400 gallons and asked how much they wanted. Banner officials told him all of it.

“I got with my team on it,” Davis said. “I was like, ‘Well guys, I think we need to reassess the conversation we had three weeks ago about producing hand sanitizer and instead of doing it for the general public right now, I think we need to do what's right and support the doctors and nurses that are out in the front line, that are treating patients regardless of what they're treating patients for. They need it, and we have to do it.’ So it really wasn't a question of should we or shouldn't we. It was an answer of let's get it done.”

Finding a formula

Knowing they were not experts in distilling hand sanitizer, Davis’ team researched how to do it and came across a formula from the World Health Organization that O.H.S.O. was equipped to make. O.H.S.O.’s hand sanitizer lacks aloe vera—they cannot get enough to include it—but it meets medical standards.

“If we were a factory that already specialized in sanitizer, that'd be one thing,” Davis said. “But we are not. So we are learning a lot as we go. And, fortunately, after a few test runs, we really got the right batch that we felt was going to work best for them.”

The first 100 gallons were delivered March 25, with another 100 gallons March 26. Another 200 gallons are soon to come.

When Davis helped deliver the first 100 gallons, packaged in beer kegs, he said he found himself surrounded in a circle by doctors and nurses wanting to know how to tap the kegs.

“The whole experience was so surreal,” he said. “They're in their scrubs, and it was just something else—just the look of concern but also the look of happiness. They're like, ‘All right, we have something, we have something that we can get out to our locations.’ It was really cool to be a part of.”

Banner is paying for the cost of goods, not including labor. O.H.S.O. is making no profit, Davis said.

Tough times

The restaurant business, as it is everywhere, is not going as well for O.H.S.O., which has had to temporarily shut two locations, though one of those continues to brew beer and the other the hand sanitizer.

The Gilbert location is one that is still serving takeout, including O.H.S.O.’s brews.

“Unfortunately, we had to lay off some of our employees,” Davis said. “And when I say some, I mean 75% of our workforce.”

Davis said people frequently ask him how they can help, and he has a ready answer for them beyond getting takeout.

“Go online and buy gift cards—not just for O.H.S.O., for every local business you can,” he said. “I can't preach that enough. That has been my mantra right now, outside of helping one another. Buy gift cards for local businesses. ... That literally can help them pay their bills, keep their lights on. And when we get through this, you know, then everyone gets to enjoy those restaurants or establishments.”

O.H.S.O. Brewery

335 N. Gilbert Road, Ste. 102, Gilbert

602-900-9004

http://ohsobrewery.com
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


MOST RECENT

Targeted Chiropractic
Three health care practices that have opened in Gilbert

Here are three health-care-related practices that have opened recently in Gilbert.

Big O Tires
2 businesses now open in Gilbert

Here are two businesses that have opened in Gilbert recently.

Gilbert home values rising fast in 85298; 5 businesses coming to Chandler and more top area news

Read the top news from the past week from the Gilbert and Chandler areas.

Doug Ducey
Ducey unveils program to encourage individuals to return to work

Gov. Doug Ducey announced May 13 a three-part “Arizona Back to Work” program to incentivize residents to get off unemployment benefits and fill one of the state’s 160,000 to 180,000 open jobs.

masks
CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Higley USD governing board
Higley USD governing board approves revised budgets worth $128.1 million

Higley USD’s governing board adopted revised budgets for fiscal year 2020-21 that are more than $7.67 million more than what was adopted in June 2020.

Donald Garcia, Unstoppable Martial Arts
4 business changes to know in Gilbert

Here are four businesses that have made recent changes in Gilbert.

Cream of the Crop ice cream
Cream of the Crop opens in Agritopia's Barnone in Gilbert

Cream of the Crop serves homemade ice cream and toppings.

Doug Ducey
Gov. Ducey signs bill to trim early voter roll

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on May 11 signed into law Senate Bill 1485, which will purge the permanent early voter rolls of anyone who has not voted by mail in the previous two election cycles.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

COVID-19 vaccine
Arizona children ages 12-15 can be vaccinated starting May 13

Arizona Department of Health Services officials said they are ready to administer vaccines to the state’s 400,000 children in that age group at state-run vaccination sites in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Tucson, Yuma and Flagstaff.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.