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Central Coast Distillery Helps In Coronavirus Fight; Pivots From Making Rum, Gin To Hand Sanitizer

The Central and South Coasts are known for their wineries, but they are also developing a reputation as a go-to spot for boutique hard liquor distilleries. Aaron Bergh is the President, and Founder of Calwise Distillery in Paso Robles, which is known for its rum and gin. He says Calwise now has a new product, born out of the coronavirus crisis.  They are making badly needed hand sanitizer.

Bergh says he realized that his distillery had the equipment, and ingredients like hydrogen peroxide and ethanol alcohol to the sanitizer.

Bergh grew up in Ventura County, so one of his first calls was to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.  Captain Eric Buschow, with the law enforcement agency, says the sanitizer is an essential item for the for them even during non-coronavirus times. He says they deal with the homeless, and others who are potentially sick or carrying disease. But, they couldn’t get what they needed.

Bergh called the agency, offering some of the sanitizer, and they immediately accepted. Now, the distillery is making it for a number of public safety and health agencies on the Central and South Coasts. Bergh says it’s great to be able to do something with what was an idle distillery, and contributing to a solution to the crisis.

Bergh says other businesses have also chipped in. He was able to get plastic bottles from other local companies for the hand sanitizer, something as a alcohol distillery they simply didn’t have available.

He says the icing on the cake is that turning the distillery temporarily into a disinfectant manufacturer has allowed him to bring most of his staff back to work.