Many distilleries moved from making alcohol to producing hand sanitizer during the spread of COVID-19. In fact, many distilleries received calls from people looking to make a profit off of the current crisis. This is what happened to the makers of Nue Vodka in Dallas. When the coronavirus cases began to climb, they received calls from profiteers looking to make huge profits by making and selling sanitizer at the highest possible prices.
The team at Nue Vodka, instead, realized that this was an opportunity that they could use to help the community. Together with the help of state and local officials in Dallas County, they were able to produce 25 tons of hand sanitizer, both bottled and in bulk. All of this hand sanitizer was able to be donated to first responders and health care workers in Dallas County.
Nue Vodka is one of the many spirits made by Southwest Spirits and Wine. They delivered 330-gallon containers of hand sanitizer to a Dallas warehouse and other locations that can be used as refill stations for those currently on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 crisis.
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, hand sanitizer has been one of the hardest household products to find. This is in part due to profiteers. On Amazon and other online retailers, consumers were seeing price gouging of sanitizer go as high as $70 (or more) per bottle. The retailers eventually shut these sellers down, but not before they sold at least some of their stock.
In response to profiteers looking to make something off of COVID-19, Southwest Spirits CEO, Guillermo Rodriguez says, “It’s disappointing when you see people trying to profiteer off someone else’s misfortune.” Rodriguez also stated how proud that he was that his company is the county’s largest donor in terms of hand sanitizer.
Southwest Spirits is the third-largest distillery in the state of Texas. Like other distilleries across the U.S. they have converted their operations to produce hand sanitizer, which is donated to first responders. As the company is considered an essential business, almost the entire staff is able to remain employed during this time.
According to Rodriguez around half of the produced sanitizer was given to Dallas County’s coronavirus response team. This included about ten containers, each holding 330 gallons. The rest was divided, going to the employees of Southwest Spirits, key vendors, charities, first responders on the outskirts of Dallas County, and long-term care facilities.
Other brands produced by Southwest Spirits include Title 21 Whiskey, Henderson Whiskey, and Calamity Gin.