John Emerald Distillery switches gears to help local community

AUBURN-OPELIKA, Ala.  – In light of the recent spread of COVID-19, John Emerald Distillery is providing assistance to Auburn-Opelika hospitality colleagues and community members.

As part of their normal distilling operations, the distillery has access to a 95 percent ethanol base. Having this ethanol available enables them to develop a sanitizing solution of 70 percent ethanol and distilled water.

At this concentration, microbes are killed upon spraying and evaporation.

A small, family-owned business, John Emerald Distillery began donating the solution free of charge to local hospitality colleagues such as restaurants, hotels, and more.

The 70 percent ethanol and water solution is recommended for surface spray as a final step after shift cleaning.

Once the area has been sprayed, users should not wipe the area, but allow for natural evaporation.

During service, the spray should be used for high-touch surfaces, including:

– Doorknobs and door handles;

– Lavatories;

– Sink faucets;

– Toilet seats and handles; and

– Glass-touch surfaces.

John Emerald Distillery requires all who accept a donation to agree to and sign a liability waiver.

Donations can be picked up between noon and 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday, and those interested are advised to bring one of the following recommended containers:

– A high-density polyethylene container with a tight, resealable closure. Some large mayo jars should also be sufficient. Check the bottom of the sealable container, and if there is a recycling logo with a “2” in the middle, it will work;

– A sturdy glass container with a tight, resealable closure;

At this time, the donation will be limited to 0.5 gallons.. The solution will be pre-mixed at the distillery and ready for use.

Auburn-Opelika (AO) Tourism partnered with the distillery in the process.

AO Tourism communications manager Cat Bobo told ConventionSouth after a few days the distillery began producing actual hand sanitizing solution, which the business is also donating to the community.

According to Bobo, there were people lined up out the door every day hoping to get some of the sanitizer.

She praised distillery owner John Sharp, his son Jimmy, and the rest of their team for stepping up in this time of need.

“AO Tourism wants to support our partners and our neighbors during this time. We will continue striving to be a source of support for our fellow front line hospitality professionals whose partnership is valued and necessary as we all try to navigate these uncharted waters,” a joint statement from AO Tourism and John Emerald Distillery reads.

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