From Vodka to Hand Sanitizer: Duvall Distillery Pivots Production to Help Combat COVID-19

Close-up of copper distillation equipment at Duval Distillery

Duvall Distillery is a local, craft producer of flavored vodka made from apples. They describe their business as having small town charm with “Old School Cool” and visitors to the shop agree, raving online about the friendly and engaging environment, the delightful owner and of course—among all the flavors and styles of drink—the limoncello, a fan favorite!

In mid-March when Gov. Jay Inslee announced an emergency proclamation that mandated the immediate two-week closure of all restaurants, bars, and entertainment and recreational facilities, as well as additional limits on large gatherings (now replaced by the Stay Home, Stay Healthy extension)—all public and private events at the distillery came to a close. But Jason “Jay” Norige, kept the alcohol flowing… but in a different way.

Duvall Distillery started producing, as they put it, “hand grenades in this war against COVID-19″—or more plainly—personal-size, refillable, glass spray bottles of hand sanitizer.

I kind of look at myself as—I just happen to be a guy with a set of jumper cables. That the world around him needs a freakin’ jump. But, I’m sure if you owned a distillery, you’d do this too, wouldn’t ya?

Jay Norige

Producing up to 500 small bottles of sanitizer a day, to date, Jay and team have filled over 6000 bottles which they have donated to the various organizations working in the community! “We love our town and how our local businesses turn a difficult time into something that benefits so many others.”, says Lara Thomas, community development director at City of Duvall.

A batch of glass vials filled with hand sanitizer ready to be capped

The King County Department of Community and Human Services has received these crucial supplies that were put to use in our various Isolation/Quarantine and Assessment/Recovery Facilities which are helping slow the spread of COVID-19 and minimizing the strain on our local healthcare facilities by providing care and shelter for people who cannot self-quarantine or isolate in their own home, or people who do not have a home.

Aside from producing and donating the small spray bottles, the distillery also makes large spray bottles and sometimes bulk-size jugs for locations that need the additional supplies. Duvall Distillery has stocked hospitals, post offices, small businesses and passers-by with their new product—the only ask is that people return the glass bottles when they are finished, as the supply is running out and currently not able to be replaced!

Duvall Distillery is doing an amazing job of serving the community by shifting operations to create hand sanitizer in response to COVID-19, and they truly deserve our admiration. The distillery is one great example of a business stepping up to serve our neighbors, and we are so thankful for them and all of the other groups who are doing amazing work.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert

For their caring actions and community leadership in mobilizing efforts to combat COVID-10, Jay and team have received many praises online with people promising to support their regular vodka business in the future. Speaking to how people can support their community in the moment, Jay says, “The number one thing we can do right now is stay home.”

View our behind-the-scenes photo gallery on Flickr