In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of brands have stepped up in recent days to donate to relief funds, make hand sanitizer, or offer other help during these trying times. Here’s a recap of some of their efforts.
Check back, as this list will be continually updated.
Ole Smoky Distillery
Ole Smoky Distillery is joining other members of the distillery community, who are producing hand sanitizer in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. As production scales up, distribution of the new alcohol-based hand sanitizer will begin with prioritized requests from local law enforcement agencies and first responders. Ole Smoky will be first distributing its hand sanitizer in 5-gallon commercial grade pails to these departments. Ole Smoky has also begun production of smaller 50ml jars of hand sanitizer. These will be distributed first to Ole Smoky employees and their families. As production increases, the company also intends to offer them to consumers when they utilize the internet ordering and distillery pickup option, which begins this week at their Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Distilleries.
Stelios Stavrianos, CEO of The Corebev Group, says he will donate 100% of revenue from his ultra-premium vodka brand Cylinder Vodka to out-of-work bartenders.
“Today I’m announcing that from now until May 1, 100% of Cylinder’s revenue will be donated to the United States Bartenders Guild, as well as a local foundation established to help hospitality workers in need in Connecticut,” said Stavrianos. “Here at Cylinder, we’re committed to making sure our team holds strong during these uncertain times, and that we give back as much as we can to help those that don’t have that opportunity.”
Campari America announced a donation of $1 Million to Another Round, Another Rally, a non-profit that raises emergency funds for hospitality workers to support bartenders who are facing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Along with the donation, Campari America is encouraging its community to join the #AnotherRoundChallenge. From California to Kentucky and everywhere in between, Campari is calling on bar patrons across the country to support their local bars by joining in the movement via the #AnotherRoundChallenge at www.AnotherRoundAnotherRally.com. Bar patrons can “tip their servers” by donating to Another Round, Another Rally’s virtual tip jar, and then challenge friends on Instagram to do the same using the hashtag.
Rogue Ales & Spirits
Rogue Spirits is producing and packaging hand sanitizer at its distillery in Newport, Oregon to donate to local emergency response and public safety officials. To date, Rogue has donated its ‘Helping Hand Hand Sanitizer’ to fire departments from Newport, Toledo, Waldport, Yachats, Depoe Bay, and Lincoln City, police services, county offices, local ambulance services and Life Flight.
“There’s a massive shortage of so many life-saving supplies right now and we wanted to do something to help,” adds Brian Pribyl, Head Distiller of Rogue Ales & Spirits. “It’s been amazing to watch the entire distilling community come together during this crisis. We can’t make gowns, gloves, or medical equipment, but we can keep a steady supply of alcohol flowing. If we can supply a hand sanitizer to the front-line of this pandemic, even if that means one less thing they have to worry about sourcing, we’re calling that a win.”
Bombay Sapphire’s “Create From Home” initiative has officially launched. The initiative offers tools to ‘stir creativity’ while at home through online classes, workshops, and cocktail-making sessions via platforms including Skillshare – who in partnership with Bombay Sapphire is providing unlimited complimentary three-month memberships and live Q&A’s through their subscription-based online learning community.
Other partners include:
- Society6, a leading online marketplace for artists from around the globe, will host weekly video-based “Drink and Draw” event, where participants will receive an interactive tutorial from a S6 artist and a bartender to design a gin cocktail inspired by their artwork (cocktail sets via Drizly here)
- Hunker, the creative DIY home projects platform, will launch a Create-From-Home hub with a library of content and IG tutorials and interviews with creative influencers who work and create from home.
Cutwater Spirits is using its production resources and facility to produce an 80% alcohol hand sanitizer in accordance with FDA guidelines. On March 30th, Cutwater will begin donating the first batches of hand sanitizer to non-profits within San Diego County including longtime charity partner, The San Diego Food Bank. Cutwater will also be donating funds to the Food Bank that will help the organization produce over 50,000 meals for distribution in San Diego.
Crater Lake Spirits
Crater Lake Spirits has converted part of its production to make ethanol-based hand sanitizer for local hospital and healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hand sanitizer will be made available through the Crater Lake Spirits tasting rooms after these immediate needs are met.
Brown-Forman Corporation announced a donation of $1 million to COVID-19 response funds. The donation announced Monday supports multiple locations and agencies as Brown-Forman assesses community and industry needs and identifies the best ways to support those impacted by COVID-19.
“As COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, we want to provide assistance to our communities in this time of great need,” said Lawson Whiting, Chief Executive Officer, Brown- Forman Corporation. “We are announcing today donations totaling $1 million
that will enable us to give back to the people and communities that mean so much to our company.”
Brown-Forman has partnered with the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation
to support their COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund. As part of this partnership, they are encouraging people to make a donation to the foundation, and they will match dollar-for-dollar donations (up to $100,000). Please visit https://bit.ly/RWCFReliefFund to make a donation.
The Vale Fox Distillery
The Vale Fox Distillery, a new craft producer in Hudson Valley, NY, has diverted all of their resources and efforts towards producing hand sanitizer in response to the Coronavirus crisis. Their e-commerce store will go live on their website this week where people can buy limited quantities of sanitizer without having to go out to a drug store or other crowded locale. The Vale Fox Distillery is currently working to supply sanitizer to first responders and t
he supply chain supporting essential businesses.
The sanitizer will be sold at cost plus 25 cents extra per oz, which will be donated to bars and restaurants and their employees.
Templeton Rye Distillery
Templeton Rye Distillery is currently distilling water, which is then loaded on a truck to deliver to the state for the production of sanitizer. Templeton Rye says they will most likely send them another round later as well. Proceeds at this time planned for “Just the tip” a tip service set up under serviceindustryiowa.com and are also looking for ways to contribute to the Iowa Restaurant Association.
Regatta Craft Mixers
Effective immediately, Regatta Craft Mixers will be
donating 15% of all online sales to the U.S. Bartenders Guild’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP) through the end of April. In addition, the brand will continue to waive shipping fees on all online orders in the U.S. until further notice to help get their products more easily to people who cannot gather at their favorite bar.
Beam Suntory & Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
Beam Suntory and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits will donate a total of $1 million to the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) Foundation Emergency Assistance Program and the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation.
“The people of Beam Suntory and our colleagues at SGWS are passionate about helping support the bartenders, restaurant workers and their families whose lives have been turned upside down by the global pandemic,” said Albert Baladi, President and CEO, Beam Suntory. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions. We are proud to support the trade community and their livelihoods, as
they are part of our extended Beam Suntory family, and we are fortunate to be part of an industry where so many companies are uniting to assist our communities in this unprecedented battle.”
“We are pleased to partner with Beam Suntory to support the trade community,” said Wayne Chaplin, CEO, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. “In a time of great need, it is important to unite efforts to provide the trade with extra resources to ensure everyone ultimately emerges in a position of strength, together.”
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Tito’s Handmade Vodka is donating $2 million in national support to organizations that are providing assistance to those affected by the current pandemic. That $2M includes an immediate donation of $1M between four organizations: CORE, USBG, Southern Smoke, and World Central Kitchen. Tito’s will also fund an additional $1 million as they uncover further needs stemming from the COVID-19
These efforts are being coordinated through Love, Tito’s, the brand’s philanthropic program, and is only the beginning of what’s to come. Tito’s is also producing and distributing 24 tons of actual hand sanitizer to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) announced that its member companies are collectively donating more than $8.37 million to the U.S. Bartenders Guild Foundation and other charities to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
Member companies participating in the donation initiative include: Agave Loco; Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory; Brown-Forman Corporation; Campari America; Constellation Brands, Inc.; Diageo; Edrington; Mast-Jägermeister US; MGP Ingredients, Inc.; MHW; Möet Hennessy, USA; Ole Smoky; Pernod Ricard USA, Inc.; and Rémy Cointreau Americas.
The majority of the donations are going to the U.S. Bartenders Guild Foundation Emergency Relief Fund, which assists bartenders, bar backs and bar servers who are in need of financial assistance. Compan
ies have also donated to other national, regional and local charities.
Additionally, DISCUS’ grassroots platform, Spirits United, will host a “Spirits United Virtual Toast” Thursday, March 26th at 5pm EST, which will also serve as a fundraiser for the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild COVID-19 relief fund. Participants can register for the toast here.
“By banding together, DISCUS members are making a powerful impact in support of the most vulnerable in the hospitality industry who have had their lives completely turned upside down by restaurant and bar closures related to COVID-19,” said Chris Swonger, President and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Tennessee distilleries announced today that they are banding together to pivot operations from whiskey-making and repurposing the alcohol for hand sanitizer and surface cleaner production in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Distillers are working rapidly to obtain ingredients necessary to produce sanitizing products in bulk due to supply shortages resulting from the pandemic.
“We saw a need in our communities, and we are on a mission to make a difference,” said Kris Tatum, president of Tennessee Distillers Guild. “It’s a great feeling when competitors collectively decide to put profits aside and jointly decide to support the communities which have made us successful in the first place.”
Sanitizing products will be delivered to large transportation companies, municipalities, and health care businesses across the state.
J. Rieger & Co.
The distillery team at J. Rieger & Co. has repurposed its overproof gin to keep distillery surfaces clean – and to make an all-natural disinfectant available to their community. At 70% ABV, Rieger’s overproof gin makes an excellent disinfectant (bonus: it also smells great!) Now they are stepping up to help combat the hand sanitizer shortage by producing their own alcohol-based solution. They will be packaging the hand sanitizer in small bottles, available for pick-up only from the distillery. To continue to provide responsible solutions and a steady income for their team, the hand sanitizer will be available on a pay-what-you-can scale.
Caledonia Spirits – the popular Vermont-based distiller of Barr Hill Gin, Barr Hill Vodka, and Tom Cat Gin – has added a very different item to its production line this week: hand
With the raw materials needed to make it already on hand, the distillery’s team got together and started producing hand sanitizer for local nonprofit organizations. Its first delivery was to the Vermont Foodbank yesterday.
Caledonia Spirits is trying to do what it can to contribute to what is now a global fight against the spread of COVID-19. The distillery is still paying its staff in full (including benefits), and it is also still making its flagship spirits, but that could change if its overall business continues to struggle, like many others, during this time.
Caledonia Spirits plans on continuing to make this hand sanitizer for additional local organizations while its supplies last. To that end, the distillery’s team will be looking for more raw materials (glycerol and small bottles) so that it can keep the project going. If any businesses out there have large volumes of either, Caledonia Spirits is asking that they reach out at [email protected].