Outer Banks Distilling produces and distributes free Kill Devil Sanitizer to give back to the community

Published 3:32 pm Thursday, March 19, 2020

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After hearing the news about COVID-19 and the seemingly overnight shortage of hand sanitizer and disinfectant products, the team at Outer Banks Distilling decided to utilize their alcohol-production capabilities and give back to the community.

On March 17, Outer Banks Distilling announced via their Facebook page that they would be producing and supplying sanitizer for free to any person or organization in need. As the guys bottled 75% ABV solution in glass containers on Thursday morning, they told The Coastland Times why this was something they felt compelled to do.

“We have the ability to make it [alcohol], so we figured it’s one of those things that is socially the right thing to do,” said Scott Smith, co-owner of Outer Banks Distilling. Due to the lower rum sales and increasing deficit of sanitization products, OBD decided this route was the right one to take at this time.

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Smith said that giving back to the community is not something new for Outer Banks Distilling. Recently, the distillery donated $10,000 to Ocracoke after the devastation Dorian brought to the little island. The distillery has also helped fund a playground in Kill Devil Hills and donated to communities after Hurricane Florence struck the coast.

As co-owner Adam Ball placed newly filled containers on a table for labeling, he said that he has been talking with Dare County about releasing a full-fledged hand sanitizer. “We actually have a recipe for it, so we’re working with the county to get all the ingredients and some of the actual packaging,” Ball explained.

Ball said that many craft distilleries nationwide have been sending out information on how to make homemade hand sanitizer. Right now, he said it’s all about “shifting gears” to do what’s right for each individual community.

The guys at Outer Banks Distilling made about 150 bottles to give away on Thursday, first come, first serve. They hope to have more ready for the coming days. Due to the limited supply, the distillery is only giving away one bottle per person.

Ball said Outer Banks Distilling has been approached by several organizations, including the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, who is in short supply of disinfectant.

“If anybody needs it, especially emergency personnel, hospitals, things like that, this would be a great opportunity to give back,” co-owner Kelly Bray said. The staff agreed they all want to do what they can to keep Dare County in good health.

“The reality is that we still want a summer. This place depends on that summer business and if we can curb this thing to the point that Dare County is clean, then businesses will be able to get back to their normal selves,” Ball noted.

The staff of Outer Banks Distilling is executing a curbside pickup and, if need be, delivery system for distribution of the product. They will be posting updates on when more solution will be available to their Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/outerbanksdistilling.

For more information, call Outer Banks Distilling at 252-423-3011. The distillery is located at 510 Budleigh St., Manteo.

“The reality is . . . the only way we can get through this is if we all just accept the fact that life’s going to change, we gotta get through it and we will do what we can,” Ball said.



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