Oahu, Hawaii-based KO‘OLAU Distillery, makers of Old Pali Road Whiskey, announced it is shifting production to begin supplying hand sanitizer for critical services. The distillery has the capability to legally distill alcohol and will shift production toward producing the base for hand sanitizer that will be provided free of charge to first responders, health workers and essential civil service personnel, it says. 

 “We realized that we are in the unique position to be able to help our community in this way; we are able to both make Old Pali Road whiskey and produce hand sanitizer that meets WHO standards so that we can help our greater ‘ohana through this unprecedented situation,” KO‘OLAU Distillery Chief Executive Officer Eric Dill said in a statement. 

Inspired by mainland distilleries who are doing the same, the distillery's effort is amplified even further by Hawaii's dependence upon imports, especially during this crisis. According to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, approximately 80 percent of all goods that are consumed by Hawaii’s residents and visitors are imported.

In addition to providing hand sanitizer, Dill notes that Kōkua Sun Care also is stepping up by donating empty bottles for some of the sanitizer.

“We are proud to see our local businesses stepping up to protect the community. Adding the production of hand sanitizer to KO'OLAU's operations is the right thing to do,” said Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, a practicing physician.