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Distillery in Lehigh County switching from bourbon to hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is flying off the shelves everywhere and the demand for the product continues to rise.

NEW TRIPOLI, Pa. — Eight Oaks Farm Distillery is known for producing fine whiskey and other spirits at its facility in New Tripoli

But over the past week, it's had to pivot from that business model.

"We've learned a lot and the biggest thing we've learned is that the demand for hand sanitizer is real and it's reached a crisis level at this point," Chad Butters said.

The coronavirus outbreak has prompted this veteran-owned, family-run business northwest of Allentown to produce hand sanitizer as the demand for the product reaches an all-time high.

"When we refer to our mission, vision and values, what is it that we can do as Eight Oaks to contribute positively to our community? So we took stock of what we have at our fingertips, which is the capacity to make high-proof alcohol and the equipment to do that and the skillsets and people. We'll find the recipe on the World Health Organization website and we'll start producing it."

People have been rolling up to the distillery looking to buy some of the product, but owner Chad Butters tells us the demand is so high, he's urging people to be patient.

First, he's trying to get sanitizer out to hospitals and other essential people whose jobs must go on during the pandemic. Newswatch 16 caught up with one woman whose son was just diagnosed with leukemia and urges people to stop buying in bulk.

"Hand sanitizer will help keep my son safe from the public and his own family and it's in tremendous demand. People are purchasing it in excessive quantities and it's making it inaccessible to people who need it," Sandy Reese said.

Eight Oaks adds it will continue to producer hand sanitizer for the foreseeable future.