Purcellville's Catoctin Creek distillery producing sanitizing alcohol

Catoctin Creek regional sales employees Avalon Haas and John Shope, who previously worked on the road, are now working in the bottling production line. 

In the wake of the coronavirus crisis and a subsequent shortage on sanitizing products, Purcellville-based Catoctin Creek Distillery is working with area hospitals, police stations and assisted living communities to provide free bottles of sanitizing alcohol to anyone who needs it.

So far, Catoctin Creek co-owner Scott Harris said local restaurant The Wine Kitchen, the Virginia State Police and Spring Harbor Senior Living have used the product. He said he has reached out to elected officials to seek their assistance in getting the product to people who need it.

For Catoctin Creek's whiskey-loving customers, not to worry, whiskey production continues  -- the sanitizer is a by-product of the process.

“It's wet -- not like a gel, but it is useful in an industrial facility to sanitize countertops or door knobs,” Harris told the Times-Mirror.

Harris plans to begin making hand sanitizing gel in the near future and is lining up an order of bottles so they can establish a supply.

“People have been desperate for sanitizer. This is one way we can help,” Harris said.

Harris said he expects to see a delayed effect on his business due to the coronavirus outbreak, but he is hopeful they can weather the storm. Currently, he has shifted his regional sales staff to work in the production line instead of laying people off work.

“We are still open to sell bottles of whiskey in the tasting room. For people quarantined in place, a bottle of whiskey might make it easier,” Harris said.

If anyone would like to visit Catoctin Creek and obtain some of the sanitizing product, bring up to a two-liter bottle into the store at 120 W. Main St. in Purcellville from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

(2) comments

Stevens R. Miller

Good for them! When this is all over, I will drop in for a taste of the other kind they make.

Jeanne T

Here's a recipe for homemade hand sanitizer. If you already have rubbing alcohol, all you need is aloe vera gel and an essential oil if you want. I think the essential oil could be optional; they just add a pleasant smell.

1/3 cup of aloe vera gel

2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol*

8-10 drops of essential oil, optional (such as vanilla, lavender, grapefruit, peppermint, etc.)

Mix ingredients. Put a funnel in the opening of a small spray bottle (like an eyeglass cleaner bottle) and pour in. Keep it in your purse or on a counter. Then just spray a couple of times on each hand, rub together and you’re done with much less work and expense. You can also put this in an old hand soap pump bottle.

*If you can’t find 99% rubbing alcohol just use less aloe for a thinner hand sanitizer and put in a spray bottle.

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