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Brew: West O Beer, Century Farms Distillery make hand sanitizer in wake of COVID-19 shortages
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Brew: West O Beer, Century Farms Distillery make hand sanitizer in wake of COVID-19 shortages

SPENCER and WEST OKOBOJI, Iowa -- Century Farms Distillery of Spencer and West O Beer of West Okoboji have joined together in hopes of helping local citizens combat the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

"It is remarkable how our community has been turned upside down," Amanda Bare, Century Farms Distillery co-owner, said. "In terms of hand sanitizer, some local retailers have been out for weeks, only to find their shelves empty again a short time after they restock."

Century Farms Distillery

Century Farms Distillery is located in Spencer, Iowa.

According to public health authorities, washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer can help families protect themselves from spreading the virus.

The team of local small businesses, through research and several trials with different ingredients, have come up with a recipe of using denatured, unaged corn whiskey mixed with xanthan gum, essential oils and coloring to make their hand sanitizer.

The product will meet the minimum recommendation of 60% alcohol by volume by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Michaela Matthiesen, co-owner of West O Beer, said the two companies are happy to be able to help.

“After over a week of feeling helpless, this is something both businesses can focus on and help out with,” she said.

Because there is also a shortage of small dispensers, and in order to keep their costs low, they ask for individuals in need to bring their own container to fill or refill. They will initially be offering a limit of 4 ounces per person or family.

Both companies will be prepared to take your container, step away to the filling station and then return the container with 4 ounces, free of charge.

The sanitizer is being distributed on Monday, March 23, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Century Farms Distillery, 2304 Highway Blvd. in Spencer, and on Tuesday, March 24, from 4 to 6 p.m. at West O Beer, 503 Terrace Park Blvd. in West Okoboji.

Any future distribution dates will be planned and posted on both of the companies' Facebook pages and on the front entry doors of each place of business.

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