Breweries and distilleries worldwide are pivoting from alcoholic beverages to hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 health crisis, and leaning on glass containers made by O-I Glass plants to package the sanitizer.
Faber Liquors and Jacquin’s, Pennsylvania’s top two leading production distilleries, are launching what’s described as a “massive” production of hand sanitizer. By using alcohol donated by Jacquin’s, Faber Liquors is pivoting from making 45,000 bottles of spirits each day to 120,000 bottles of hand sanitizer daily instead. Hospital workers and other first responders get the first choice at distribution.
“Everyone on the frontlines fighting this virus or supporting other life-sustaining activities is in desperate need of hand sanitizer and we didn’t hesitate in changing course,” said Faber’s Ashleigh Baldwin.
Faber is packaging the hand sanitizer in 1 liter glass bottles. The distillery turned to longtime partners, O-I Packaging Solutions in Plano, Texas, for its very large packaging order. The O-I Packaging Solutions team and O-I’s plant in Guadalajara, Mexico, moved into high gear to get Faber the bottling supplies it needs to meet the critical demand.
“As a team, many players had to respond quickly to provide the support, from our Plano office to the Mexico plant and the commercial team to make this happen quick,” said Susan Mosher of O-I Packaging Solutions. Mosher said the O-I teams are proud to be “providing glass and to be part of something great to help others knowing the end product was going to local hospitals.”
The first pallets were shipped the week of March 23; more are following in April.
New Zealand brewery uses O-I Glass bottles for hand sanitizer
Jason Macklow is the founder of Good George Brewing in Hamilton, New Zealand. The brewery is known for its craft beers and pubs in New Zealand; Good George also started dabbling in spirits about a year ago.
When Macklow went to the store to buy hand sanitizer for his team, the shelves were wiped bare. After a customer told him that breweries overseas were making hand sanitizer in response to the shortages, Macklow decided to use his still, which was typically reserved for making gin and whiskey, to make hand sanitizer. It’s called Operation Helping Hands.
Good George makes the Operation Helping Hands hand sanitizer from a recipe supplied by the World Health Organization (WHO). The brewery chose to package it in 946 ml “Made in New Zealand” glass bottles, made by O-I Glass New Zealand. Using glass packaging the brewery was already familiar with meant the team could get the hand sanitizer to market quicker.
The first 1100 bottles went to the brewery’s employees, at-risk families and people who work in essential services in the Hamilton community. Good George is now trying to figure out if they can work with suppliers to start distributing.