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Working Together: Indy distillery making hand sanitizer

Hotel Tango hand sanitizer.JPG
Posted at 9:38 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 21:38:23-04

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INDIANAPOLIS — Local distilleries are finding new ways to keep their employees working while also filling a growing demand for hand sanitizer.

Hotel Tango Distillery in Indianapolis is donating 2,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to local organizations in need and all of that sanitizer is being made right here in their warehouse.

It's a product they never thought they'd be making.

"It kind of started as a joke and then things got serious," Ginger Barnes, vice president of operations for Hotel Tango Distillery, said.

When they started hearing bout a hand sanitizer shortage, leaders here jumped into action.

"Travis and I are both veterans and when times get hard we are known to answer the call," Barnes said. "This feels like one more time feeling compelled to answer the call and doing what we can when we have the ability."

Barnes said Hotel Tango has the facilities and equipment needed to produce high-proof alcohol. In just days they created an ethyl alcohol hand sanitizer. Once they had approval from the federal government they started bottling it up.

"We have the product being made around the clock," Barnes said.

The first batch will be delivered to shelters and other non-profits. They are also sending a shipment to troops overseas. It's helping not only those who receive the bottles but their own staff members too.

"I think the thing I am most proud of during all of this is we haven't had to lay anyone off," Barnes said. "We are in the restaurant industry and we have closed our tasting rooms but because of this we have been able to keep people working which feels really important."

Barnes said the hope to keep making the hand sanitizer as long as they can find bottles to put it in. Eventually, they hope to start selling the sanitizer as well.

"We are not trying to make a profit we are just trying to keep going," Barnes said.