Keg beer intended for now-shuttered Washington State bars and restaurants is not going to waste, thanks to a partnership between Pursuit Distilling Co. and its distribution partner Columbia Distributing. Using the beer and a custom-built keg draining system, the companies have developed a way to create neutral grain spirit for conversion into much-needed denatured alcohol.
Denatured alcohol is the primary disinfectant ingredient in American-produced hand sanitizers. TTB opened up the floodgates on this concept in March, which a ton of distilleries jumped on, but this innovation of taking keg beer that wasn’t going anywhere and repurposing it is a novel innovation.
“We’ve created a quick way to drain the beer kegs and then Pursuit distills the beer into neutral grain spirit liquid for use in denatured alcohol,” said Devlin McGill, Senior Director of Spirits at Columbia Distributing. “Our second challenge was delivering that type of alcohol. Fortunately, we found that Columbia already has a network of drivers that are hazmat certified so we can expedite our efforts in getting this essential material for hand sanitizer out to our state agencies. We’re extremely happy that we can help in such a meaningful way right now.”
Columbia and Pursuit expect to have their first delivery to Washington State Department of Agriculture and Washington State Department of Emergency Management by the end of the week.
“I am grateful that we are able to keep our lights on and keep our team members busy,” said Sam Agnew, CEO at Pursuit Distilling. “Our team members have risen to the occasion. I am thankful and blessed to be in a position to pivot quickly to producing hand sanitizer and denatured alcohol for our first responders, health care facilities, and to our local community. We are in unprecedented times. We will get through this time together as a community, country, and individually.”