By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A Cheyenne distillery is turning its focus from the making of alcohol to the manufacture of hand sanitizer.
Chronicles Distilling in Cheyenne is getting ready to begin mixing its alcohol with several other ingredients to produce hand sanitizer for use by health care staffers and workers at Cheyenne’s Holly Frontier Refinery.
Chase Lesher, who owns Chronicles with his brother Aaron, said he noticed that many other distilleries were making hand sanitizer to help meet the demand created by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were already looking at doing this because so many distilleries were … then it slowly just evolved and blew up,” Lesher said. “Right now, we’re working on producing the alcohol. Hopefully we’ll have enough in a week to supply (Emergency Medical Services) and Holly.”
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has agreed to waive provisions of federal law to allow distillers to make hand sanitizers or ethanol for use in hand sanitizers without prior approval.
Pine Bluffs Distilling is also manufacturing hand sanitizer, however, no one could be reached at the company.
Federal guidelines for the manufacture call for mixing alcohol with glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and distilled or boiled water.
Chronicles has the alcohol and is getting help with the rest, Lesher said, with assistance purchasing the ingredients coming from Holly Frontier and Cheyenne’s Snowy Elk Coffee Co.
Lesher said he was contacted by Snowy Elk’s founder, Scott Gondzar, about donating to help Chronicles buy the ingredients for sanitizer.
“He’s been an amazing help,” he said. “There’s no way I could have done this by myself.”
Also assisting with the ingredients is Holly Frontier, which needs the sanitizer to keep its employees healthy.
In exchange for the ingredients, Holly will get sanitizer from Chronicles, Lesher said.
The last piece of the puzzle was packaging and Lesher said thanks to information from Holly Frontier, he was able to order 2,014 bottles from Container and Packaging.
“I ordered all they had left,” Lesher said.
In addition to Holly, the sanitizer will go to Cheyenne EMS, which will help distribute it to personnel and institutions in need of the material, Lesher said.
“They will distribute it to certain health care providers that need it and places like hospitals and rest homes,” he said.
Lesher said Chronicles should have all the ingredients in place and start making sanitizer in one to one and one-half weeks.