Leave the gin for disinfectant gel

The Appalachian Distillery has continued to produce alcohol since the start of the crisis, since the SAQ branches remain open. For the past few days, it has reduced its production of gin to start manufacturing disinfectant gel.
The company Levis is not the only one. Across Quebec, several distilleries have taken steps to modify their recipe. The difference is not very complicated, then Health Canada provides them with clear and detailed documentation on the procedure and the products to use.

“We knew very well that the alcohol we produced could be used as a disinfectant, we had a lead. We started to do our research after François Legault talked about supply problems, ”said Dave Ricard, president and shareholder of the Appalachian Distillery.

The timelines for approving the mix are quite long, as many companies across the country are turning to gel manufacturing.

“We got the products we were missing and we went to get a chemist to accompany us. Employees of the health network are our heroes, but they risk being contaminated with the crying need for disinfectant. We felt challenged, ”says Dave Ricard.

The shortage is not just in Canada, it is global. The majority of distilleries in the country get their alcohol from American companies, with the cessation of trade and the closing of borders, it could soon be out of stock. Each country keeps its alcohol to use it.

The Appalachian Distillery prepares its own alcohol, an advantage in the crisis.

Even if the demand for gin is still there (with in particular the interest of consumers to buy local), the team is reducing its production of the famous Kepler for the cause, to help. “We are doing our part.”

Change ingredients

A first quantity of disinfectant gel is on the way, the company should get approval for the mixture this week to start distribution the following week: 300 liters for health establishments. “The priority is theirs!”

This order will be a donation.

Next, the Appalachian Distillery plans to supply some 1,000 liters per two weeks. The team will get along with different companies deemed essential (manufacturers, security guards …) who have needs and will assess the prices. She still has to cover some costs related to the preparation and purchase of new ingredients that she is not used to handling.

“With our equipment, we are able to produce the gel. We will use the same alcohol as for the gin. It must be distorted to make it non-consumable. We will take the unflavoured alcohol and bring the solution around 80%, and we will add the complementary products to create the gel, ”explains Dave Ricard.

As the World Health Organization explains, you have to add peroxide and glycerine (we plan one week of fermentation and another week to distill), and that’s it. “There are proportions to be respected to be accepted, the protocol does not disappear even in times of crisis.”

If necessary, Dave Ricard is ready to completely stop the production of gin to devote himself to disinfectant gel, he is waiting to see the state of demand in the coming days, and whether the crisis will persist or not.


All the distilleries that have embarked on such a production stick together, they pass on information and refer customers.

“Solidarity is beautiful, we all know each other in the community. Profits really go second. ”

Dave Ricard was also scheduled to launch his new maple spirit in April. He is thinking of pre-selling on his website, and for each purchase, pennies will be paid to Centraide, in order to help citizens in need.

In the Quebec City area, the Vice & Vertu Distillery of Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures has also put aside its usual operations to make room for disinfectant gel in its factory.

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