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Another North Shore distillery has pivoted to making hand sanitizer

Another North Shore distillery is getting in on the sudden surge in demand for hand sanitizer products.

Another North Shore distillery is getting in on the sudden surge in demand for hand sanitizer products.

Stealth Distilleries, located on Orwell Street in North Vancouver, has recently switched the bulk of its operation to producing the alcohol-based antibacterial product.

“COVID-19 came along and two weeks ago we knew nothing about this hand sanitizer business,” said John Pocekovic, president of Stealth Distilleries. “We’ve been working flat out.”

Although the company is known for its craft vodka products, Pocekovic says they’ve pivoted to hand sanitizer for the time being in the fight again the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been inundated with calls from local people, some individuals, mostly larger businesses,” said Pocekovic. “I think it’s a frightening disease that we’re dealing with. … Basically our mantra was, ‘What can we do? Can we make a difference?’”

Canada Revenue Agency approved Stealth Distilleries bid to start making and selling hand sanitizer, according to Pocekovic.

The provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch also recently updated a policy directive which has given distillers in B.C. temporary authorization to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitizer in an effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Stealth Distilleries has been in business since 2008, and opened a physical distillery in North Vancouver three years ago.

The best way to get a hold of some of Stealth Distilleries hand sanitizer is by contacting the company through its official website, according to Pocekovic.

Sons of Vancouver Distillery, also in North Vancouver, has also continued to make hand sanitizer products available. The company, which was likely the first distillery on the North Shore to start making it, is still being inundated for requests from organizations and individuals, according to co-founder James Lester.

“We’re so busy,” said Lester. “We get a lot of requests.”

Distilleries can make hand sanitizer using the byproducts that naturally occur in the distillation process.