FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2020
Chehalis Indian Tribe and Heritage Distilling Co. Partner to Produce up to 600,000 Gallons of Hand Sanitizer Per Month
Sanitizer production occurring at the first-ever tribally-owned distillery in the U.S.
ROCHESTER, WA, May 21, 2020 – In response to the local and national need for hand sanitizer, the Chehalis Indian Tribe and Heritage Distilling Co. (HDC), the most awarded craft distillery in North America for the past seven years by the American Distilling Institute and makers of BSB®-Brown Sugar Bourbon, have teamed up to produce up to 600,000 gallons of HDC Hand Sanitizer per month for wholesale and retail sale, including in select Safeway and Costco stores in the West, in tribal convenience stores, and at Heritage Distilling Co.’s tasting rooms and website. The blending of the hand sanitizer will take place at Heritage Distilling Co. at Talking Cedar on the Chehalis Indian Reservation in Washington State.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chehalis Tribal Enterprises (CTE) and HDC had begun final preparations for the opening of the first legal tribally-owned distillery in the history of the United States. However, once it became clear that hand sanitizer was in critical need, CTE and HDC fast- tracked retrofitting the production equipment to mass-produce HDC Hand Sanitizer. Heritage Distilling Co. at Talking Cedar, a 15,000 square foot tribally-owned tasting room and distillery is slated to be open to the public in the summer of 2020. The venture was made possible due to the efforts of both the Chehalis Tribe and HDC to repeal an 1834 federal law prohibiting distilleries on tribal land.
“This summer we were set to open the nation’s first legal distillery on tribal land, and while we still plan on opening once it is safe to do so, we recognized the massive need for hand sanitizer and did everything in our power to temporarily change course,” said David Burnett, CEO of Chehalis Tribal Enterprises. “Our tribal members are very proud of the role the Tribe is playing in assisting with this national emergency and are committed to reducing the impact of the COVID-19 on our reservation, throughout Indian Country and the nation.”
Heritage Distilling Co. has been producing hand sanitizer for consumer and business use in their Gig Harbor, Washington, and Eugene, Oregon production distilleries since mid-March 2020. In April
2020, federal, state and local governments began issuing hygiene guidelines for businesses as part of the phased approach to safely re-opening the economy. The increased hand sanitizer production capacity will support more businesses as they open their doors again to customers and employees.
“Heritage Distilling Co. is honored to partner with the Chehalis Tribe in this historic endeavor. When we set out to plan a world-class craft distillery with them several years ago, none of us expected to be using the equipment to make hand sanitizer,” said Heritage Distilling Co. CEO, Justin Stiefel. “But the team’s spirit and ingenuity in re-piping the facility to make this a reality is a testament to our team’s approach to problem solving.”
To retrofit the equipment, six 8,300-gallon fermenting tanks in the distillery were converted into mixing tanks, and two additional 8,300-gallon tanks were modified to feed ethanol, glycerin and hydrogen peroxide into the blending tanks. The facility is capable of blending at least 30,000 gallons of finished hand sanitizer per day. Bottling of HDC Hand Sanitizer is done via a mobile bottling truck, a practice that is more commonly seen in small wineries. Chehalis Tribal Enterprises and HDC are contributing staff to this bottling program, which includes nine tribal community members trained to assist in the bottling operation.
About Heritage Distilling at Talking Cedar
In 2016, HDC and CTE partnered to build a state-of-the-art craft distillery on the Chehalis Indian Reservation. It was designed to be one of the largest craft distilleries west of the Mississippi River, with an initially planned opening date in late May 2020. It is the first legal alcohol distillery on tribal land in the history of the United States thanks to Congressional repeal of an Andrew Jackson-era statute from 1834 prohibiting distilleries in Indian Country. Congress repealed the ban in late 2018 after successful lobbying efforts by the Chehalis Tribe and HDC. The entire retrofitting effort for hand sanitizer production took approximately six weeks, and was led by Korsmo Construction out of Tacoma, WA.
Heritage Distilling at Talking Cedar is wholly owned by the Chehalis Tribe and is part of a greater 35,000 sq. ft. facility which also houses a 60 barrel brewery, tap room, event spaces and restaurant featuring craft beer and spirits with upscale pub food. The partnership enables the tribe to produce Heritage Distilling Co.’s spirits and leverage their programs and marketing.
About HDC Hand Sanitizer
HDC Hand Sanitizer is available in the following size formats: 7,000 gallons tankers, 275-gallon totes, 5-gallon jerricans, 750ml bottles, and select smaller format bottles. The hand sanitizer is available in any one of five Heritage Distilling tasting rooms in Washington and Oregon, online at HeritageDistilling.com, in tribal convenience stores, at select retailers, including Costco and Safeway, and will soon be available on Amazon.com.
Purified water, denatured ethanol, glycerin, and hydrogen peroxide comprise the ingredients of the FDA/WHO approved sanitizer formula. HDC Hand Sanitizer is bottled at 80% alcohol as a liquid so that it can be applied in drop or spray format.
Major customers of HDC Hand Sanitizer include some of the largest airplane manufacturers, heath care services, grocers and retailers thoughtout the western United States. Donations of HDC Hand Sanitizer have been made to numerous first responders, retirement communities, and other organizations from HDC and consumers donating for the greater good.
- Consumer, small format, HDC Hand Sanitizer available:
In Heritage Distilling Co. tasting rooms in Washington and Oregon and online at https://heritagedistilling.com/products/hand-surface-sanitizer At Select Costco and Safeway locationsIn the coming weeks, at Amazon.com
- Business, large format and wholesale, available at:https://heritagedistilling.com/pages/hand-sanitizer-large-order Updates to this program and photos will be available on Heritage Distilling Co.’s Blog:https://heritagedistilling.com/blogs/news
About Chehalis Tribal Enterprises:
Chehalis Tribal Enterprises (CTE) is the enterprise arm of the Chehalis Tribal Indian Government, supporting all of its business and development endeavors. In addition to Talking Cedar, the Chehalis Tribe owns the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, WA; the Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel in Rochester, WA; the Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites in Grand Mound, WA; and three End of the Trail Convenience Stores with nationally branded fuel. For more information, please visit www.talkingcedar.com and www.chehalistribe.org.
About Heritage Distilling Company, Inc.
Heritage Distilling Company, Inc. (HDC), opened to the public in Gig Harbor, Washington in 2012. It is one of the premier craft distilleries in the U.S. and the most-awarded craft distillery in North America for the past seven years by the American Distilling Institute. HDC produces a range of whiskeys, vodkas, gins, aquavit and rums and operates distilleries and tasting rooms in six locations spanning two states and has distribution of select products in all 50 states. Family operated and majority woman-owned, HDC is adept at connecting with and contributing to the culture of craft spirits through multiple channels. For more information, please visit www.heritagedistilling.com.