Shelter Point is producing the sanitizer in 750-ml bottles and 20-litre containers. Facebook photo

Shelter Point is producing the sanitizer in 750-ml bottles and 20-litre containers. Facebook photo

UPDATED: Island distillery switches production to sanitizers

Oyster River operation Shelter Point expects double shifts in the weeks, months ahead

Shelter Point Distillery has won awards for producing spirits, and now it’s turning its attention to a cause.

The operation in the Oyster River area announced on its Facebook page it is temporarily suspending distilling operations to switch production capacity for the manufacture of medical grade sanitizer to help medical professionals in their battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company notes that it has retooled in a matter of days to make the change. It will be supplying the sanitizer in 750-ml bottles and 20-litre containers. Distillers expect to be working double shifts in the weeks and months ahead to produce sanitizer for as many hospitals, medical centre, health authorities, municipal and provincial services as possible.

“Our number one priority is to ensure that first responders have ample supplies in order to do their jobs and save lives,” the company states on its Facebook post.

Initially, the company had planned to start small after hearing about some other distilleries producing sanitizer using their excess spirits on site.

“We were just going to use what we had available,” Shelter Point manager Jacob Wiebe told The Record on March 26. “Then the medical clinics started calling and telling us how much trouble they were having procuring sanitizer.”

At the point, they made the choice to immediately halt whisky production and make hand sanitizer. Their head distiller contacted the World Health Organization to make sure their formula would be approved, and the approval process went through at a dizzying pace.

“The government really did help us push it through quickly. Usually it can be like a three, four-month process. We did it in a night. We just kept calling,” Wiebe says. “We wanted to make sure we could help out the locals as quickly as possible.”

The plan is to start locally by supplying Island towns, communities and First Nations Health Authorities. After this, Shelter Point expects to expand production and distribution to supply other parts of the province as needed. Another social media update noted they were able to ship 2,000 bulk litres to the Vancouver General Hospital on March 25 with the help of Coastal Transportation and Storage, which meant Shelter Point did not worry about the shipping arrangements.

“CTS delivered it for free, which was wonderful,” Wiebe says.

In the first week, the company produced a thousand litres. This was up to 4,000 litres the following week when Wiebe spoke to the newspaper. He expects they will be up to about 30,000 litres the end of the first week in April.

“That’s going to the front lines first, so it was really focused on making sure the fire department, the ambulance station, the medical clinics, the grocery workers … the people who really aren’t allowed to stay home or able to stay home, we wanted to make sure they were safe because everyone’s having trouble getting the sanitizer…. The phone rings every five minutes with someone looking for more.”

The company also announced on the Facebook post its product is still available through its online shop and in private liquor stores in B.C. and Alberta.

RELATED STORY: Wayward, Shelter Point distilleries both earn gold at Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition

For more information about the sanitizer from Shelter Point, email info@shelterpoint.ca .



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusDistillery

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Shelter Point Distillery has switched to making medical sanitizer to help with pandemic operations. Facebook photo

Shelter Point Distillery has switched to making medical sanitizer to help with pandemic operations. Facebook photo

Just Posted

Luke Marston works on the seawolf mask for Canucks goalie Braden Holtby. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Stz’uminus artist Luke Marston designs new mask for Canucks goalie

The mask features artwork inspired by the Coast Salish legend of the sea wolf

Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent and CEO, has seen his contract renewed for four years, the district announced Wednesday. (SD68 YouTube screenshot)
Ladysmith school district renews superintendent’s contract for four years

‘Singing superintendent’ Scott Saywell under contract through 2024-25 school year

Emergency services were on scene at 1st Avenue and Warren Street after a skateboarder was struck by a vehicle. (Submitted photo)
Skateboarder ‘bumped’ by vehicle on 1st Avenue

Emergency services personnel say the skateboarder is uninjured

Parents Robin Ringer and Wyatt Gilmore with the No. 1 baby of 2021 in the Cowichan Valley. They have yet to decide on a name for her. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus couple excited about having the New Year’s baby for the Cowichan Valley

Recent arrivals from Fort Nelson celebrate their girl coming into the world on Jan. 7

Regional District of Nanaimo’s transit select committee is expected to vote on a recommendation that could see busing between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo staff recommending bus route to Cowichan Valley

More than 1,900 survey respondents expressed support for inter-regional transit, notes RDN report

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Most Read