Desert Door Distillery Rolls Out Large Hand Sanitizer Production

Local sotol makers offer the critical commodity free of cost

Once men of action, always men of action.

The founders of Desert Door sotol distillery in Dripping Springs have sprung into action in response to the COVID-19 crisis by producing hand sanitizer and making it available to the public free of charge starting next week.

Courtesy of Giant Noise

“We’ve been following this very closely for a while,” says co-founder Ryan Campbell, who is fluent in Korean and has been following the coronavirus crisis in the Asian news outlets since late last year. “We were aware of the potential for the virus to get out of hand. I’m a problem solver by nature, we want to be part of the solution, not the problem.”

Once Campbell and his partners started seeing the run on the stores and the subsequent shortages of hand sanitizer, he started researching how to make hand sanitizer and started sourcing all the materials to make it happen.

To date, Desert Door has produced more than 500 gallons of hand sanitizer, with the goal of having 750 gallons completed by Sunday, March 22. Desert Door is actively seeking organizations in need of hand sanitizer and recently received a request from the San Antonio police department, whose 1,600 officers were issued nine-year expired hand sanitizer.

“Our goal is to work to understand how we might help restaurants in town,” says Campbell. “We’re working to find different restaurant partners, to help drive takeout sales.” (For example, buy $40, get a free bottle of Desert Door hand sanitizer.)

Desert Door plans to make 1,000 gallons per week of their hand sanitizer for the foreseeable future, but the expenditure is enormous. “We’ve sunk considerable resources into this already,” Campbell explains. “The next step is to find some partners to help bear the cost. We have no plans in the short term to lay off employees, and we’d love to work with any sort of partner who wants to get involved.” Interested parties should email or call the distillery for more information.

“We’re not accustomed to sitting on the sidelines watching things happen,” says Campbell. “I’m really proud of our team, and I’m really proud of what we’re doing.”

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Melanie Haupt
The Return of Hot Luck
The Return of Hot Luck
Aaron Franklin’s food and music fest is about more than just chilling with your homies

May 20, 2022

Five Years After Miguel Ravago's Death, Fonda San Miguel Names New Chefs
Five Years After Miguel Ravago's Death, Fonda San Miguel Names New Chefs
Blanca Zesati and Carlos Monroy tasked with expanding classic menu

May 5, 2022

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle