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COVID-19: Distillery switches gears, starts making hand sanitizer

Owner says move has saved business while helping community
Darrell Bellaart working in his distillery. (Deirdre Bellaart photo)

A Parksville-area distiller has switched gears and is now making hand sanitizer.

Misguided Spirits Distillery, located at 1343 Alberni Hwy, first opened its doors in January. After what owner Darrell Bellaart called a promising first month, the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Now, Bellaart has started selling hand sanitizer, as well as his Brother XII small-batch vodka. It’s named after Edward Wilson, an English mystic who created a commune near Nanaimo in the 1920s.

READ MORE: All B.C. distillers now authorized to make hand sanitizer as COVID-19 leads to shortages

Bellaart has 30-millilitre hand sanitizer at $3 and one-litre bottles for $15 for sale.

“It’s not overpriced, it’s a price that’s reasonable for my costs,” he said. “So I feel like I’m doing something that’s helping and it’s helping keep me open, so it’s kind of a win-win.”

Bellart has 1,000 litres of ethanol coming in for hand sanitizer making. He hopes having the pre-made alcohol will give him some time to focus on his gin recipe.

“It’s saved me, I’ve gone from having very few sales to I’m almost close to where I was before, so it’s pretty good,” said Bellaart, about making the sanitizer. “It’s buying me time while I wait for COVID to end and then I can get back on track.”

For information, call 250-616-8386.

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