TUCSON, Ariz. -- Borderlands is honing their craft in a different way.
Instead of pouring beer, they are making and giving away hand sanitizer to El Rio Health Center and the community.
This is made possible through an exclusive partnership between Borderlands Brewing Company and El Rio Health Center.
Borderlands head brewer Ayla Kapahi usually comes into the lab at their brewing facility to count yeast cells and viability for beer fermentation.
“But this time around I’m looking at sanitizer concentrations and creating that for the community,” she told KGUN9.
El Rio provides all of the bulk ingredients the brewery needs to make the sanitizer. Then, Borderlands takes care of the rest, free of charge.
So why is El Rio providing these ingredients to Borderlands?
Well, the simple answer is, because it is not a distillery.
“One of the reasons brewery-distilleries or distilleries can produce sanitizer is they’re able to make the ethanol that they would normally use to distil with,” Kapahi added.
Breweries cannot produce that.
So, once Borderlands makes the sanitizer, they put it in kegs and provide dispense options for frontliners.
Mark Hodges, with El Rio, says the first batch was a success.
“We’re putting it into all of our dispensers and giving it out to our clinics and then we’re using that with patients and then with our staff,” Hodges told KGUN9.
Though Borderlands isn’t stopping there.
Sanitizer will be their newest liquid on tap.
“People just come in with their empty bottles and they can refill it with sanitizer,” said Es Teran, co-owner of Borderlands Brewing Company.
The brewery should have sanitizer available to the community around April 25th.
“Folks can bring their own containers in. We’ll probably have to regulate, you know, how large of a container we can fill,” said Kapahi.
Now, if you are wondering how challenging it is to make the sanitizer, Kapahi says it is not as easy as it looks.
“It’s a lot trickier to make the typical gel sanitizers that you see. Not as easy as it looks. The challenge is getting the right viscosity, but it is a fun challenge.>
There is no doubt they will have time to perfect it, given the demand for sanitizer is still high at El Rio.
“We really are still having trouble getting the hand sanitizer in, and this is just one partnership that has really made a difference,” said Hodges.
Kapahi says it has been an honor working with El Rio, and feels proud that Borderlands can give back to the community during this time of need.
“We want to make sure Tucson is safe. It’s a really difficult time right now and Borderlands just wanted to do something to give back to the community,” Kapahi told KGUN9.
If you would like hand sanitizer, all you have to do is go in with your own container, and fill up--all for free.