FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Riley’s Brewing in Madera is known for brews with names like Sancha, Cowlifornia, and Dropkick Molly.
Their newest line is not beer. It’s hand sanitizer.
Craft brewer Dan Riley says beer recipes take time and thought to perfect whereas hand sanitizer is straightforward. They learned with guidance from their distillery license.
“They gave us the recipe of how they want it to look like to fight this. We had the ability to make the recipe. I didn’t have to experiment then. I made it to their style. First day we’re ready to go.”
Working day and night since, they are now making nearly 40,000 bottles a day. That’s enough to fill a semi-truck.
The hand sanitizer is thin compared to popular store brands. Riley says, “The World Health Organization does not want any gels. … They don’t want it to encapsulate on top of rings sometimes it takes the alcohol longer to dry. They are specific about no thickeners in it and don’t allow perfumes.”
It’s potent, too. Standard hand sanitizer may be 60% alcohol. This contains 80%.
Since starting on hand sanitizer, Riley made 20 new hires. Many worked in the brew pub or at other area restaurants that are now closed.
Much of the hand sanitizer they make is donated.
Riley says, “Our number one priority is first responders. Everything stops if they need it. …After that we go out to the public and all the chains then funds us so we can keep making it.”
People have been coming to the brewery for hand sanitizer. But Riley isn’t equipped to sell it. He says, ” If you need it and you’re a restaurant call Saladino’s. If you need it and you are an industrial call Jorgensen’s. If you’re just the average person go to your local GBS [General Builder’s Supply] here in Madera has it. State’s market has it. The Chevron [in Madera Ranchos] has it. Von’s should have it. If they’re out just tell them order more. We’ll get it in the queue. We’re running truckloads all the time.”