Watershed Distillery Pivots From Gin To Hand Sanitizer

Apr 2, 2020

In addition to producing bourbon, gin and other liquors, Columbus distillery Watershed is now making and selling its own hand sanitizer. 

When Gov. Mike DeWine ordered bars and restaurants to close, Watershed’s owner Greg Lehman knew they needed to do something to keep the business afloat.

They realized that they could use their distillery to start making hand sanitizer. Ethanol is an ingredient in sanitizer, as well as in vodka and bourbon.

"That does not mean you can drink the sanitizer," Lehman says with a laugh. 

Watershed is setting aside large amounts of their sanitizer for first responders, but it’s also available to the public too. People can drive up between 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and get sanitizer delivered to their car window. 

"People are appreciative when you make bourbon and you make gin," Lehman says, "but it’s a whole different level of appreciation when you’re helping them stay safe, and keep their loved ones safe, and slow down this disease."

Making and selling the sanitizer has also allowed Watershed to hire a few of their employees that had previously been laid off.

"We’re hiring people back and we’re super excited about that," he says. "It’s almost like we’ve been thrown a lifeline and that lifeline happens to be helping people tremendously, so it feels good."

While you can't drink the sanitizer, Lehman adds you can pick up a few bottles of liquor in the same trip.