By Morgan Bryce

While local grocery stores and national retailers struggle to keep up with the demand for sanitation products, John Emerald Distilling Company is working to alleviate some of those shortages by batch-making hand sanitizer and spray for both the general public and local hospitality industry.
John Emerald Owner Jimmy Sharp was approached by Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau Vice President Robyn Bridges and Acre Founder/Executive Chef David Bancroft about coming together to help launch the project, which required permission from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Given the go-ahead, Sharp depleted the rest of his distillery’s vodka last week to begin the day-to-day process of manufacturing hand sanitizer.
The spray is made of filtered water and 150 proof alcohol. Sharp and his team are blending alcohol and glycerin to manufacture the hand sanitizer.
Distribution to the public began on Thursday, and has generated waves of traffic to the downtown Opelika distillery. Because of demand, Sharp is asking visitors to bring their container, 10 oz. or smaller in size, for filling.
Donations are being accepted, and the distillery has an ongoing “Door Sale” offering specials on a wide variety of John Emerald’s most-beloved spirits.
Distribution hours vary, but consistent updates can be found on the distillery’s Facebook page.
For more information, call 334-737-5353 or visit The distillery is located at 706 N. Railroad Ave.