Franklin County distillery makes hand sanitizer to fight COVID-19

Twin Creeks Distillery joins effort to fight spread

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – The need for hand sanitizer is increasing, and a local business has stepped up to help.

The latest efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 can be found in rural Virginia, in an area steeped in moonshine and liquor history.

Twin Creeks Distillery in Franklin County is now making hand sanitizer and giving it out to the community, joining the growing list of distilleries who have changed their production strategy during the crisis.

Chris Prillaman, the owner of Twin Creeks, has heard the old stories of the moonshiners’ ingenuity. He’s keeping Franklin County’s liquor legacy going not only by making whiskey and brandy, but by doing something he never thought he’d do: making hand sanitizer to help fight the pandemic.

“The whole country ought to be people helping people. That's what built this country,” Prillaman said.

Anyone can stop by the Rocky Mount tasting room on Franklin Street to fill up their own 4-ounce bottle Thursday through Saturday afternoons from 1 to 7 p.m.

The CDC loosened its regulations so distilleries like his can make hand sanitizer. Prillaman switched up his recipe, learned about the CDC guidelines and started churning it out two weeks ago.

They’re not able to sell it, so they're accepting donations.

His daughter Anna has helped get the word out.

“Just to see how the community has been so supportive of our decision to move forward with it has been really inspiring amidst the dreary times,” Anna Prillaman said.

They say demand is through the roof. Phones are constantly ringing with people asking how they can get it.

Local nurses came by Friday and Twin Creeks Distillery has helped out nursing homes and other organizations along with giving it out curbside.

“We need to take care of here, the community. They support us and we want to support them,” Chris Prillaman said.

He commented that their hand sanitizer actually smells like the liquor he makes, which has surprised some people.

His operation has been asked to scale up its production to give hand sanitizer to nationwide organizations, but Prillaman says he wants to stay local.

Hand sanitizer at Twin Creeks distillery (WSLS)