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Fort Myers Brewing Company, Wicked Dolphin partner to increase hand sanitizer production

Fort Myers Brewing Company is converting a portion of its brewery operations to support the production of another type of alcohol: hand sanitizer.

To help ensure health care workers, first responders and the community have access to hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic, Fort Myers Brewing Company is partnering with Wicked Dolphin to increase the distillery’s production of hand sanitizer.

Building codes for brewery facilities, like Fort Myers Brewing, generally do not allow for the production of sanitizer because of the liquid’s flammable alcohol content. However, this hasn’t stopped Fort Myers Brewing from finding a solution to help the community.

“For over two weeks, we’ve been talking with Lee County, Florida Emergency Management and the state, navigating how we can safely (and legally) help Wicked Dolphin increase their production of sanitizer for those who are doing so much for our community,” said Jen Whyte, who co-founded Fort Myers Brewing in 2013 with her husband, Rob. “We are doing what is within our legal means to safely help out, and we’re so incredibly proud of our team and this partnership with Wicked Dolphin.”

Fort Myers Brewing is producing mass quantities of “wash,” which is a high-sugar solution that has been fermented for about two weeks. The batch of wash is then transported in bulk to Wicked Dolphin, where it will then be distilled into sanitizer and packaged for distribution.

“We ‘brewed’ our first batch of ‘wash’ at the brewery last week, and are now able to produce 1,000 gallons at a time – effectively doubling Wicked Dolphin’s production capacity,” added Rob Whyte. “We have taken the wash as far as we can through the process in our facility, today we transported it over to Wicked Dolphin so they can work their magic to turn it into the final product.”

Fort Myers Brewing’s first 1,000 gallons of wash was transported to Wicked Dolphin today. The brewery will “brew” its next batch of wash this week and will continue this process weekly until there is no longer a need.

With each batch, Fort Myers Brewing’s contributions will allow for an additional 1,000 gallons of sanitizer to be distributed locally to support health care workers, first responders and others who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Fort Myers Brewing Company

Established in 2013, Fort Myers Brewing Company was the first microbrewery to open in Lee County and continues to lead Southwest Florida’s surging craft beer movement. Founded by Rob and Jen Whyte, Fort Myers Brewing carries a signature line of flagship beers in addition to seasonal brews and small batch specialties. Its ales, pilsners, stouts and IPAs are winners of multiple prestigious awards, including golds at the Best Florida Beer Competition, a silver at the 2018 World Beer Cup and a bronze at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival. Fort Myers Brewing was named “Best Large Brewery in Florida” in 2016. Its beers are poured at 1,041 locations, including 620 bars and restaurants, and are available for purchase in 421 retail outlets, including Publix, Costco and Total Wine. The brewery is located at 12811 Commerce Lakes Drive, Suite 28, in Fort Myers. For more information, visit FMbrew.com or call 239-313-6576.

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