Perth-based Top Shelf Distillers crowdfunding hand sanitizer production


A Perth-based distillery is turning to the public to help fund its pivot from liquor to hand sanitizer to boost the supplies needed on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Top Shelf Distillers launched a campaign on Indiegogo this past weekend to raise $10,000 in funding to mass-produce a supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. In the campaign’s description, the company says it’s responding to calls to action from the federal and provincial governments asking businesses to join the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Top Shelf’s campaign echoes moves from fellow Ontario liquor makers such as the Almonte-based Dairy Distillery and Toronto’s Spirit of York Distillery, who are using their infrastructure designed for alcohol production to rapidly develop hand sanitizer amid surging demand.

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The Perth-based distillery is owned by Ottawa’s John Criswick, the serial entrepreneur behind Beduin Communications, Magmic, Makerspace North and the downtown Mercury Lounge.

Top Shelf’s campaign was roughly halfway to completion as of Monday afternoon. Backers will receive a personal-sized bottle of Top Shelf’s sanitizer, with each donation funding larger one-litre bottles sent directly to hospitals and other front-line health-care workers.

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