Internationally-acclaimed Bothell distillery makes sanitizer for deputies, drivers

While the Bothell company is recognized worldwide for its quality, small-batch spirits, head distiller Erik Liedholm is instead churning out hand sanitizer these days.

BOTHELL, Wash. — While many work sites are idle during the COVID-19 crisis, the Wildwood Spirits Company has put spirit-making aside.

However, its still is still in business.

While the Bothell company is recognized worldwide for its quality, small-batch spirits, head distiller Erik Liedholm is instead churning out hand sanitizer these days.

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During a company meeting weeks before the pandemic was designated, “we got word that people were starting to hoard sanitizing wipes, sanitizer, cleaning products, and I joked that if it comes to it, I can actually make sanitizer at the distillery, and everybody’s like oh, you won’t have to do that” Liedholm said with a laugh on Thursday. “And here we are now.”

Liedholm said his formula exceeds CDC and WHO sanitization standards at 80% alcohol. He also adds a bit of hydrogen peroxide, natural glycerin, along with lavender from his backyard in Ballard for scent.

Much of the company’s supply is being donated to King County Metro bus drivers and King County sheriff’s deputies, hard at work and possibly exposed to coronavirus while on the job.b

“So every week we provide them large amounts of sanitizer,” Liedholm told KIRO 7. “About fifty gallons a week” for each King County department.

It’s not what Liedholm and his partner, restaurateur John Howie, set out to do when they opened the distillery, “but it just seems like the right thing to do.”

“When life gives you lemons, you make hand-crafted sanitizer," Liedholm said.