Hooch

Arizona’s Largest Locally Owned Brewery Turns Hooch Into Hand Sanitizer

SanTan Brewing Company got all its undelivered beer back, and is making hand sanitizer.
SanTan Brewing Company got all its undelivered beer back, and is making hand sanitizer. SanTan Brewing Company
It’s no secret breweries and distilleries are turning product into hand sanitizer for the medical community and those in public safety. O.H.S.O Brewery & Distillery delivered hundreds of kegs filled with the stuff to Banner Health locations throughout greater Phoenix. In Tempe, Adventurous Stills and Arizona Distilling Co. have done the same, as has Blue Clover Distillery in Scottsdale.

Now, SanTan Brewing Company — Arizona's largest locally owned brewery — is in on the mix with its own … mix.

Led by founder Anthony Canecchia, SanTan has partnered with Crescent Crown Distributing (one of the largest distributors in the country, with locations only in Arizona and Louisiana) to recycle more than 16,000 gallons of draft beer. And where did they get all this beer? This is all the SanTan product that was not delivered to Arizona bars and restaurants because of coronavirus-related closures.

click to enlarge Roughly 16,000 gallons of draft beer were delivered back to the SanTan production facility. - SANTAN BREWING COMPANY
Roughly 16,000 gallons of draft beer were delivered back to the SanTan production facility.
SanTan Brewing Company
The product will instead be distilled (a new venture SanTan made official in 2019 with the opening of Spirit House), creating more than 400 gallons of medical-grade hand sanitizer. Most of the SanTanitizer will be donated to the Arizona-based nonprofit health system HonorHealth, as well as the City of Chandler.


This project is also an effort to reduce waste.

“With local bars and restaurants closed to dine-in business, we have an abundance of keg beer that is going past the ‘best before’ date,” Crescent Crown Distributing EVP General Manager Joe Cotroneo says in a press release. He says the out-of-date beer would usually be disposed of under normal circumstances. “However, once Anthony from SanTan found out about this process, he asked us to send his beer back to him so that he could distill it and turn it into medical-grade hand sanitizer.”

click to enlarge The beer will instead be distilled to produce more than 400 gallons of medical-grade hand sanitizer. - SANTAN BREWING COMPANY
The beer will instead be distilled to produce more than 400 gallons of medical-grade hand sanitizer.
SanTan Brewing Company
Canecchia backs that up.

“We insist on serving each beer within 90 days of brewing," Canecchia says in a press release. "So, this idea struck me as a great way to repurpose and give back to our Arizona community."

On April 3, Crescent Crown Distributing delivered SanTan’s beer back to its production facility. That means this week, the SanTan team will begin the distilling process — the first step in batching the hand sanitizer for future delivery.

click to enlarge The man with the plan, SanTan founder Anthony Canecchia. - SANTAN BREWING COMPANY
The man with the plan, SanTan founder Anthony Canecchia.
SanTan Brewing Company
This hand sanitizer will be available to the public in addition to the medical and public safety community. Customers may add a bottle of hand sanitizer to their order from SanTan for takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery.

And there’s one more cute detail. Most of the repurposed beer is IPA style, so the SanTanitizer will have a tropical scent‚ ideal for the 80-something-degree days ahead.

For more information, when you can get your own SanTanitizer, keep an eye on the SanTan Brewing Company website or social media accounts.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano