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Frank Beer working with local distilleries to turn beer into hand sanitizer

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MIDDLETON (WKOW)-- Frank Beer services 3,000 customers, and 2,000 of those customers were shut down overnight with Gov. Evers Safer at Home order.

"A unique challenge for us in the on-premise is draft beer," Frank Beer Distributors President Mike Frank said. "Immediately that made their inventory, our customers' inventory, and our inventory pretty much useless."

Frank Beer has roughly 93,000 gallons of beer that resulted in financial loss. That's when Frank Beer reached out to vendors to see if they could re-purpose this beer into hand sanitizer.

"We found two local distillery partners Yahara Bay and Dancing Goat," Frank said. "They are going to distill the beer and then convert it into hand sanitizer."

"We're going to be re-distilling it two times," Yahara Bay Head Distiller Chris Kubale said. "We're going to be doing a stripping run, and that's going to pull out all the alcohol from the beer, and then we're going to be doing a fractioning run which is going to bring that alcohol up to high enough proof then we can then make it into the hand sanitizer."

The style of distillation is nothing new, but doing it with beer sure is.

"I forgot that it is so foamy that when I started to add heat to it this morning it started to foam up all the way through the column, so happy I caught that right away," Kubale explained.

Wisconsinites don't like to see their beer go to waste.

"It definitely is one of the most Wisconsin things I've ever done," Kubale said. "It might have a little hint of beer to it which could be incredibly awesome."

Yahara Bay will be distilling around 270 gallons of beer each day and by the end of the week hope to have enough to make 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer.

Frank Beer is still looking for more distillers in Madison, La Crosse, or Milwaukee who can provide value for their beer.

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Karley Marotta

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