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Amazon cuts off Hawaii from hand sanitizer: Whiskey Distillery and former US Marine takes action

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Amazon, eBay, and many other mail order companies refuse to accept orders from Hawaii when it comes to shipping of urgently needed hand sanitizer. In some cases, such products can be ordered but take months to get to the Aloha State.

Finding hand sanitizer is becoming an almost impossible task for the average American citizen. There is not even enough hand soap for first responders in the State of Hawaii, putting them in increased personal danger when responding to 911 calls. Hand sanitizer is needed to fight the spreading epidemic of COVID-19 also known as coronavirus.  U.S. Marine Corps veterans LtCol Eric Dill and LtCol Ian Brooks from Kailua, Hawaii decided to change this.

Eric Dill and Ian Brooks own Ko‘olau Distillery in Kailua on the island of Oahu. The spirit of Aloha combined with their history as veterans define their love for their country and their desire to step in and do something. Ko‘olau Distillery is the maker of  Old Palu Whiskey

To begin supplying hand sanitizer for critical services Ko’olau Distillery has the capability to legally distill alcohol and will shift production from their excellent Hawaiian Whiskey product towards producing the base for a hand sanitizer that will be provided free of charge to first responders, health workers, and essential civil service personnel.

Eric told eTurboNews:  “We realized that we are in the unique position to be able to help our community in this way; we are able to both make Old Pali Road whiskey AND produce hand sanitizer that meets  World Health Organization (WHO) standards so that we can help our greater ‘ohana (Hawaiian Word for family) through this unprecedented situation.”

Inspired by mainland distilleries who are doing the same, the distillery’s effort is amplified even further by Hawaii’s dependence upon imports, especially during this crisis. According to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, approximately 80% of all goods that are consumed by Hawaii’s residents and visitors are imported.

Dill just finished producing the initial hand sanitizer and personally hand-delivered his first production to Honolulu Fire Departments around the Island of Oahu, when he was talking to eTurboNews from his car.

Kōkua Sun Care has also stepped up to assist with the initiative by donating empty bottles for some of the sanitizers.

“We are proud to see our local businesses stepping up to protect the community. Adding the production of hand sanitizer to KO’OLAU’s operations is the right thing to do,” said Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, a practicing physician.


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Located in the foothills of the legendary Ko‘olau Mountains, the distillery blends the naturally volcanic-rock-filtered, alkaline water with the finest ingredients to produce a pure high-quality whiskey, one bottle at a time. Rated one of the Top 15 Best Crafted Whiskey’s Under $60 by VinePair in America.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.