During the COVID-19 crisis many businesses have taken strides to ensure public safety, including one Coronado resident’s company, Liberty Call Distilling. Since March, Liberty Call Distilling, in an equal-parts effort with San Diego’s Seven Caves Spirits, has pivoted operations to produce hand sanitizer for frontline workers, first responders and the public.
Established in 2013, Liberty Call Distilling is a pioneer of the craft spirits industry. Founder-owner Bill Rogers has lived most of his life on Coronado Island and has grown the company from 800 to 6,000+ square feet, including a recently expanded Spring Valley distillery and future restaurant-distillery in Barrio Logan.
The Barrio Logan space, a four-minute drive from Coronado, is where Rogers and partners have been distributing sanitizer to those in need. This restaurant had been slated to open in April, but in the midst of the outbreak found its opening forced back; until such time, the team is finding more creative ways to serve its community.
To date, Liberty Call Distilling and Seven Caves Spirits have produced more than 6,000 gallons of sanitizer for the City of San Diego, United States Postal Service, the United States Navy (including the USS Portland, USS Pearl Harbor and USS Independence), police departments, grocery stores and civic organizations near and far.
“This started as a question as to whether or not we could make a hand sanitizer that conformed to FDA/WHO guidelines. A reporter from NBC stopped by Geoff’s distillery, Seven Caves Spirits, while we were making a test batch, and then phone calls started coming in. We couldn’t believe the number of orders that first week,” said Rogers, who is also the San Diego Distillers Guild’s Treasurer; Seven Caves Spirits’ founder Geoff Longenecker is the current President.
In addition to supplying the frontline, the two continue providing sanitizer to the public in Barrio Logan; hours are announced on the company’s social media. Although available on a first come-first serve basis, Liberty Call Distilling and Seven Caves Spirits have not run out – and despite that Rogers is now solely producing sanitizer, his company has also not run out of its signature Constitution Bourbon, sold at www.libertycall.com with free shipping or pick up.
“We made sanitizer to bridge the income gap we had as a result of not being able to open our Barrio Logan location yet. We went from one to five employees in one week, and we’re still going strong,” said Rogers.
Once local restaurants and bars reopen, Liberty Call’s Barrio Logan restaurant will serve California tapas and craft cocktails in a casual space featuring a glass-enclosed distillery behind the bar, inviting guests to see first-hand where Rogers’ award-winning gin, rum, bourbon and American single malt whiskey will be produced. A large, garage door-style wall will roll up to reveal a patio with a fire pit and views of Coronado Bridge.
Liberty Call Distilling’s future Barrio Logan location is 1985 National Avenue, Suite 1131. Learn more at www.libertycall.com and follow @LibertyCallDistilling on Instagram.