Maine Craft Distilling, a Portland-based distiller of spirits, is making a strategic shift to hand sanitizer production in response to the coronavirus.

The company also is channeling donations to nonprofits serving Maine communities, according to a news release.

To assist with its new production line, the distillery has hired five new employees, who now work at the distiller’s Washington Avenue distillery and Public House in Portland. It said hundreds of customers have been visiting on a daily basis to pick up hand sanitizer.

Customers are also leaving tips and making charitable donations, which have been redirected to various local organizations, it said.

“Our customers and all Mainers are dealing with an unprecedented global pandemic, and it’s important for us to give back to our community and those in need,” the distillery’s founder and CEO, Luke Davidson, said in a statement. “We will keep producing the hand sanitizer as long as we need to.”

Manufactured in accordance with the World Health Organization’s formula, the hand sanitizer consists of 80 percent denatured alcohol plus hydrogen peroxide and glycerin. It can be used in spray bottles or applied directly on hands.

The distillery said it has produced more than 4,000 quarts of hand sanitizer in a matter of weeks, and raised more than $15,000 for several nonprofits.

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