Brewery Attacked by Local Gov't After Giving Out Hand Sanitizer


The far-reaching hand of Democratic leadership knows few boundaries and will go to great lengths to enforce its ever-burdensome regulations.

That includes ensuring a private business doesn’t navigate around red tape during an international health crisis to give people hand sanitizer.

A craft brewery in the Democratic stronghold of Hawaii is in hot water with local officials after it made and gave away sanitizer to customers who visited its location in Maui.

Maui Brewing Co. is being investigated by the Maui County Liquor Control Commission for breaking the law by offering the sanitizer free of charge to its customers.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that the company has used its distillery to produce more than 3,000 gallons of 70 percent ethyl alcohol sanitizer, which is in short supply.

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The company has even donated more than 1,000 gallons of the sought-after product to first responders, the report said.

Still, laws in the state hinder businesses from giving away goods with purchases of alcohol, based on the presumption that it has the potential to beguile people who would not otherwise drink into purchasing booze.

Do you think some government officials have disregarded common sense while enforcing public health orders?

The state’s Department of Liquor Control says it is against the law to “give any premium or free goods of intoxicating liquor or other merchandise in connection with the sale of any intoxicating liquor or to offer or to provide any premium or free goods of intoxicating liquor in connection with the sale of other merchandise.”

According to Garrett Marrero, the CEO of Maui Brewing, those laws will be enforced no matter how dire of a situation people might find themselves in.

Marrero told The Star-Advertiser he received a phone call informing him an investigation was underway into his company for giving customers hand sanitizer.

“[A Department of Liquor Control representative] tried to back me into the corner, essentially. It’s considered an inducement giving away something to entice people to buy alcohol. We were giving away sanitizer with any purchase,” Marrero said.

“This is in extremely poor taste given the situation surrounding the coronavirus. We’re in a unique position to help the community by making hand sanitizer,” he said.

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Marrero said his company is doing what any company should be doing, which is to stay afloat — while also helping others in any capacity possible — during uncertain economic times.

“Of course we’re trying to encourage some business, but is it wrong? I’m hearing stories that people are paying $10, $20 for an 8-ounce bottle. We were doing the right thing. That’s what is really disheartening,” he said.

Thanks to Hawaii’s big-government approach to reining in a well-intentioned small business, Maui Brewing is on the defensive after committing to helping its community.

The Star-Advertiser reported the brewery has stopped donating hand sanitizer to government agencies and is now only giving it away to charity.

Seeing as how Democratic leaders have been quick to suspend personal liberties during the coronavirus crisis, you’d think they could also suspend a mindless regulation here or there.

But that is not the case.

Democratic Maui Mayor Mike Victorino told The Associated Press that rules are rules.

“Garrett has done a great job helping us and I’m truly appreciative of everything he’s done,” Victorino said.

It is no wonder more and more people are describing draconian lockdowns and other government measures as acts of tyranny.

Preventing people from receiving free hand sanitizer helps no one and furthers no cause other than exercising power.

In fact, it bucks all common sense.

Nonessential big government in Hawaii has now prevented some of the state’s citizens from having an essential product.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.