Distillers turn to hand sanitiser production

24 March, 2020 by
Annabelle Cloros

Australian distillers are shifting their production focus from spirits to hand sanitiser.

Hand sanitiser, like toilet paper, pasta and many other household essentials, have been difficult to access over the past few months due to near-constant demand.

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Manly Spirits Co and Archie Rose in Sydney and Adelaide’s Prohibition Liquor Co have already released hand sanitiser products into the market, which are now available to purchase.

Prohibition Liquor Co never thought they would be making sanitiser, but quickly changed their tune when they weren’t able to purchase the product for their venues to keep staff and customers safe.

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“Being a distillery and having access to high-strength alcohol, we decided to make a small batch of our own,” reads a message on the brand’s Instagram account.

“We are not in the hand sanitiser business and don’t intend to be, but we figured if we are going to make it for ourselves, why not make a small batch for the broader Prohibition Family?”

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You may have heard – PLC HAND SANITISER – it’s real! Apart from trying to remain business as usual with supplying gin to all our customers by keeping online deliveries going, we asked, “What can a distillery do to help fight the COVID-19 crisis?… Make a hand sanitiser.” Like everyone else out there, we were searching everywhere for a hand sanitiser for our venue to ensure we keep our staff and customers safe, and like everyone else we simply couldn’t buy it. Being a distillery and having access to high strength alcohol we decided to make a small batch of our own. Let’s start by saying we are not in the hand sanitiser business and don’t intend to be, but we figured if we are going to make it for ourselves, why not make a small batch for the broader Prohibition Family? We have produced just 200 bottles of this product, bottled in a 100ml glass bottle, juniper scented spray hand sanitiser. Whilst it is just a small batch, its our way of giving back, so apart from using it in our venue we will also be giving a bottle away with every bottle of gin (500ml/700ml) sold until stocks run out. If you prefer to stay indoors, we are still here for you. Our website is accessible 24/7 and we will continue to supply our gin nationwide with free home delivery. If there should be any changes we will endeavour to keep you updated as we are informed. Prohibition was born out of passion and love – love of gin and love of our customers and community. There is nothing we care about more than your safety and well-being. We thank you for your continued support as we all navigate through these uncertain times. We look forward to a brighter future in the coming months. Until then, take care of yourselves, stay safe and be kind. We’re all in this together. Cheers @prohibitionliquor Team #sanitiser #sanitizer #supportlocal #givingback

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Prohibition produced 200 100ml bottles of juniper-scented hand sanitiser that will be given away with 500/700ml sales of gin until there’s none left.

For Manly Spirits Co, producing hand sanitiser came about after local community groups and organisations reached out for help.

“We knew that making hand sanitiser available for these groups was simply our part to play in these crazy times,” the brand posted on Instagram.

The distillery is churning out 5L containers for community groups and also created a 50ml sanitiser with gin aroma that customers will receive for free with every purchase.

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Coming soon! It's not quite business as usual here at Manly Spirits Co. Distillery. We've had a number of local charities and organisations contact us in desperate need of sanitiser for their operations. We knew that making hand sanitiser available for these groups was simply our part to play in these crazy times… and what a wild ride it has been!⁠ ⁠ The Manly Spirits Team have spent the last week making this happen, and while there have been some massive hurdles — like there being a nation-wide shortage of containers — we have been overwhelmed by the response of our community coming together and offering solutions. ⁠ ⁠ From next week, we will be supplying 20 x 5L containers of hand sanitiser to local community groups and organisation. If you are a local charity or organisation in need, please get in contact with us by emailing info@manlyspirits.com.au ⁠ ⁠ Plus, all of our amazing Manly Spirits customers will receive a FREE 50ml Manly Spirits Hand Sanitiser with Gin Aroma, with every purchase. ⁠ A special thanks to our Brookvale friends, Ecowash Solutions, for donating 5L containers & pumps and making it possible to help our community. ⁠ ⁠ If you have access to 5L dangerous goods plastic containers with a pump, and you want to donate, please also get in contact with us!⁠

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⁠Archie Rose released 4,500 500ml bottles of hand sanitiser yesterday, with the product selling out almost immediately. There’s now a wait list for the next batch.

“We’re in a unique position to manufacture this essential product – with the required federal licences, dangerous goods approvals, access to raw materials and expertise – so we’re now making hand sanitiser our production focus,” says founder Will Edwards.

“We will continue to produce sanitiser for as long as we can, or as long as is required and this will also support the redeployment of as many of our full-time bar staff as possible to assist in filling, packaging and shipping the product.”

The distillery have used a product formulation based on the World Health Organisation’s guidelines while utilising ingredients including grapefruit, cassia, cardamom and thyme botanical distillates from the brand’s gin production.

The production of hand sanitiser is a potential revenue stream for distilleries who can no longer operate their bars while allowing them to provide an essential product to the communities they operate within.