2 minute read

In Focus // hand sanitiser

From booze to sanitiser

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

HAND SANITISER, LIKE toilet paper, pasta and many other household essentials, has been difficult to access over the past few months due to near-constant demand.

Manly Spirits Co and Archie Rose in Sydney and Adelaide’s Prohibition Liquor Co are just a handful of the distillers who have recently 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.

“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?”

Prohibition produced 200 100ml bottles of juniper-scented hand sanitiser that were given away with 500/700ml sales of gin.

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.

Archie Rose first released 4,500 500ml bottles of hand sanitiser, with the product selling out almost immediately. There’s now a rolling wait list for each new 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. ■