A number of distilleries around Australia are now making hand sanitiser, including Bundaberg Rum and Archie Rose

Distilleries are producing hand sanitiser. Image: Getty.
  • Alcohol distilleries around Australia have been shifting production to make hand sanitiser amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  • These include Archie Rose, Bundaberg Rum and Manly Spirits Co.
  • Cricket legend Shane Warne’s distillery SevenZeroEight is also producing hand sanitiser.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Following the nationwide shutdown of pubs and clubs in Australia amid the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve rounded out a list of distilleries that have turned their production capabilities toward hand sanitiser.

Archie Rose

Archie Rose has since sold out of its hand sanitiser. Image: Screenshot Archie Rose.

Sydney-based spirits company Archie Rose rolled out its own brand of hand sanitiser in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company shifted production from spirits to make 4,500 500ml bottles of hand sanitiser, which have since sold out.

The hand sanitiser formula is based on the World Health Organisation and Australian Department of Health guidelines and ingredients selected by the company.

Archie Rose founder Will Edwards said on the company’s website, like all businesses, Archie Rose is “facing some incredibly difficult times”.

“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 – and so we’re now making hand sanitiser our production focus,” he said.

Edwards added that the company will produce hand sanitiser for as long as it can.

“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,” he said.

With the demand for hand santitiser skyrocketing, Manly Spirits Co also started producing it and the company’s distillery in Brookvale, Sydney.

Manly Spirits is offering its hand sanitiser – with a gin aroma – to community group, charities and commercially. It’s also offering a free 50ml bottle with every 700ml spirits bottle purchased.

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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 [email protected] ⁠ ⁠ 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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Bundaberg Rum and Beenleigh Rum

Over in Queensland, the Beenleigh and Bundaberg Rum Distilleries have also joined the hand sanitiser bandwagon, with the state government reaching out to them directly for it.

Beenleigh Rum, the oldest distillery in Australia, will begin producing hand sanitiser this week and will supply it to the Queensland government for distribution to schools and frontline workers.

Bundaberg Rum will donate 100,000 litres of ethanol to the state government, which is enough to make around 500,000 bottles of hand sanitiser.

Angelo Kotses, owner of the Beenleigh Distillery and Managing Director of the Bickfords Group of Companies said in a statement the idea to switch to hand sanitiser came from a mission to keep its workers safe.

“Ethanol is the key ingredient of hand sanitiser, and we already produce ethanol for our alcohol products,” he said.

“We originally planned a small run of only 1500 cartons, but when the Queensland Government approached us we were more than happy to help by providing hand sanitiser for essential needs throughout the state.”

David Smith, managing director of Bundaberg Rum parent company Diageo Australia, said in a statement the company had a duty to support the community during this time.

“Bundaberg Rum is a Queensland icon, we’ve felt the love of Australians since our distillery was first established more than 130 years ago in 1888,” Smith said.

“At a time like this we will always step up and contribute when Australians need it most.”

The state government is also looking for more manufacturers around the state that can make hand sanitiser.

Prohibition Liquor Co.

South Australian Distillery, Prohibition Liquor Co decided to make a batch of hand sanitiser as well, producing 200, 100ml bottles.

In an Instagram post, the company said it is not only using the sanitiser and its site, but giving one away with every 500ml or 700ml bottle of gin sold.

View this post on Instagram

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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SevenZeroEight

Australian cricketer Shane Warne’s Western Australian distillery SevenZeroEight started making medical grade 70% alcohol hand sanitiser on March 17. The company will produce hand sanitiser until further notice.

“This is a challenging time for Australians and we all need to do what we can to help our healthcare system combat this disease and save lives,” Shane Warne said in a statement. “I am happy SevenZeroEight has the ability to make this shift and encourage others to do the same.”

Wise Wine

Wise Wine in Western Australia has also began producing its own organic hand sanitiser.

Ethanol for the company’s spirits is distilled on site.

Hand sanitiser from Wise Wine costs $55 for a 700 mL bottle and you can get a maximum of two.

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