Though we are first and foremost a brewery and distillery, we are also a fully integrated part of the community. With our wider estate, which includes multiple farms, properties and managed woodland, being an active member of the local community is something we are committed and dedicated to. When the pandemic hit and we went into the first lockdown (can’t quite believe we are writing this almost a year on mind…), it became clear that those on the frontline were really struggling. Firstly because of the gravity of the situation and the responsibility which was now resting on their shoulders, but also because they were also struggling with a variety of national shortages. One of those being sanitiser.
Our team, though it may be small, were desperate to help our local community in some way. In March 2020, we decided to switch our production in the distillery to create alcohol-based hand sanitiser as a national shortage of it swept the UK. Our distillery worked around the clock in those early months to create a 78%ABV hand sanitiser, using the WHO recommended formula before bottling it. Time was of the essence and we initially prioritised the sanitiser to go to our local NHS hospital, surgeries and other frontline and key workers. The question we received the most was, ‘Is this effective? Will it kill viruses?’. To be certain of this, the alcohol level in this sanitiser has to be over 66% – this enables the formula to break down the virus’ cell wall, thus leaving the virus exposed and unable to survive. So at 78%ABV, it exceeded this criteria.
Almost a year on, we are still producing the hand sanitiser. Thankfully, the national shortage of it has subsided, but it was still important to us that it is readily and easily available to the public, our community and key workers. We take the approach that if we can do it, if it helps, we will continue to produce it for as long as it is required.
If you would like to know more about our hand sanitiser, need any advice, or if we can lend a helping hand in any way, please do get in touch. If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that the community can truly pull together and support one another in extraordinary ways.