• Bacardi changes production at distillery in Puerto Rico to provide ethanol for hand sanitizer. (Source: Business Wire)
    Bacardi changes production at distillery in Puerto Rico to provide ethanol for hand sanitizer. (Source: Business Wire)

Alcohol producers around the world are helping meet high demand of hand sanitisers as a result of COVID-19, including Sydney’s own Manly Spirits Co Distillery, as well as Bacardi.

Manly Spirits has created its own hand sanitiser with gin aroma, reaching out to a variety of community organisations and charities in need of hand sanitisers as normal supplies have dried up.

“We knew that providing hand sanitiser for our local community was simply our part to play in this time,” said David Whittaker, co-founder and head distiller. “We just want to help in any way we can.”

The team has also added in distilled gin botanicals to the hand sanitiser “to make it smell good and put a smile on your face”.

Manly Spirits Co says its biggest challenge is sourcing plastic squeeze bottles with lids and pump lids, “as there appears to be a shortage”.

“If any organisation has spare, we would appreciate them,” said the distiller.

Manly Spirits Co. Distillery’s hand sanitiser will be available in 5L Tubs for community organisations next week. With every Manly Spirits product purchased, customers will receive a Manly Spirits Gin aroma hand sanitiser free of charge.

Back to basics for Bacardi

Meanwhile, Bacardi Corporation’s distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico is helping supply ethanol needed to produce hand sanitisers over in the US.

The facility makes around 80 per cent of the company’s production of rum, and has now partnered with Puerto Rico based manufacturer Olein Refinery to provide the raw materials to create 1.7 million units of 10-ounce (295ml) hand sanitiser.

Bacardi employees and contractors will receive the product for free, as well as free distribution to US Postal Service workers, firefighters and police. The company plans to expand distribution next week to non-profit organisations.

“This is a family-owned business and we know what it means to take care of a community in need,” said Jose Class, VP, supply chain & manufacturing, for Bacardi Latin America and the Caribbean. 

“In the 158 years of Bacardi, we’ve endured our share of challenging times and have learned that resilience, optimism and community are what will help us come out stronger.”

The shift in production began 17 March and will continue as needed, Bacardi has said, where the emergency action “will not disrupt the production or supply of Bacardi rum”.

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