BrewDog begins making hand sanitiser amid shortages in UK


The independent brewer BrewDog has begun making hand sanitiser at its distillery in Aberdeenshire amid shortages driven by coronavirus fears.

The firm said it would be giving away the “punk sanitiser” for free to those that need it.

BrewDog’s founder, James Watt, announced on social media that the company had started producing sanitiser to help with shortages. “We are determined to do everything we can to try and help as many people as possible stay safe,” he said.

The company said it was “working around the clock on producing the first batch to have it available for next week”, and the sanitiser will be given away to local charities and the community rather than sold.

It comes amid shortages of hand sanitiser, which has been flagged as an important tool in combating the coronavirus.

HMRC said it was prioritising applications from manufacturers to enable them to produce denatured alcohol, a type of spirit that is not for human consumption and exempt from excise duty. A range of chemicals is added to the alcohol to render it undrinkable.

Many supermarkets and chemists have placed strict limits on the number of hand sanitising gels shoppers can buy as producers struggle to source enough ingredients and small plastic bottles.

With heavy demand, independent gin producers have also been switching their production. Verdant Spirits, based in Dundee, is reportedly aiming to produce 400 litres of the gel starting this week, while Bristol’s Psychopomp Microdistillery and 58 Gin in London are also working on similar products.

In France, the luxury goods group LVMH has switched to producing hand sanitiser at three of its perfume and cosmetics factories for distribution to French hospitals fighting coronavirus.

Twelve tonnes will be produced as soon as this week, instead of the usual Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy scents and make-up usually made at the three French sites.