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Distilleries brewing community spirit

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
16 April 2020 2 minute readShare
Distilleries brewing community spirit

Another rum and gin distillery has pivoted from its usual line-up of alcoholic beverages to manufacture currently one of the world’s most sought-after items: hand sanitiser.

With hand sanitiser becoming exceedingly hard to come by worldwide, a bunch of Aussie distilleries has made a smart business decision to pivot from their usual line-up of gins and rums to develop a new product.

A Rockhampton rum and gin distillery is the latest to join the pack. Previously known for their rum, gin, infused vodka and non-alcoholic concentrates, Saleyards Distillery is now helping local emergency services, schools and nursing homes in the fight against the coronavirus.


With three years of experience in producing alcoholic beverages, Saleyards Distillery heeded the Queensland government’s call to arms and turned to making sanitiser in the wake of the outbreak.

“We have been able to already distribute 200 litres of hand sanitiser to local ambulance stations, firies, schools and nursing homes,” the company’s spokesperson, Carla Di Felice, said.


“Now we are waiting on a new shipment of ethanol, hopefully next week, so that we can make some more.

“We can’t make it fast enough and have taken some pre-orders, but people should keep an eye on our social media channels for more information about when the next batch will be ready.”

Saleyards Distillery has joined a list of Queensland companies, including Beenleigh Rum, Bundaberg Rum, Grandad Jacks and grooming product manufacturer The Bearded Chap, which are leading the way during these uncertain times.

Across state lines, Sydney’s Archie Rose Distilling Co is making half-litre bottles of sanitiser with gin distillates.



Earlier this month, the alcohol producer said that not only was its new product a hit among the public, it has allowed it to keep its staff following the mandatory closure of its bar amid lockdown measures.

The company proudly announced on social media that its bartenders are now in the saving-lives business.

“Archie Rose had to stand down its entire bar workforce due to the current situation in Australia. Within 48 hours, we have managed to give almost all of them jobs again and we are producing thousands of litres of hand sanitiser for as long as the country needs it.”

Similarly, Manly-based peer Manly Spirits Co has also transformed its gin production line into a sanitiser dispenser to help its local community.

“Due to the unprecedented demand for sanitising liquid globally, we have started producing sanitising liquid to World Health Organisation standards in our distillery in Brookvale, Sydney,” the distillery announced on its webpage.

A 150 or so kilometres north, Newcastle-based Earp Distilling Co is doing the same.

“In a bid to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible, we’ve started producing hand sanitiser. We’ve got the means and the method, and we’re here to fill the gaps to help put your mind at ease,” the distillery announced on social media.

Over the past few weeks, state governments have called on their manufacturers to help fill gaps in the supply of medical equipment and hygiene products, with Queensland and NSW recently announcing they will help their businesses retool quickly.

Distilleries brewing community spirit
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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