Spirits companies support the production of sanitizers worldwide

Diageo, Pernod, Bacardi, Hiram Walker and others produce ethanol to combat COVID-19


The fact that alcohol is a disinfectant is more than a popular saying, but alcohol for such medical purposes is generally not produced in distilleries that care for our spirit drinks. Fortunately, in times of the Corona crisis, thinking in general terms has faded into the background and in the past few days, many spirits companies and distilleries have started to produce neutral alcohol for sanitizers.

Hand sanitizers join vodka, gin and rum

Today, Diageo announced that they will donate more than two million liters of 96% ethanol to health systems, medical personnel and risk groups. What is otherwise used for vodka, gin & co now helps to fight infections with the corona virus. The UK and Ireland, Italy, Brazil, Kenya, Indian and Australia are the main counties to be supplied. Bacardi also partially changed production and started distilling ethanol in Puerto Rico on March 17, which is turned into hand disinfectant in collaboration with Olein Refinery. They want to produce 1.7 million bottles and donate them to local communities. Last but not least, those who work in post offices, fire brigades or for the police service will be looked after.

American whiskey distilleries are involved

A few days ago, news from Canada arrived that Hiram Walker & Sons also started producing hand sanitizers at their distillery in Windsor, Ontario. They will be donated to use in Windsor, but also to Toronto Transit Commission, the Toronto public transport operator. Hiram Walker is part of the Pernod Ricard company, which also engages in the disinfectant sector with other distilleries such as Fort Smith, Arkansas, Smooth Ambler Spirits in Lewisburg, West Virginia and the Rabbit Hole Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as in France in collaboration with Laboratoire Cooper. The Tennessee Distillers Guild, membership organization of 32 Tennessee distilleries, also reported that it temporarily switches from whiskey production to supplying sanitizer manufacturers. It is almost a return to what their ancestors once did, said Keener Stanton, head distiller of the Old Forge Distilling Company. In prohibition times, they also had switched to the area of medical care.

Even small distillers make their contribution

But not only large distilleries and spirits companies make their contribution, you can also read about small distilleries such as Kyrö in Finland, Koval in Chicago or Cooper King in England producing hand sanitizers. In Germany, too, many whisky, fruit and grain distilleries support the fight against the corona virus, either by starting to distill ethanol or by making their own stocks of ethanol available for the production of hand sanitizers. From some can be read in press reports and on social media, others help in silence - they all make a valuable contribution, big or small distillery.

Image: Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery (CNW Group/Corby Spirit and Wine Communications via prnewswire.com