by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Coronavirus pandemic has led to global shortage of hand sanitiser
- The Brewery to focus on producing hand sanitisers
- First batch should be ready by this weekend
The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has subsequently led to a global shortage of hand sanitiser. One of Grenada’s beer-making companies has begun to produce hand sanitiser, following the lead of several global beer-making and alcohol-making companies.
The West Indies Beer Company (The Brewery) located at L’ance aux Epines, is known for their range of craft beers including Humdinger, Old Mongoose, and Black Rock. They have temporarily shut down the beer-making operation to focus on producing 500 hand sanitisers per day in the first instance.
Owner, Mark Heath said, “We have also shut down our brewing process and started to utilise some of our brewing vessels for the production of hand sanitiser. We started fermenting our first batch of 150 gallons last week which will be run through our experimental still before the end of next week, and subsequently mixed down and with glycerine and polypropyl glycol to the approved ethanol levels of greater than 60%. Some people will of heard about 70% but this relates to rubbing alcohol rather than ethanol.”
“We will in the first instance be making approximately 500 sanitiser bottles a day but will be stepping this up every few days as further batches come online. We will be selling the sanitiser at lower than pre-crisis price levels, and these sales will mean that sanitisers for hospitals, care homes, etc can be donated free of charge,” he said.
With the current shortage of sugar on the island, the West Indies Beer Company hopes that this will not significantly affect their operation. “Our envisaged operational issues may become the supply of sugar for the fermenting process as we are already experiencing sugar shortages and supply chain difficulties to obtain glycerine and polypropyl glycol which we are currently shipping down from Miami. Our first batch arrived on Amerijet who hope will fly every Monday, but we will additionally be sending supplies by sea this week as a backup in the case that Amerijet cargo ceases flying,” Heath said.
Heath said their first batch of hand sanitiser should be ready by this weekend. “We wish to say that we have received great support so far from our staff, government and the general public in this endeavour and in a time of limited good news we are pleased to be able to help,” he said.
To help improve social distancing, the company has also shut down the bar and restaurant.