Two local companies team up to produce hand sanitizer

A new study shows that quickly smearing an ethanol-based hand sanitizer onto your hands probably won't kill those cold and flu bugs. According to the study, it's because your fingers are still wet with mucus. (Shutterstock)

An Ottawa-based brewery is teaming up with a distillery to produce "extra-strength" hand sanitizer.

Dunrobin Distilleries, which has plans to open a new facility in Stittsville this fall, has provided a still to Beau's Brewery in Vankleek Hill, so they can turn leftover beer into pure alcohol.

The alcohol will then be mixed with other ingredients to make hand sanitizer for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press release, Beau's says the installation of the still provided by Dunrobin Distilleries will allow for the production of sanitizer to begin "almost immediately." Packaging and shipment is expected to begin by the end of April or at the start of May.

Beau's says it has several thousand kegs of beer that can no longer be sold to bars and restaurants, so they will use it as a base ingredient to distill pure alcohol instead.

"We didn’t want to be idle victims of the pandemic, so we took action," Steve Beauchesne, CEO of Beau’s Brewery said in the release. "By partnering with Dunrobin to produce hand sanitizer, Beau’s becomes a meaningful part of the fight against COVID-19, and our recovery from it. We know that wherever this sanitizer goes, it will make a real difference in the health outcomes in those communities."

Beau's says the sanitizer will be packaged in 3L bulk containers and delivered to frontline health-care workers and essential businesses in Ontario. Some of it will also be donated to not-for-profit groups that care for vulnerable citizens.