Business & Entrepreneurs

Local artisan gin company switches manufacturing to hand sanitiser during COVID-19 crisis

By Emma Gunby at

Local family-run distillery, Tappers Gin, is joining a growing number of producers that are switching production to hand sanitiser.

As well as tackling the nation wide shortage, the business, which is based less than a mile from Wirral’s Arrowe Park Hospital, is also pledging to donate sanitiser to front line workers.

Founder & Managing Director, Dr Steve Tapril, said: “We work with ethanol (alcohol) on a daily basis to produce our gin and it’s a key component in the World Health Organisation’s recommended formula for hand sanitiser.

Tappers gin distillery is diversifying to make hand sanitiser

“Production-wise, it isn’t such a leap from making gin but we’ve had to acquire new licenses and obtain approval to go ahead. We want to do our part where we can.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that hand sanitiser has an alcohol content of 80% (v/v) – something only achievable for those who are already working with the purest, industrial-strength alcohol such as a gin distillery like Tappers.

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Tappers award-winning gin.

Dr Tapril added: “It’s for external use only, of course. While ethanol is the main component, we’ve also added hydrogen peroxide and glycerol – the glycerol helps to soften and reduce the loss of moisture from your hands.

“We thought about fundraising at first but realised we could make a more practical contribution by donating sanitiser. Rather than crowdfunding or asking for help up front to fund production, we took the plunge since the need is there right now. We’re instead using proceeds from sales to those who are less in need, to cover our costs and produce sanitiser that we can then donate to those who are most in need.”

The Distillery has described this as a communal effort and notes that “we are all in this together”.

Customers who purchase their no-frills liquid hand sanitiser, which is available to order for £7.50 inc VAT (200ml) from the Distillery’s website at https://www.tappersgin.com/shop, will have some comfort in these troubling times knowing that their purchase will enable vital donations to be made.