Gin distillery starts producing hand sanitiser

A gin distiller from North Chailey has turned their hand to sanitiser to help during the coronavirus outbreak.

Thursday, 9th April 2020, 4:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th April 2020, 4:16 pm
Hand sanitiser

Claire Kentish Barnes is the owner of Generation Distillers.

She said: “We heard that other bigger distilleries were supplying the NHS and emergency services with hand sanitiser and we thought it would be great if we could do the same.

“We asked via local social media forums whether there was a need in our local communities and the response was overwhelming.”

Generation 11 Gin

The team followed the formula designed by the World Health Organisation.

“The formula is a very simple one, but I am a distiller, not a hand sanitiser producer, so we had to ensure that we were doing everything correctly to keep people safe which involved working to HMRC, HSE guidelines and with our local trading standards team.”

From inception to their first delivery it took two weeks.

For every litre they sell to the public they will give a litre to those in need.

Claire said: “This was always a community project: from reaching out initially via social media, to the support we have had from the Sussex Innovation Centre, from our designer at CHEC helping us even though they are closed, to Lewes Print helping us out with printing turning around the labels in a matter of hours.

“There are lots of people in our communities in need right now from the NHS and emergency services, to our key workers.

“There are unpaid volunteers who are caring for people in the community who don’t have access to handwashing or are putting themselves at risk, we thought that we could do our part to help keep people safe.”

Since the start of the lockdown Claire has been ramped up the company’s online shop and has been doing free local deliveries of gin and tonic.

“We sell most of our Gin to wine merchants, speciality shops, pubs, restaurants and at markets, shows and Gin events,” she explained.

“The wine merchants and retail shops we sell through are still selling for us, but the pubs are closed, and there will be no events or markets for the foreseeable future – this is very worrying for us.”

Generation 11 Gin was launched in May 2018

Claire said: “Generation 11 is based on my husband’s family tree – he is a distant cousin of Queen Mary who married William of Orange.

“ William originally brought Genever, the precursor to modern day gin to England when he became King 11 generations ago. 11 Generations on, we are making gin in our small rural distillery in North Chailey.

“ We use locally sourced and grown botanicals in our Sussex Gins and locally made packaging and labelling.”

The hand sanitiser bottles are available from generationdistillers.co.uk, Townings Farm Shop in Chailey, Barney’s Deli Brighton and Fletching Stores.

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