A Lincolnshire gin distiller has recently been able to switch production from its award-winning Pin Gin to hand sanitiser amid the coronavirus outbreak to support key workers.

Bottomley Distillers Ltd in Louth is a family-owned distillery with a heritage that dates to the 1950s.

In a bid to support the national efforts against the coronavirus pandemic, on 16th March the distillery changed its production from gin to hand sanitiser – and less than two weeks later, the company had already manufactured and distributed its first batch of products to organisations across Lincolnshire.

So far, the distillery has produced 15,000 litres of hand sanitiser which has been donated to 20 charities including LIVES, St Barnabas Hospice and KIDS Lincolnshire as well as to the For the Love of Scrubs campaign.

The hand sanitiser has also been commercially produced and sold following several requests from businesses wanting to buy the product to protect staff who are unable to work from home during the pandemic.

Co-founder Amy Conyard said: “Thanks to the guidance from the World Health Organisation we had a much better insight into what we were taking on as the instructions and recipe for local production of the hand sanitiser was very clear, making the task much easier for us.  

“It means a lot to us as a family business and while we love helping bigger and more well known organisations, it’s all the little donations we’ve made which contribute to making a big difference.

“The bigger picture is made up of all the individual stories – we’ve heard from individuals such as patients undergoing cancer treatment who have been in desperate need for hand sanitiser to keep safe and protected while being more immune to the coronavirus.”

As well as supplying its 500ml hand sanitiser bottles to Lincolnshire Police, Lincoln Prison and NHS surgeries across the county, the distillery has also supplied hauliers and those working hard on farms to ensure Britain’s vital food chain supply continues.

During the coronavirus crisis, Bottomley Distillers has retained all jobs for its staff and has also employed two new members of staff owing to the increase in production of hand sanitiser taking place at the distillery.

Amy added: “We wouldn’t have been able to help as many people as we have without the support of our amazing team. I’d also like to thank both Ferry Ales Brewery and the Lincolnshire Brewing Company for very kindly donating beer to us which would have otherwise gone out of date. Thanks to them, we were able to convert the beer into high-strength alcohol for the hand sanitiser – a great example of Lincolnshire team spirit at its finest!”