Brains beer being used to help make hand sanitiser for the NHS

Brewer and hospitality company, SA Brain & Co, is providing its beer to help produce hand sanitiser for the NHS.

The Cardiff-based and family-own company has partnered with Carmarthenshire-based spirit distillery, Coles Distillery, by providing 50,000 litres of beer per week to support the production of hand sanitiser, after learning of a supply shortage at NHS hospitals across Wales.

When Covid-19 first arrived in the UK, owners of Coles Distillery offered its support to Swansea University after a call for large quantities of ethanol, an essential ingredient in the production of hand sanitiser.

As the university would need 80,000 litres of ethanol each week, the distiller of fine spirits required support from a large brewery with the capacity to provide enough ethanol equivalent to 160,000 pints of beer.

As a result a trial batch of SA Brain’s high ABV unhopped all malt beer was quickly produced and tested ready for conversion into ethanol by Coles Distillery, before passing on to Swansea University who then add peroxide and glycerol, in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s accredited recipe for hand sanitiser.

Bill Dobson, head brewer at SA Brain & Co said: “When we were approached to support the project, we were delighted to be able to use our new Dragon Brewery in such a way, to help support the NHS during this challenging time”

Marcus Coles, owner of Coles Distillery said:  “This project could not go ahead without the help of Brains Brewery who were there in our hour of need, to make and supply the high volume of beer we required to produce enough ethanol for the hand sanitiser production.”

SA Brain will continue to work alongside Coles Distillery, one of only few distilleries in Wales able to make ethanol for hand sanitiser, and Swansea University with their ongoing mission to supply the NHS. 

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