AWARD-winning gin distillery Big Tree Distillery is now making hand sanitiser to support the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Australian Taxation Office reduced the excise on ethanol, which gave distillers Catherine Crothers and Gary Jago the go-ahead to begin making hand sanitiser.
“When the ATO relaxed the excise on the use of ethanol, it gave us permission to repurpose it into hand sanitiser – normally its quite expensive otherwise,” Ms Crothers said.
“Distilleries are being called to help with the lack of hand sanitiser. We’re very small scale we did it as a community thing.”
Mr Jago said there had been a shortage of hand sanitiser due to the high demand because of COVID-19.
“We already had the equipment so we decided to do it, and it meant we could keep our staff employed,” he said.
“We’ve also kept the prices reasonable, so people are really happy with it. We’re just trying to support the community where we can.
“We’re asking people to bring their own bottles or people who have spray packs, we can refill them.”
While continuing to supply gin to cater for online orders, the Newham business will supply customers with affordable hand sanitiser priced at $15 plus GST per 500ml.
The gin distillery will also collate ‘Macedon Ranges Isolation Rescue Packs’, which will include a 700ml bottle Big Tree Gin, cheese from Azzuri, Hescket Estate Wine, crackers, Strange Love number 8 Tonic, dehydrated oranges, gin infused marmalade, and nuts from oak farm.
Package delivery will be free to Macedon Ranges and $15 to Melbourne.
The distillery’s owners have reminded people who are picking up their orders from the distillery to abide by social distancing rules and only one litre is allowed per household.