Harrogate drinks firms collaborate on hand sanitiser for NHS Harrogate Trust

Two family-run Harrogate district drinks companies have joined forces to create and deliver 25 litres of much-needed alcohol-based hand sanitiser to Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust.

Monday, 11th May 2020, 12:38 pm
Updated Monday, 11th May 2020, 12:40 pm
Toby Whittaker of Whittaker's Gin delivers the hand sanitiser to Dan Thirkell, charity fundraising manager at the Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust.

Nidderdale-based Whittaker’s Gin collaborated with award-winning Harrogate brewery, Rooster’s, to produce clinical-standard hand sanitiser, which will be used by the local NHS to protect staff and patients and combat the spread of Covid-19.

Their efforts are in response to a national shortage of the product due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The partnership, which was the brainchild of Whittaker’s co-founder Toby Whittaker, saw Rooster’s provide the acclaimed gin maker with 2,000 litres of surplus beer, which would otherwise have gone to waste following the coronavirus lockdown of pubs and bars.

Using their new 1,000-litre still at its Dacre Banks distillery, Whittaker’s extracted the ethanol contained within the beer and used it to create 25 litres of hand sanitiser.

Commenting on the initiative, Toby said: “We have the facility and licence to distil from scratch, so I thought we could team up with Rooster’s and use their surplus beer to produce a useful product, free of charge to help our local NHS. Their incredible efforts are helping to save many, many lives and we’re proud to be able to support them at such an important time.”

Ian Fozard, director at Rooster’s brewery, said: “When Toby approached us it became clear that this was an obvious way for us to help – we are sat on a large quantity of beer in cask that would otherwise have to be disposed of down the drain. It’s gratifying that it is going to good use in the NHS in these difficult times.”

The delivery was received last week by Dan Thirkell, charity fundraising manager at the Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust, who said: “Over the last few months we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of community togetherness and public spirit. This is yet another example of two local businesses stepping up in these unprecedented times to support our efforts and protect our frontline staff, and we’re incredibly grateful to them.”

About Whittaker’s Gin

Whittaker’s Gin (Whittaker’s Distillery Ltd) is a family business run from Harewell House Farm in the heart of Nidderdale, North Yorkshire.

Husband and wife team Toby and Jane Whittaker produce a growing range of award-winning, hand-crafted, small batch gins in a Yorkshire-made still called Jezebel, using natural spring water from the heart of Nidderdale. Whittakersgin.com

About Rooster’s Brewing Co

As one of the originators and pioneers of the craft beer movement, independent, family-owned Rooster’s Brewing Co. has been creating consistently quality, award-winning traditional and craft since 1993.

Three decades on, Rooster’s continues to turn heads with its uncompromising, forward-thinking approach to brewing a wide range of consistent, easy-drinking, well-balanced beers that always deliver on quality and flavour.

In February 2020, Rooster’s completed a £850,000 investment into a new, state-of-the-art brewery at Hornbeam Park in Harrogate. The new brewery is three times the size of the company’s previous premises and has enabled Rooster’s to almost double its production capacity. Roosters.co.uk

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