Pub closures and a shortage of hand sanitisers has caused a large number of alcohol distilleries around Australia to shift the focus of their production.

Angelo Kotses, owner of the Beenleigh Distillery and Managing Director of the Bickfords Group of Companies, said in a statement that “ethanol is the key ingredient of hand sanitiser, and we already produce ethanol for our alcohol products.”

About 100,000 litres of ethanol, the key ingredient in hand sanitiser will be supplied to the Queensland government, enough to fill 500,000 bottles for the supply to hospitals, schools and stores.

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“We originally planned a small run of only 1500 cartons, but when the Queensland Government approached us we were more than happy to help by providing hand sanitiser for essential needs throughout the state.”

He said, “At a time like this we will always step up and contribute when Australians need it most.”