Perth brewers helping to fight Coronavirus


Grenville Francis

Empty supermarket shelves are currently greeting shoppers searching for hand sanitisers.

Grenville Francis, Writer

Two Perth brewers have come together to create a drop far more precious than they’ve got on tap: hand sanitiser.

SPINIFEX Brewing Co. and Limestone Coast Brewery are lending their helping, and sanitised, hands to the creation of SPINIFEX Protect.

John Gibbs, master brewer of SPINIFEX Brewing Co. said the hand sanitiser will be made from 80% ethanol together with native Australian anti-bacterials such as lemon myrtle oil extract.

Mr Gibbs said they’re making it to fit global standards through the World Health Organisation hand sanitiser recipe:  “We’re using the one that everyone expects to be the best.”

Mr Gibbs went on to say lemon myrtle mixed with distilled water also made a great surface wipe because of its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

He said discussions are underway with the health department to get their product into the community.

Distribution will firstly be to essential services such as medical and aged-care facilities and frontline responders including paramedics, police and firefighters, as well as remote communities in desperate need of sanitation.

Moe Choueib, the chief chemist at Optimal Pharmacy in Ellenbrook welcomed the initiative.  But he said red tape need to be overcome before getting the hand sanitiser onto his pharmacy’s shelves.

“For personal use yes, for the shop, I’m not sure cause it’s all done through head office,” said Mr Choueib.

Approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration is currently being sorted out by the breweries to get SPINIFEX Protect onto chemist and supermarket shelves across Perth.

Mr Gibbs said he wasn’t sure if they would keep producing the product once the crisis was over: “At the moment, we’re doing it because it needs to be done.”

“If in six or 12 or 18 months it doesn’t need to be done, we’ll go back to making beer,” he said.