24 May 2022

Great initiative in Derry will transform your old booze into hand sanitiser to protect people from coronavirus

Appeal made for people to donate those forgotten bottles in the cupboard

James Huey

James Huey is one of the people behind the initiative.

Two Derry businessmen have put out an appeal for bottles of unwanted booze which they can convert into hand sanitiser for frontline workers.

James Huey, Managing Director of the Walled City Brewery, and Connor Doherty, Director of the annual Sippy Fest beer festival, have called their initiative 'Community Spirits'.

Mr Huey will use the specialist equipment at his Ebrington Square-based brew house to create hospital grade sanitiser, which will be donated to organisations across the city.

He is calling on the Derry public to look in their cupboards for unwanted alcohol which can be of any type or strength.

“This is a great opportunity for people to raid the back of their drinks cabinets and help the fight against Covid-19," said Mr Huey.

"We can upcycle these drinks and put them to work.

"As long as the alcohol is above 20% ABV, we can take it.

"It doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy - we can filter it, and in a few days it will be helping keep our amazing NHS workers safe on the front line."

Mr Huey had the idea after his father mentioned he had an old bottle of absinthe that would make good sanitiser.

"Many people will have an old bottle of grappa from 30 years ago lying at the back of the cupboard that they will never drink, so this is a way it can be put to good use," said Mr Huey

"We're asking people to pull out their old spirits and have a look.

"It will be interesting to see what the oldest bottle people donate.

"It's a bit of craic, but it's making something really useful too."

Mr Doherty said he had been heartened by the response of local people to helping those working on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus.

“The community response to this pandemic has been brilliant in Derry, and this is another great way that people can give back.

"Everyone has a bottle of random drink that is gathering dust at the back of a cupboard, and this is a great way of doing a bit of spring cleaning whilst helping key frontline staff- it’s better than buying them a drink when this is all over.”

The Brewery will use their specialist equipment to convert the alcohol into a hand sanitiser, which will be made to the World Health Organisation guidelines and be used in Altnagelvin Hospital and by other essential front line services.

If you have bottles of alcohol with an ABV of more than 20% at the back of the cupboard you can leave them to Walled City Brewery.

A 700ml bottle of alcohol can make around 350ml of sanitiser.

Further drop off points will be announced in the coming days on the Walled City Brewery and Sippy Fest Facebook pages.

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