Australia’s oldest distillery lends a hand for Logan community

With the bottle shops being inundated you’d be right to think Beenleigh Rum would be increasing their rum production.

But no, the Logan icon has all but stopped the production of rum to focus on producing high-strength ethanol to ensure a much-needed supply of hand sanitiser during the COVID-19 crisis.

Steve Magarry, the distillery’s Production Manager, said it was another way Beenleigh Rum was helping Logan and the broader community in times of crisis.

He said the latest effort first came about in an effort to ensure the health and safety of staff at the distillery.

“Typically we produce two products here at the distillery, which are rum and high-strength ethanol for food and beverage purposes,” he said.

“At the moment we’ve actually halted rum production to focus on the high-strength ethanol.

“With the demand for hand sanitiser, we decided to look into making our own as ethanol is the key ingredient of sanitiser.”

After producing it for staff, it was then intended to be made for retail and to be sold through their sister company, Wheel & Barrow.

“When the Queensland Government approached us we were happy to help and we are now supplying them with 20-litre drums of sanitiser,” Mr Magarry said.

Mark Sawyers – Distiller

Mr Magarry said the distillery had also felt the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak having shut down tours and the visitor centre.

“Fortunately the increased ethanol production has meant we have been able to redeploy staff and utilise them in other areas,” he said.

When asked about whether there may be a rum shortage, Mr Magarry was firm that supplies were fine.

“Absolutely not, there is no shortage of rum,” he said.

“In the coming weeks and months we will re-evaluate and look to return to our normal production.”

See also: A double rum… but not as we know it – Queensland Government Press Release