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Mark Watson (Left), of Dunrobin Distilleries and Steve Beauchesne, Beau's Brewing, celebrate their partnership in front of Beau's brewery in Vankleek Hill. The two companies have been honored for their Social Entrepreneurship from the Best Ottawa Business Awards.

Beau’s and Dunrobin Distilleries hand sanitizer partnership honored for Social Entrepreneurship

Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company has been honored for Social Entrepreneurship by the Best Ottawa Business Awards, for the local brewery’s partnership with Dunrobin Distilleries to produce much-needed hand sanitizer for the region.

The two companies received the award for their efforts to produce hand sanitizer to help fight the spread of COVID-19 in Ottawa and the surrounding communities. In addition to supplying essential businesses over the past six months, Beau’s and Dunrobin donated their hand-sanitizer to more than 25 hospitals and not-for profits serving the most vulnerable in local communities.

“In getting the award we know that we were really successful in helping a lot of businesses, hospitals and others who needed the help,” said Stefanie Tolhurst of Beau’s. “That more than anything speaks to (the success of the partnership).”

The two companies worked together to problem solve how to produce hand sanitizer, as neither had previous experience with the product. Dunrobin Distilleries supplied a still for installation at Beau’s, as the Vankleek Hill production facility had the electrical requirements and space to accommodate operations. The installation at Beau’s allowed production of hand sanitizer to begin immediately.

“(The hand sanitizer) was something that Dunrobin had already started work on and had received a license for, but they didn’t have to space to run their still and and do a lot of the logistics,” said Tolhurst, who noted the two companies had a common link as supplier of the Royal Oak Pub, and share many of the same core values.

The high-quality sanitizer allowed both Beau’s and Dunrobin Distilleries to create a new revenue stream at a time when the economy has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple local businesses have purchased the product in bulk supply, including Giant Tiger, Lee Valley Tools, the Royal Oak and Barley Mow pubs, the City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission.

The sanitizer is available in both lavender and unscented versions in both 250 ml and four-litre containers and can be purchased from the Beau’s Online Store, or at the brewery in Vankleek Hill. All sales support the continued donation of hand-sanitizer to local hospitals and not-for-profit groups.

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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