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Gin distillery backed by GC Business Growth Hub protects key workers against COVID-19

A gin distillery backed by GC Business Growth Hub has switched production to sanitising liquid in support of efforts to keep key workers safe from COVID-19.

The first batch of Zymitizer sanitising liquid from Zymurgorium was donated to every Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Station in the city-region, as well as Women’s centres and care homes across the North West.

Donations are also being made to care homes and supported accommodation sites in Tameside as well as Failsworth, Salford and other care facilities across the North west.

Subsequent batches of Zymitizer are being offered for sale with “an ethical pricing policy” in order to make more affordable supplies available and to fund other donations. The price of sanitising liquids and gels has increased due to demand.

Zymurgorium established Greater Manchester’s first gin distillery in 2013 and has grown into a multi-million pound turnover business with the support of the GC Business Growth Hub, which has provided fully funded advice including:

  • Sales and marketing advice
  • Support on HR
  • Finance and strategy support
  • Resource efficiency

Headquartered in Irlam, Greater Manchester, Zymurgorium takes its name from zymurgy, the study of scientific brewing, and emporium, which means shop.

One of its first and most successful products was a parma violet flavoured gin – Sweet Violet Gin - which became Amazon’s best-selling liqueur. As well as gin and gin liqueurs, the brand also embraces everything from rum to absinthe and honey vodka.

It switched production from novelty gins and liqueurs to an alcohol-based sanitising liquid in response to a shortage of vital supplies.

Zymurgorium employs 15 people and will continue to produce its Zymitizer liquid sanitiser on an ethical commercial basis.

The business is Living Wage Foundation accredited and Armed Forces Covenant (bronze award going for Silver) and winner of Entrepreneur of year at 2019 Salford business awards, as well as finalist in the best employer and most innovative business.


Co-owner and founder Aaron Darke said supporting others during the Coronavirus outbreak is a way of giving something back to society.

He said: “We’re proud to have achieved a great deal in a short period of time and we couldn’t have done that without the support of our incredible customers and the GC Business Growth Hub, which has provided us with invaluable advice along the way.

“We’re now keen to do whatever we can to help the country’s efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Using our supply chain contacts, state-of-the art facilities and expertise to produce sanitiser that will help keep people safe was the right thing to do and we’re proud to have been able to play our part.

“We have been contacted by companies from all over the UK asking if we can help them with the unprecedented need for sanitiser. It has been shocking to see many producers of the base ingredients inflating their prices at this time of crisis. We are going to continue making the product and will sell it as an ethical and affordable price to cover our costs and keep our staff in jobs.”

Tracy Eyres, Zymurgorium’s account manager at the GC Business Growth Hub, said: “Zymurgorium has been a major success story for the GC Business Growth Hub, creating employment and increasing sales through a range of innovative products.

“It is testament to their generosity and resilience that they have switched production to meet extraordinary demand for sanitising liquid. They have provided much needed sanitising liquid to a number of organisations, including Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, Bolton council, and care homes across Greater Manchster and will now offer this service on an ethically priced and commercial basis to others.

“It was a pleasure to help them connect with the right people at Tameside council to donate 51 containers to care homes, children’s homes and care providers in the borough.  This is a fantastic start to their journey for future expansion within the borough.

“We look forward to offering continuing support to Zymurgorium as they adapt to the challenges of the day and plan for brighter times ahead.”

The Business Growth Hub remains #HereForBusiness offering support and guidance to organisations on the current challenges and market changes relating to COVID-19. Get in touch here.

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