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Coronavirus: AB InBev helping European health workers

Global brewer AB InBev has unveiled a package of support for frontline European health services in the fight against coronavirus.

Countries including Italy, Europe's worst-hit nation, Spain and France have enforced lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which is piling immense pressure on healthcare providers. 

In a bid to help, Belgium-based brewer AB InBev is producing 50,000 litres of ready-to-use disinfectant alcohol for European hospitals, using the surplus alcohol from its alcohol-free beers including Juliper 0.0 and Beck's Blue.

This initial run, produced in partnership with KWST and Jodima, will be delivered across the continent and AB InBev has committed to producing and donating more disinfectant alcohol as needed.

It has also produced 26,000 250ml bottles of hand sanitiser which will be given out to pharmacies and frontline workers across Europe.

Jason Warner, president of AB InBev in Europe, said: "Unlike many other products you buy, beer is local - we grow our barley here in Europe and brew it close to source in our breweries, which means we are deeply rooted in our local communities and will do everything we can to help them in these times. 

"Turning our efforts from brewing with barley and hops to producing disinfectant and hand sanitisers was a different challenge, but one that we rose to given the current situation.

"In this unprecedented time we want to turn our attention to supporting public health efforts and ensuring those around us can stay safe and healthy."

AB InBev's Beck's brewery in Bremen, Germany also completed a first production run of 1,000 disinfectant liquids on Monday, repackaged in flint Beck's beer bottles and distributed to local businesses and services.

It is also offering billboards to advertise public health awareness messages in Belgium and the Netherlands and has pledged to hand out more than one million bottles of its alcohol-free beer in the coming weeks to frontline workers in Europe battling Covid-19. 

23 March 2020 - Bethany Whymark