Brewer AB InBev deploys waste alcohol to make virus disinfectant

BRUSSELS, March 23 (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev , the world’s largest brewer, starting from Wednesday will ship some 50,000 litres of disinfectant made with alcohol removed from its alcohol-free beers to European countries hit by the coronavirus.

The company said alcohol available from production of its Jupiler 0.0 brand in Belgium and Beck’s Blue in Germany were delivering an initial run of disinfectant in partnership with German ethanol producer KWST GmbH and Belgian packaging company Jodima.

Shipments of 5-litre containers will initially be sent for use in hospitals, likely to be in Belgium, Britain, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

The company, known for its Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona beers, has also produced 26,000 bottles of hand sanitisers, each of 250 millilitres, for distribution to pharmacies and health sector workers.

Its principal Beck’s brewery in Bremen has in addition produced a first run of 1,000 bottles of disinfectant, each of half a litre, to be sent to local businesses.

The company will provide billboards in Belgium and the Netherlands for public health campaigns and offer over a million bottles or cans of alcohol-free beer to health sector workers in the two countries in the coming weeks.

It said some of its other breweries might also begin producing cleaning products in the future. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Barbara Lewis)