In these most challenging of times we hear all sorts of stories of how people and business are forced to change direction and focus on how best to support the community.  Here at Symphonia we have a fascinating case, not only change of direction, but of going full circle.

Our founder Dr Ulrich Dyer, chemist and former Harvard academic, spent thirty years in pharmaceutical industry working in the area of  anti-viral medicines, helping to come up with cures for pandemic diseases such as HIV and influenza, diseases which, thanks to such research, no longer have the same threat that COVID-19 now poses to  the world.

Three years ago he decided to move away from his distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry to follow his other passion – gin making.  He researched how he could make gin in a way which would combine his love for the Irish countryside with his background in science and distil out the very best flavours from the Irish countryside.  He created a unique, sustainable distillation process which uses only 2% of energy of the traditional copper pot method.

He launched Symphonia in June 2018 and it has since gone on to win numerous international awards such as IWSC Silver, Two Stars in the Great Taste awards and Champion of Champions: Best Irish Gin at the Irish Gin awards 2019.  Symphonia was recently recommended by the Food and Wine Writer for The Guardian, Fiona Beckett, who highlighted Symphonia as one of the standout Irish gins.

How ironic then that, since the outbreak of Covid 19, Ulrich has returned to his pharmaceutical background and is again producing products for the health care industry.

Over the last few days the team at Symphonia have provided desperately needed hand sanitiser to local  health care workers, shopkeepers, doctors, couriers all of whom are high risk and vulnerable to this highly contagious disease.

Ulrich commented “ Who would have believed even a few weeks ago our forth product after our dry gin, Bramley apple gin and summer fruit cup would be hand sanitiser? I have come full circle!”

We are rapidly running out of our first batch, but we are actively looking how to make this on a more consistent basis until the need subsides.