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Fort Worth Distillery Transitions to Making Hand Sanitizer During Coronavirus Pandemic

TX Whiskey Distillery is shifting its booze production to the in-demand coronavirus fighter

Pernod’s recently purchased Fort Worth whiskey distillery will start making hand sanitizer for U.S. distribution.
Kathy Tran/Eater Dallas

Pernod Ricard USA, the distilling giant behind Absolut vodka, Avión tequila, and Jameson Irish Whiskey, is answering the call to fight the coronavirus pandemic by jumpstarting production of hand sanitizer at all of its domestic manufacturing sites.

Wine and spirits giant Pernod Ricard will retool and use its recently purchased TX Whiskey Distillery in Fort Worth, along with facilities in Fort Smith, Arkansas; Smooth Ambler Spirits (Lewisburg, W.V.); and Rabbit Hole Distillery (Louisville, Ky.), to handle production.

Pernod Ricard just struck a deal with government officials to speed past regulatory hurdles in order to make and donate the essential germ-battling commodity that’s currently in short supply coast to coast.

Last year Pernod bought Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., owner of the TX craft whiskey and bourbon brands and a distillery near Downtown Fort Worth. The distillery opened in late 2017, becoming the largest whiskey-making facility west of the Mississippi River.

New York-based Pernod Ricard USA has more than 800 employees across the country.

“We are utilizing our network of American manufacturing sites to help curb the national shortage of hand sanitizer which we will produce and donate for domestic use,” says Pernod Ricard North America chairman and CEO Ann Mukherjee, in a statement.

Pernod coordinated with the White House Task force and Dr. Peter Navarro, assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing, on the emergency production effort.

The Paris-based Pernod conglomerate is the No. 2 producer of wines and spirits worldwide, with 2018 sales of $10 billion.