Endsley said as soon as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau authorized the use of ethanol, which the distillery makes for its alcohol, as a base for hand sanitizer, the business's focus turned toward supplying those in need.
"As a craft distillery, we knew there was something we could do to help our community," Endsley said. "We started making it and received a call from Williamson County. They had a need, and we told them we were ready to help."
For Williamson County, the distillery has produced just under 200 gallons as of March 30, which has gone to aid county emergency management services, police and first responders as well as local law enforcement. These entities are the distillery's top priority, Endsley said, but it has made bottles available in its tasting room for persons in the community with a need.
The distillery has not stopped making its Fire Oak Vodka and Fire Oak Texas Bourbon, but it has slowed down production of those to make as much sanitizer as it can, Endsley said. He added that the sanitizer is made on a need base with local entities reporting to him how much they need.
"We have been able to work closely with one another to expedite distribution so that everyone taking care of all of us has what they need," he said.
A single batch takes four to five days, but Fire Oak is running staggered batches so that it is producing sanitizer almost daily, Endsley said.
"As long as the supply chain holds up, we will keep things running," he said.
Because of the county government's stay-at-home order, Fire Oak cannot offer food or drinks service on-site, but the distillery is selling its vodka and bourbon bottles to go, as well as hand sanitizer and apparel.