Brown-Forman (NYSE:BFA)(NYSE:BFB) announced plans today for a new cooperage to craft barrels in Decatur, Alabama, in order to meet growing worldwide demand for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
Brown-Forman and Jack Daniel’s officials joined with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley in Montgomery, AL, to make the formal announcement today. The Jack Daniel Cooperage is expected to be operational in May 2014, and it will eventually employ approximately 200 workers. It will be the second cooperage owned by Brown-Forman, which operates another facility in Louisville, KY, and will double the company’s barrel-making capacity.
“Barrels are more than a container for our whiskey; they’re an important ingredient,” said Jeff Arnett, Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller. “All of the color of Jack Daniel’s and more than half of our whiskey’s flavor is derived from the barrel. We believe in the importance of the barrel in making our whiskey so much that we are the only major distiller that makes its own barrels.
“Making a quality barrel is essential to making a quality whiskey, and this facility will help ensure we hold true to Mr. Jack Daniel’s guiding words that ‘every day we make it, we’ll make it the best we can,’” Arnett added.Brown-Forman officials said the tremendous growth of the Jack Daniel’s Family of Brands both domestically and internationally necessitated building the new cooperage. “With the continued long-term growth of the Jack Daniel’s Family of Brands, including the recent introduction and unprecedented success of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, we are expanding to meet anticipated growing production demand,” said Jill Jones, executive vice president and chief production officer for Brown-Forman. According to Jones, the new cooperage’s proximity to the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, TN, as well as its centralized location between the two stave mills that supply the wood for the barrels (in Stevenson, AL, and Clifton, TN), make Decatur a perfect location for a second cooperage to supply additional Jack Daniel’s barrels.