The Tennessee-based whiskey giant plans to expand its Lynchburg distillery by funding a $140 million development project, according to the economic officials of Tennessee and Governor Bill Haslam.
America has seen the increase of demand in whiskey in recent years, which now results to the need of expansion. According to the announcement, the funds from Jack Daniel’s will be put towards creating more production capacity by expanding the current bottling facility and building a couple of new storage houses for their barrels. Just three years ago, Jack Daniel’s had spent more than $100 million to fund a similar effort.
Frank Coleman, Distilled Spirits Council’ Senior Vice President in Washington, D.C., said that he is not surprised that the company is expanding their facilities because he believes that Jack Daniel’s is the biggest-selling American whiskey on earth. According the Distilled Spirits Council, there was an overall growth of 7.8 percent in the American whiskey category.
Their records from 2014 show that in the United States alone, over 19 million cases of Tennessee whiskey and bourbon were sold. This equated to a revenue for the distillers of $2.7 billion. They also found that in 2004, the distillers’ revenue amounted to $1.4 billion only.
A statement from the Governor said, ‘Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee tradition that was born in one of Tennessee’s smallest counties and has grown into a globally recognized brand. That says a lot about the quality and commitment of Moore County’s workforce. I thank Brown-Forman and the Jack Daniel Distillery for their continued investment in Lynchburg and bringing us closer to making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs.’
Randy Boyd, the Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner of the state, also applauded the move. He thanked the company for its long history of partnership and victory with Tennessee. The state may play a financial role in the company’s investment, but it is yet to be announced. The officials of the department stated that it is probable that Brown-Forman Corporation (owner of the Jack Daniel Distillery) will receive a grant, and that they expect to get the proposal in the coming months before the state’s funding board. Brown-Forman employs more than 4,000 workers; and last year, their reported net income was a little less than $700 million.
Clint Brewer, ECD Assistant Commissioner, said, ‘The capital investment is large and shows the company’s commitment to the state. It shows they are continuing to invest in the state in their facilities here and in the workforce here.’ He added, ‘We want to make the state’s resources available for infrastructure, for job training to existing companies just like we do companies we recruit from out of state or even overseas. They are taxpayers in the state already, so they should have the same access to these programs as companies from other places.”
Larry Combs, a Jack Daniel’s Supply Chain executive, said, ‘The bourbon and American whiskey category is booming, and we appreciate the support of our Tennessee state and economic development officials as we work to meet global demand for Jack Daniel’s.’
Included in the expansion efforts is the renovation of their Visitor Center, which received over 270,000 visitors in 2015.
Jack Daniel’s Distillery
If you’re interested to get a deeper understanding of the brand, there is no better way to do it than going to their Visitor Center, White Rabbit Bottle Shop, and Sampling Tour in Lynchburg. They are open daily, from 9am to 4:30pm (CST). Do note however that there are no tours and the shops are closed during these holidays: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
They are inviting their customers to take a firsthand look at their facilities. They will be providing a guide to accompany your group and share the interesting background of their whiskey and the famous Mr. Jack. A visit to their town, the seat of Moore County, will also allow you to experience the local attractions, such as the Lynchburg Hardware & General Store and Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House.
Before deciding to go on tour, they want you to take note of the following:
- This will be held outdoors and will require the visitors to walk for about an hour in total.
- The guests will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis. Please arrive early as there is a limited availability.
- There will be people working in the distillery so expect that there will be a little noise during the visit.
- The waiting period between the tours will vary based on the number of visitors.
- You will have to pay a nominal fee for the sampling tour, which will last for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- Guests for the sampling tour should be 21 years of age or above.