Brown-Forman Corporation is investing $60 million to create a Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey Cooperage in Lawrence County, near Decatur, Alabama, to produce oak barrels.
Cooperage is a term that refers to the art of barrel making. The barrel is an essential ingredient in the distilling process, playing a big part in creating the color and taste of the Whiskey.
This is the company's second significant expansion into Alabama in the last 12 months, Gov. Robert Bentley said. The company is already set to open a new sawmill in Stevenson, Alabama, this month.
"I am appreciative of the new jobs that Brown-Forman continues to bring to Alabama. We are moving forward in our commitment to put Alabama back to work," Governor Robert Bentley said. "We are glad that Alabama has the type of business climate and workforce that will keep companies in expansion mode."
Speaking from a business mission overseas, Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said he is proud that the agency played a role in bringing the company to Alabama and said that his project management team will continue to work with the company to help it stay successful here.
"With the continued long-term growth of the Jack Daniel's Family of brands, we are expanding to meet growing production demand," said Jill Jones, executive vice president and chief production officer for Brown-Forman.
When fully operational in 2014, the Jack Daniel Cooperage will employ approximately 200 people. Brown-Forman Corporation is the only spirits company in the world that produces its own new white oak barrels and currently operates a cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky.
Tony Stockton, executive director of the Lawrence County Industrial Development Board added, "We're very pleased to have a company with such a storied tradition as Brown-Forman to be our anchor industry in the Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex. With a forecast of 200 jobs when fully operational, the economic outlook of Lawrence County just got brighter."
Brown-Forman has produced many products such as Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey and Southern Comfort for 142 years. Company officials said they have been impressed with the business-friendly environment and cooperation from economic developers and other leaders in making the project happen. As an incentive the state is providing the firm with tax incentives and job creation training grants.
"We work diligently to show companies throughout the world what makes our business climate healthy in Alabama and why companies continue to grow here," Secretary Canfield said.