Whiskey fungus infests town — Jack Daniel’s plants targeted in lawsuit


Tennessee residents who live near Jack Daniel’s distilleries are trying to stop the company from building more facilities as the whiskey mold overtakes surrounding towns.

The fungus, Baudoinia companiacensis, grows on liquor that evaporates during the aging process, also known as “part of the angels.”

It seems to stick to almost anything, including houses, cars, road signs, trees and patio furniture.

The centuries-old black, sticky substance is nothing new to those around bourbon, rum and whiskey makers.

But Jack Daniel’s owns it Brown-ForemanNow has six warehouses — called Barrelhouses — in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and wants to build more than a dozen in the future.

A stop sign near a Jim Beam production and bottling facility in Frankfort, Kentucky, is covered in a mold called Baudoinia companyasensis, in a 2014 photo.
AFP via Getty Images

A Tennessee woman sued In January, his local zoning office sought to block the construction of 14 more distilleries until ventilation systems were installed, after he claimed the hardy fungus had damaged nearby properties, including a party and Wedding venue included.

On March 1, the court ordered Jack Daniel’s Temporality prevents construction.

Residents in Kentucky and even Ontario, Canada, have dealt with similar mold that they worry poses harmful health and environmental risks.

A whiskey mold fueled by Jack Daniels affects the town
The mold grows on the alcohol vapors that come from aging barrels.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Jack Daniel’s spokesperson released a lengthy statement to the Post, which read:

“During the siting and building process, we worked closely with Lincoln County and provided all information requested of us by local officials, as well as adhering to regulatory requirements, strict industry guidelines, and strict internal standards, which we We follow in building the warehouse.

“Anyone who has visited a Jack Daniels distillery or any other distillery with mature spirits has likely noticed the presence of microflora.

“Microflora grows on trees, buildings and other structures around distilleries and warehouses.

“The ethanol released from the barrel during maturation, also known as the “part of the angels”, is one of the many food sources of the microflora.

“More common in warm and humid environments, it is also found in and around areas not associated with distilling, such as food processing companies and bakeries, and dams adjacent to water bodies,” the company said. said further

“While we are used to microflora, we appreciate that some people may not like how it looks and the inconvenience it presents.

“Based on the information available, we believe it is not harmful to persons or their property.”

Whiskey fungus grows on a landmark in Lawrenceburg near the Wild Turkey Distillery and Bourbon Warehouses.
Whiskey fungus grows on a landmark in Lawrenceburg near the Wild Turkey Distillery and Bourbon Warehouses.

Jack Daniel’s statement also addressed the feasibility of ventilation tweaking.

“As for the air filtration technology that has been offered as a solution by some, it’s easier said than done.

“Barrelhouses require ventilation – and are naturally designed to do so – to allow movement of whiskey in and out of newly charred oak barrels during the aging process.

“Current independent and government research indicates that there is no reasonably available control technology to prevent ethanol emissions without significantly affecting the flavor and quality of Jack Daniel’s or any other aged whiskey,” the statement concluded. .

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