Food & Drink

Jeff Arnett plans $20m Tennessee distillery project

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The former master distiller of Jack Daniel’s has revealed plans to open a new distillery in Tennessee next year as part of a US$20 million investment to boost the US state’s whiskey industry.

Jeff Arnett

Jeff Arnett spent nearly 20 years working at the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Tennessee

Jeff Arnett left his role as master distiller of the world’s biggest American whiskey brand, Jack Daniel’s, in September 2020. The role was filled by assistant master distiller Chris Fletcher.

Arnett has now revealed his new Company Distilling project in collaboration with Kris Tatum, former president of the Tennessee Distillers Guild; Heath Clark, founder of Tennessee-based H Clark Distillery; construction management professional Corey Clayton; and Clayton Homes CEO Kevin Clayton.

Tatum, Company Distilling president, said: “It’s this collaboration between friends seeking to produce a spirit worth gathering over that sparked the Company Distilling name.

“Not only will the whiskey be best when enjoyed among good company, but the distillery’s property provides ample opportunities for gathering and outdoor fun.”

The Company Distilling project will see the opening of a 4,000 sq ft tasting room and restaurant in Townsend, Tennessee, located in the Smoky Mountain region. The site is due to open in autumn 2021.

The tasting room’s location offers access to cycling, running and nearby mountain biking and hiking trails.

The Townsend site will be followed by the opening of a multi-functional ‘family-friendly’ facility in Springbrook Farm in Alcoa, Tennessee, which is due to open in 2022. The site will be home to the main distillery and manufacturing operations.

The 20,000 sq ft refurbished building will follow a ‘casual’ mountain-inspired theme, and will also include a tasting room, restaurant, brewery and retail store.

Furthermore, the site will offer outdoor activities and entertainment across 31 acres including a live music venue, corn hole, pickle ball courts, bonfire pits, and access to greenway trails.

Arnett said: “For years now, we’ve had this spirit in the back of our minds. It’s straight Bourbon whiskey finished with maple wood to produce a sip like no other. It’s hard to believe it’s finally real. And it’s better than we ever imagined.”

Company Distilling also plans to open a site in middle Tennessee in 2022, comprising a tasting room, retail store and tours from Thompson’s Station.

Tatum added: “In 2009, Tennessee was home to only three distilleries, but now craft spirits are flowing from many counties across the state.

“We’re proud to be a Tennessee distillery and stand behind our meticulously crafted spirits.”

The project is expected to create 60 initial jobs, with more to come over time.

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