Tennessee residents who live close to Jack Daniels distilleries are trying to stop the company from building more facilities as a whiskey fungus overtakes surrounding towns.
The fungus, Baudoinia compniacensis, grows on liquor that evaporates during the aging process, also known as “the angels’ share.”
It appears to stick to just about anything, including houses, cars, road signs, trees and patio furniture.
The centuries-old black, sticky substance is nothing new for those who live around bourbon, rum and whiskey makers.
But Jack Daniel’s, owned by Brown-Forman, now has six warehouses — called barrelhouses — in Tennessee’s Lincoln County and wants to build more than a dozen in the future.
A Tennessee woman sued her local zoning office in January, trying to prevent the building of 14 more distilleries unless ventilation systems are installed, as she claimed the hard-to-remove fungus has harmed her nearby property, which includes a party and wedding venue.
On March 1, the court ordered Jack Daniel’s to temporality halt construction.
Residents of Kentucky and even Ontario, Canada, have dealt with similar fungi that they worry pose harmful health and environmental risks.
A spokesperson for Jack Daniel’s issued a lengthy statement to The Post, which read:
“During the siting and building process, we worked closely with Lincoln County and provided all information asked of us by local officials, as well as adhered to regulatory requirements, strict industry guidelines, and rigorous internal standards that we follow in building warehouses.
“Anyone who has visited the Jack Daniel Distillery or any other distillery with maturing spirits has likely noticed the presence of microflora.
“Microflora grows on trees, buildings, and other structures around distilleries and warehouses.
“Ethanol released from barrels during maturation, also called “the angels’ share,” is just one of microflora’s many food sources.
“More common in warm and humid environments, it is also found in and around areas unrelated to distilling, such as food processing companies and bakeries, and dams adjacent to bodies of water,” the company continued.
“While we are accustomed to microflora, we appreciate that some may not like how it looks and the inconvenience it may present.
“Based on the information available, we believe it is not harmful to individuals or their property.”
The statement from Jack Daniel’s also addressed the viability of tweaking ventilation.
“As for air filtration technology that has been offered up by some as a solution, it is easy to say but not possible to do.
“Barrelhouses require ventilation – and are designed to do so naturally – to allow for the movement of whiskey in and out of new charred oak barrels during the aging process.
“Existing independent and government research shows that there is no reasonably available control technology to prevent ethanol emissions without significantly adversely affecting the taste and quality of Jack Daniel’s or any other aged whiskey,” the statement concluded.
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