Jack Daniels forced to hold building project due to Whiskey fungus lawsuit

A Jack Daniels construction project will be halted after a neighbour claimed she was plagued by whisky fungus due to escaping ethanol vapours. Jack Daniel's is the largest brand of the publicly traded company, with many profitable business offshoots, and it is the best-selling American whisky in the world.

Christi Long of Lincoln County, Tennessee, asserted that the fungus, which appears as a black crust on surfaces, covered her property. It is a growing problem in the area, her attorney told sources. The fungus, which feeds on ethanol vapours, grows on surfaces near bakeries and distilleries across the globe.

Mrs. Long, who operates an events venue adjacent to several Jack Daniels warehouses, one of which is under construction, states that the invasive fungus has necessitated the expenditure of thousands of dollars on power washing. Long, who purchased the wedding venue with a partner in 2021, has stated that she and her husband, Patrick Long, would like Jack Daniel's to install ventilation systems that remove ethanol from its warehouses to prevent whisky fungus.

She is suing the local county zoning office on the grounds that it improperly approved warehouse permits. Some outraged locals are now demanding that Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, which is owned by Brown-Forman of Louisville, install air filters to combat the issue.

Mrs. Long's attorney, Jason Holleman, asserts that whisky companies frequently discuss the evaporation process - termed "the angels' share" - without mentioning the resulting mould. He mentioned that if one was to go on the distillery tours, they would learn about the angels' share of the alcohol that evaporates into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, this also results in the devil's fungus.

J.B. Cox, chancellor of Lincoln County, issued a court order instructing Lincoln County zoning officials to halt construction after determining that the permit process was never fully completed. Mr. Holleman stated that he plans to ask the court to order Brown-Forman to cease using six recently constructed warehouses, also known as barrelhouses, that are adjacent to Mrs. Long's property.

Elizabeth Conway, a spokesperson for Brown-Forman, mentioned to the sources that they respected the chancellor's decision and look forward to collaborating with Lincoln County on the updated permits. According to Elizabeth Conway, the regulations, industry standards regarding the design, permitting of the barrelhouses and construction in Lincoln Co will be complied with by Jack Daniel Distillery. 

Brown-Forman declined to answer inquiries for comment from sources. In 1866, Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey was originally established in Moore County, which is adjacent to Lincoln County. Baudoinia compniacensis is named for the director of the French Distillers' Association who discovered it in the 1870s growing near cognac distilleries.

It has resulted in complaints and litigation in Canada, Scotland and the Caribbean. Mr. Holleman explains that federal agents in Tennessee used to look for the fungus as a sign that moonshine was being produced nearby. The whisky industry and residential development in Tennessee are expanding, resulting in an increase in disputes between distillers and homeowners.

According to sources, residents of at least three other counties have opposed the expansion of distilleries on the grounds that the fungus would negatively impact property values.