THE NEW YORK TIMES
The dark growth, fed by alcohol vapors from barrels of aging Jack Daniel’s whiskey, has coated homes, cars, patio furniture and road signs in a sooty crust, residents said. One woman is suing Lincoln County.
The ethanol-fueled fungus known as whiskey fungus has thrived for centuries around distilleries and bakeries. It’s been the source of complaints from residents who live near Kentucky bourbon distilleries, Canadian whiskey makers and Caribbean rum manufacturers.
Now, it is driving a wedge between some residents of Lincoln County, Tenn., and Jack Daniel’s, the famed distillery founded in 1866 in neighboring Moore County.
For months, some residents have complained that a sooty, dark crust has blanketed homes, cars, road signs, bird feeders, patio furniture and trees as the fungus has spread uncontrollably, fed by alcohol vapors wafting from charred oak barrels of aging Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
Jack Daniel’s has built six warehouses, known as barrelhouses, to age whiskey in the rural county, which is home to about 35,000 residents, and is building a seventh on a property that has room to house one more, a company spokesman said.
The distillery has asked the county to rezone a second property where it could build six additional barrelhouses.
A company representative, Donna Willis, told county officials in November that 14 barrelhouses would generate $1 million in annual property tax revenue for the county, which had approved about $15 million in general fund spending for the 2022 fiscal year.
But not all residents are happy about the expansion.
Christi Long, the owner of a local mansion built in 1900, which she operates as a venue for weddings and other events, sued the county in January, contending that barrelhouses near her property lacked the proper permits. Insider previously reported on the dispute …