Jeff Arnett, Jack Daniel’s Former Master Distiller and Partners Announce New Venture

Press Release #
Jeff Arnett, Jack Daniel’s Former Master Distiller

ALCOA, Tenn. - “Gather Around”—a new distillery is about to be uncorked. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the Blount Partnership announced today the launch of Tennessee’s newest distillery Company Distilling, set to open in the fall of 2021 in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.

When it comes to making spirits, Company Distilling’s know-how runs deep. It’s built from an assemblage of friends with a history of building distilleries, crafting exceptional spirits and bringing people together. The founders include renowned former Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett, Kris Tatum, former president of the Tennessee Distillers Guild, Corey Clayton, an accomplished construction management professional, Heath Clark, founder of H. Clark Distillery, and Clayton Homes, CEO Kevin Clayton.

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

Set to open in 2022, the mixed-use, family-friendly facility in Springbrook Farm, a master planned “city center” in Alcoa, will serve as the primary distillery and the location for the spirit’s main manufacturing. The 20,000-square-foot refurbished building with a casual, mountain-inspired theme, will include a tasting room, restaurant, brewery and retail store along with ample outdoor activities and entertainment on the property’s 31 acres including a live music venue, corn hole, pickle ball courts, bonfire pits, and open access to greenway trails.

The first Company Distilling location to open, however, will be a 4,000-square-foot tasting room and restaurant in Townsend, Tennessee, the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, later this year. Set along the Little River with the Townsend Greenway running along the front of the 13.5-acre property, the tasting room will offer access to cycling, running and nearby mountain biking and hiking trails.

The Distillery also has future plans to expand its footprint to Middle Tennessee in 2022 with a tasting room, retail store and tours located in Thompson’s Station.

In addition, the $20 million investment is expected to bring 60 initial new jobs to the area and that number is expected to grow over time. This growth in jobs, and ultimately economic welfare, will be felt beyond the immediate operations and across industries as the distillery will rely on the agricultural industry for its thoughtfully sourced ingredients and will provide growth for the Tennessee whiskey industry.

Congrats to Blount County and all parties involved in this new venture,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “Both locations will showcase some of many reasons that the Great Smoky Mountains is a top place for people from all over the world to visit. Company Distilling’s investment in Blount County is further proof that East Tennessee has much to offer.”

“We’re proud to welcome Company Distilling to Tennessee and thank the company for its $20 million investment in Blount County,” said Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Bob Rolfe. “Company Distilling’s leadership team has a vast knowledge of the industry as well as the business landscape of the state, and I know the company will find great success in East Tennessee.”

“In 2009, Tennessee was home to only three distilleries, but now craft spirits are flowing from many counties across the state,” Tatum added. “We’re proud to be a Tennessee distillery and stand behind our meticulously crafted spirits.”

Arnett agrees that much thought—years in fact—have paved the way for Company Distilling.

“For years now, we’ve had this spirit in the back of our minds,” said Arnett. “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.”

Kevin Clayton adds that the location was just as thoughtfully chosen as the spirits themselves.

“Company isn’t meant to be just a product,” said Kevin Clayton. “It’s about setting aside time to enjoy life. We’ve chosen our locations in the Smoky Mountains for their scenery and wealth of outdoor activities. We have the river, the greenway and biking trails. We’re a place where people can come to sip good spirits and connect with friends for time well spent.”

About Company Distilling

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“I am very pleased that these jobs are coming to Blount County. We are excited about Tri-Star Spirits decision to locate their operations here and wish them every success as they move forward. I congratulate all our state and local officials who helped secure these jobs and this sizable investment. We will continue to make job creation a top priority.” – Sen. Art Swann (R-Maryville)

“I’m proud to welcome Tri-Star Spirits to Blount County. Their commitment speaks to our favorable business climate, exceptional quality of life and our talented workforce. I thank Tri-Star Spirits for their investment, and I wish them success in our community for many years to come.” ­– Rep. Jerome Moon (R-Maryville)

“TVA and Alcoa Electric Department congratulate [Company Distilling]on its decision to establish operations Alcoa. Helping to attract and retain job opportunities for the people of the Valley is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service, and we are proud to partner with City of Alcoa, the Blount Partnership and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to help further that mission and celebrate this announcement.” John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development

“I wholeheartedly welcome Company Distilling, Jeff Arnett and his team to Blount County. Having a distillery and operations located in Alcoa and Townsend offers outstanding options for our residents and visitors. A thank you also goes to Gov. Bill Lee, Tennessee ECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and our county and city commissioners for tirelessly working together to bring these types of enterprises to our area.” – Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell

The distilling industry is one that integrates the agriculture, tourism and hospitality industries while benefitting the communities where they are located. For Blount County to have a group of proven industry and business leaders bring a project of this magnitude here is something that will pay dividends for generations to come. I commend Gov. Lee and the state of Tennessee for their readiness to back ventures like this on behalf of the Blount County Economic Development Board, I’m happy to welcome the Company Distilling and their leadership to Blount County and East Tennessee.” – Matt Murray, chairman of the Blount County Economic Development Board

“The city of Alcoa is thrilled to be selected as the headquarters for Company Distilling. Our city commissioners wish to thank Gov. Lee’s office, along with Tennessee ECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe for their tremendous assistance in putting together this project. We are ecstatic to bring this enterprise to the area, knowing how beneficial it will be to all Blount County visitors.” – Clint Abbott, Mayor of Alcoa.