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Skilled to Work: Making whiskey barrels for the Jack Daniels Distillery

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Whiskey Barrels for the Jack Daniels Distillery are made right here, in North Alabama.

In this week's Skilled To Work, we head to Lawrence County, to learn more about the barrel making process and how you could land a job doing it.

At Jack Daniels Cooperage, employers are involved in the entire barrel making process.

"Right from the beginning, all the way to the bottling," said Shane Tapscott, Production Manager at Jack Daniels Cooperage.

It all starts with a piece of American White Oak. After crafting, charring and inspection, the barrel is headed to whiskey making capital, Lynchburg, TN.

"We provide a superior barrel for a superior product," said Tapscott.

But, it's the hands and equipment behind the barrel that make it all possible.

"It's first purchased by us from the log buyer, processed at Stave Mills, brought in by the cooperage, the manufacturing process, the kiln process, shipment to Lynchburg," said Tapscott.

The goal is to construct a barrel perfectly, creating that rich, smoky taste.

"I'd say about 60 to 70 percent of the flavor comes from these barrels and 100 percent of the color," said Tapscott.

Right now, the operation is done by about 160 employees, but the Human Resources Director said they're looking to expand that number.

"The more people we can have, the better trained we can be, the more efficient will be, the more barrels we can put out the door," said Andrea Jones.

The cooperage is hiring for Operator Technicians and for Weekend Maintenance Technicians. Jones said no experience is needed.

"We will teach an individual all they need to know about how to cooper a barrel," said Jones.

Each employee takes part in cultivating over 1,000 barrels per day. Next time you buy Jack Daniels Whiskey, know that the whole process gets started right here, in North Alabama.

The Jack Daniels Cooperage offers competitive pay and benefits.

The cooperage has a 121 barrel made Christmas tree in the front of their facility.

For more than 20 years, the Jack Daniels Distillery has displayed the cooperage's barrels in the form of a Christmas tree. The Jack Daniels Cooperage now puts their own work on display. On Saturday, they'll host their employees and their families for a Christmas barrel tree lighting.

Jack Daniels Cooperage

Jack Daniels Cooperage  

 

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