Modernization of Facility Requires Reduced Workforce in 2019
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 14, 2017--
Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BFA) (NYSE:BFB) announced today that it
will invest $45 million in the Brown-Forman Cooperage in Louisville,
Kentucky. The investment will modernize the Cooperage, reduce operating
cost by improving efficiency, and allow the continued production of high
quality barrels in Louisville.
The new equipment will be focused in the Heading and Staving departments
and necessitate the elimination of 70 hourly positions once fully
implemented in early 2019. The Cooperage will continue to employ
approximately 205 individuals. All impacted employees, determined by the
current UAW contract, will be offered a variety of transitional
“As the only distilling company to craft its own barrels, making this
investment will help ensure the long-term viability of our Cooperage in
Louisville, reduce injuries, and preserve our unique competitive
advantage of barrel-making,” said Alex Alvarez, chief production
officer, Brown-Forman. “While the improvements will result in the loss
of some hourly positions, we believe this will strengthen the long-term
viability of the Cooperage in Louisville.”
Brown-Forman began bottling bourbon nearly 150 years ago and recognized
the important role of the barrel and the impact wood has on bourbon.
Based on this vision, Brown-Forman established its own cooperage in
1945, resulting in more than 70 years of raising barrels and honing the
craft of using wood to impart unique flavour characteristics to bourbon.
“We believe that barrels are more than a container for our whiskey,
they’re an important ingredient,” said Alvarez. “We’re proud to continue
making these barrels at the Brown-Forman Cooperage.”
The Cooperage will remain open during the construction phase with an
expected completion date of early 2019.
Brown-Forman Cooperage crafts more than 2,500 barrels per day for the
aging of spirits such as Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester,
Early Times, Canadian Mist, el Jimador, and Herradura. It is located on
MacLean Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. Brown-Forman also has a
cooperage in Decatur, Alabama, where it makes barrels for Jack Daniel’s
For nearly 150 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the
experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol
brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s & Cola,
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman
Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador,
Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Canadian Mist, Herradura, New Mix,
Sonoma-Cutrer, Early Times, Chambord, BenRiach, GlenDronach and Slane.
Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by over 4,700 employees and sold in
more than 165 countries worldwide. For more information about the
company, please visit http://www.brown-forman.com/.
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170914006304/en/
Source: Brown-Forman Corporation
Phil Lynch, 502-774-7928
Director Corporate Communications
Jay Koval, 502-774-6903