Former Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller, Jeff Arnett Launches New TN Distillery

Jeff Arnett
Jeff Arnett, Founder and Master Distiller, Company Distilling Courtesy Photo

Company Distilling Opens This Fall In Smoky Mountains

ALCOA, Tenn. – “Gather Around”—a new distillery is about to be uncorked. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the Blount Partnership recently announced the launch of Tennessee’s newest distillery Company Distilling. The distillery is 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.

A Collaboration Between Friends

“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. The space will offer outdoor activities and entertainment on the property’s 31 acres. This includes a live music venue, corn hole, pickle ball courts, bonfire pits, and open access to greenway trails.

Company Distilling Rendering

Company Distilling Rendering

First Location Will Open In Townsend, TN

The first Company Distilling location to open, will be a 4,000-square-foot tasting room and restaurant in Townsend, Tennessee, the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 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. Those plans include a tasting room, retail store and tours located in Thompson’s Station.

In addition, the $20 million investment will bring 60 initial new jobs to the area. Over time they expect to employ more as well as to grow and contribute to other industries. For example, Company Distilling will rely on the agricultural industry for its thoughtfully sourced ingredients. The new distillery 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.”

“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,” said Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Bob Rolfe.

‘Better Than We Ever Imagined’

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.”

Company distilling bourbon bottle
Courtesy Photo

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.”