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Jack Daniel’s Distillery: area tourism magnet

Homeplace manager is Backroads speaker

By MARK MCGEE - Special to the T-G
Posted 11/26/22

Jack Daniel’s Distillery produces Tennessee whiskey but it also plays a major role in another industry— tourism.  

Erik Brown, Homeplace manager for Jack Daniel’s, recently …

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Jack Daniel’s Distillery: area tourism magnet

Homeplace manager is Backroads speaker

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Jack Daniel’s Distillery produces Tennessee whiskey but it also plays a major role in another industry— tourism.  

Erik Brown, Homeplace manager for Jack Daniel’s, recently talked about the role of the distillery in area tourism at the Tennessee Backroads Heritage Fall Dinner, held at the Bell Buckle Banquet Hall.  

“One of the unique things about Jack is you have people who wait their whole life to go and experience it,” Brown said. “We see people . . . have tears in their eyes because it is so important to them. It is a pretty special thing.”  

Many people associate Jack Daniel’s with special events or celebrations. Some are moved to have the name of a product tattooed on their bodies. Brown said many don’t seem to mind going off the beaten path to visit Lynchburg—to see where their favorite whiskey is made.  

“It’s not right off the highway,” Brown said. “It is not convenient, but the inconvenience is kind of the magic. I talk to people and ask them why they are visiting.”  

Some say they saw the signs on the road and didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Some plan their trip around seeing where Jack Daniel’s is made.  

“It is going through the winding roads and the hills and then you come upon this diamond in the rough. It is a town where everything with this No. 1 spirit is produced within one town and within eyesight. And that is special. You know you at work when you can smell the mash.”  

Brown lived and worked most of his life in Louisville, Ky. But he and his family have made a special connection with Lynchburg since moving to the town a year ago.  

“I think about what it was like in 1866,” Brown said. “What were the roads like? What did the town look like? How Mr. Jack looked?  

“How cool is it that 155 years later we are still telling the story. People still are showing up and wanting to experience it.”  

The distillery attracts approximately 275,000 visitors annually. Brown leads a team of 200 to welcome those guests to all parts of the Jack Daniel’s experience.  

“Tourism falls into so many different sectors,” Brown said. “It is really about those unique things a county, town or city has to offer for people to invest their time in. They stop by and say we want to see and learn about something. There is really so much to do here in Tennessee. “ 

The guest speaker added, “It is a huge industry because people are generally happy to be out spending their entertainment dollars. They are excited to come and experience new things or to do things they have done in the past. It is about trying to make people feel good in their time away from work or their everyday life.”  

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