Master Distiller Heath Clark Helps Found New Distillery

Gather Around
photo from Gather Around

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

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. The $20 million investment will further fuel the Tennessee whiskey industry.

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.

“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.”

“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.”

For more information on Company Distilling, visit www.companydistilling.com

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