Black fungus covering houses and trees blamed on Jack Daniels’ barrelhouses
FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - When Patrick Long bought his property in Lincoln County in 2021, he was warned that he’d have to pressure wash his house a few times a way, to keep off what’s called “Whiskey Fungus.”
It grows, he was told, from the alcohol in the air that’s released when whiskey ages.
His property backed up to two Jack Daniel’s barrelhouses.
And sure enough, a black fungus would show up on his house and roof, but pressure washing with a special mixture would work.
Then, it started getting worse, repeatedly coating the rocks in his yard, mailboxes, and playground equipment.
The fungus became so thick on his trees, he ended having to cut down several of them.
“When it’s on your landscaping, you just watch the piece of vegetation die. A long slow death,” Long said. “It does prohibit the plant’s ability to breathe. It essentially strangles it.”
And Long realized that more barrelhouses next to his property were being built.
The more they were up and running, the more the fungus smothered his property.
“It’s disgusting,” Long said.
Long and his wife then sued Jack Daniel’s and the Lincoln County government, claiming that the barrelhouses were allowed to expand without getting property permits.
A chancery court chancellor ruled in late February that Jack Daniel’s must temporarily stop construction on its latest barrelhouse, citing that they could only continue if they get proper permitting.
A spokesman for Jack Daniel’s wrote in an email to WSMV4 Investigates, “We respect the Chancellor’s ruling and look forward to working with Lincoln County on updated permits. The Jack Daniel’s Distillery will continue to comply with regulations and industry standards regarding the design, construction and permitting of our barrelhouses.”
A representative for Lincoln County said they could not comment because of the pending litigation.
Jason Holleman, the Long’s attorney, said his clients now want Jack Daniel’s to have air filtration systems in all the wheelhouses.
“You can ride out there and see how it’s damaging property,” Holleman said.
WSMV4 Investigates will continue to follow this story to see if Jack Daniel’s is allowed to continue opening more of these barrel houses.
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