Wall Of Fame: Expanding The Jack Daniel Mash House


Jack Daniel is the best-selling American whiskey in the world, and poised to pass Johnnie Walker as the world’s number one brand—not bad for a small Tennessee sour mash maker nestled next to a limestone spring in Lynchburg, TN.

Except the little whiskey distiller isn’t so little anymore. Jack Daniel has been growing in double digit percentages for a number of years, and in 2013 announced a $100-plus million expansion of its entire operation. Because it’s not possible to build another Jack Daniel’s facility anywhere else in the world, the company has to build additional capacity right where it is.

That, of course, poses some intriguing engineering challenges.

One of the biggest tasks was expanding the existing mash house, where distillation starts. Because the existing house was backed right up to the surrounding Tennessee hills, the site had to be excavated to make room for the expansion. That required slope stabilization behind the new building.

Because the project was complex and on a tight schedule, Jack Daniel’s contractors called Rembco. Good move.

The hillside was excavated from the top down in five-foot increments. With each “lift” Rembco built a section of a slope stabilization system that was eventually 48 feet tall. We installed rock, soil anchors, a reaction beam (for additional strength and stabilization) and finished by spraying the slope with shotcrete to create a permanent retaining wall.

The soil or rock anchors constructed on this job consisted of steel elements (bars or strands) grouted in a drilled horizontal hole. Soil and rock anchors produce lateral or vertical force to resist movement of a retaining structure. Anchors are often used for temporary excavation shoring, or as a part of a permanent retaining wall, or to resist up-lift forces on a foundation.

Rembco uses rock anchors not only for excavation shoring and to stabilize slopes and walls, but also to provide tiebacks for towers, bridges, dams, and to secure caisson bottoms.

The Jack Daniel project was completed on time and on budget, allowing us time and funding to taste test the local product and celebrate a job well done.


About Rembco

Rembco is a geotechnical contractor that specializes in foundation support, soil stabilization and specialty grouting. Rembco offers micropiles, minipiles, soil nailing, rock anchors, pressure grouting, compaction grouting, compaction piles, chemical grouting, sinkhole repair, soil anchors and more. Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, Rembco has been providing geotechnical services (ground improvement, rock slide stabilization, excavation shoring, sinkhole remediation, hazardous material encapsulation, and underground liquid migration control) for over 30 years, serving clients throughout the nation.

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