The Brown-Forman Corporation, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky may be the fourth largest Bourbon Distiller in the world but it is by far the largest Whiskey, wine and distilled spirit maker in North America. In fact, the company produces over 62 brands, labels and variations of Bourbon and North American whiskey. Some of the name brand lines that are produced by one of four distilleries include the world's best selling-whiskey Jack Daniels as well as Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Early Times, Canadian Mist and Collingwood.
George Garvin Brown
George Garvin Brown was born in September 1847 and grew up in Munfordville, KY as a young man he got a job as a pharmaceutical salesman selling things like quinine, laudanum, opiates, and whiskey. After the suggestion was made from several doctors he started blending and bottling medicinal whiskey. The brand was the first bourbon to be bottled successfully and labeled as a medicinal.
Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel was born in Tennessee in 1849, and opened a distillery in Lynchburg. Because of the confusion and disarray after the Civil War, most distilleries in the South didn’t register their stills with the government, but young Jack did and became the country's Number 1 distillery.
J. T. S. Brown
John Thompson Street Brown, was the patriarch of the Bourbon whiskey making Kentucky family that left an indelible mark on the industry for the many generations that followed. Born in 1826, J. T. S. was part of a six generation family that grew into the largest whiskey producing company in the world.
Dr. William Forrester
Old Forester is the flagship brand of Brown-Forman, named after the famous Civil War surgeon Dr. William Forrester. Forrester graduated from the University of Louisville Medical School and fought gallantly in the Battle of Chickamauga. The brand was the first bourbon to be bottled successfully and labeled as a medicinal bourbon by George Garvin Brown when he was a pharmaceutical salesman. When prescribed as medicine It had always been sold at a 100 proof.
The youngest son of David Beam was John H. "Jack" Beam, born in 1839. At the age of 21, he built his own distillery near Bardstown in 1860. He stayed a distiller until his death in 1915, at the age of 75. The name of Jack’s distillery and the name of the whiskey they made there, was Early Times. Eventually the brand was acquired by Brown-Forman. Early Times continues to be a leading seller throughout the world.
Owsley Brown, I
In 1910 Owsley Brown, I, the son of proprietor George Garvin Brown, makes a crucial decision to join the family business. This begins a tradition of family apprenticeship that continues for more than a century. In 1933 Owsley of Brown-Forman and a group of other concerned distillers to write a code of conduct for the industry to police themselves.
Lincoln Henderson was appointed Brown-Forman’s Master Distiller in 1976, and under his direction releases its first super premium brand ever in Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey. Next Henderson pushes out Jack Daniel's Single Barrel ushered in as the company's first "Top Shelf Brand" in 1997.
In 1997, Chris was named Apprentice Master Distiller working for Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson, the creator of Woodford Reserve. In 2002 Chris developed the Bourbon Flavor Wheel and in 2003 Henderson retired and Morris succeeded him as only the second Master Distiller in Woodford Reserve’s short history but also appointed as only the seventh Master Distiller since 1870 over all of Brown-Forman’s entire operation.
Owsley Brown, II
The great-grandson of Brown-Forman Corporation founder George Garvin Brown, Owsley spent 40 years of his professional life with the company, starting as a summer employee in 1960. He became President in 1983, Chief Executive Officer and/or Chairman of the Board from 1993 until 2009. While at the helm of the company, he led successful efforts to dramatically expand its international presence and significantly modernized its marketing efforts.