A passion for history and gathering around brings together art, craft, and award-winning spirits.

For Immediate Release
December 15, 2022

Knoxville, Tennessee – For the 2023 and 2024 seasons, Company Distilling and the historic Tennessee Theatre will work towards a shared vision of celebrating Tennessee’s rich heritage in distilling, arts, and history.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the partnership with Company Distilling. With their team having deep roots in Tennessee, a passion for bringing people together, and a dedication for progressing the arts in the region forward, we know this partnership will yield a lot of new ideas and creativity for both organizations,” said Becky Hancock, Executive Director of the Tennessee Theatre.

The new partnership is effective immediately, making Company Distilling Bourbon the official bourbon of the Tennessee Theatre. Guests of the Tennessee Theatre will have the opportunity to enjoy Company Distilling Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished with Maple Wood and Ghost Rail Tennessee Dry Gin at shows throughout the season. Additionally, there will be opportunities to win tickets and participate in special events. Be sure to follow both Company Distilling and the Tennessee Theatre on social media for more information and announcements.

The Tennessee Theatre is 94 years old and opened on October 1, 1928, as a grand movie palace in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. In the early 1980s, the theatre was purchased by James A. Dick, who ensured its future as a performing arts venue. Soon after the purchase, both the Knoxville Opera and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra became resident companies. In 1996, it was turned over to a newly formed non-profit, the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation. The theatre is home to broadway shows and live music throughout the year and continues to develop their programming within downtown Knoxville.

Company Distilling opened its Townsend, Tennessee, location officially in July of 2022. The distillery, bottle shop, and tasting room is a short 31 miles from downtown Knoxville and offers visitors the opportunity to taste fine spirits as they enjoy The Peaceful Side of the Smokies, less than a mile away from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Company Distilling was founded by leaders in Tennessee distilling with a passion for history and elevating the craft distilling industry in their home state. Kris Tatum and Jeff Arnett have been instrumental in the growth of distilling in the state of Tennessee. The Company Distilling team is proud of their Tennessee heritage and looks forward to the partnership with the Official State of Theatre of Tennessee. “The partnership with the Tennessee Theatre fits perfectly with our vision for Company Distilling: the history, high level of service, quality of productions, and the goal of bringing people together. We’re excited to grow together over the next few years,” said Jeff Arnett, Master Distiller.

Growing up just down the road from the theatre in South Knoxville, Kris Tatum, President & Founder, reflected on his experiences at the theatre and what ultimately helped shape his love for movies and film. “Every time I walk into the Tennessee Theatre, I am blown away by its beauty and history. It’s somewhere I want to bring family and friends to spend time together. The work the team is doing to continue to preserve its heritage is something we admire as a company and was what drew us to want to partner. We have big plans for the impact this partnership can have on our home communities in East Tennessee.” 

The founders of Company Distilling will continue their passion for the state of Tennessee, its rich history, and education by hosting the “Distilling Greatness” podcast. Recorded inside the beautiful Tennessee Theatre, listeners can Gather Around with the Company Distilling team and a few of their friends to get a taste of the people and places that make up the rich stories of whiskey in Tennessee. Initial episodes include:

  • Gather Around: Tennessee Whiskey & Tennessee Theatre History + Why You Should Care – To be released on January 5, 2023
  • Gather Around: The Science of Tennessee Whiskey – February
  • Gather Around: Whiskey Tourism & Sense of Place – March

The podcast will be available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and CompanyDistilling.com. 

Kris Tatum, President & Founder, spoke in jest that he wasn’t sure “why anyone would listen to myself and Jeff talk to our friends about things we love, but there seems to be a lot of interest in hearing us make fun of each other.” With Company, making fun of each other is part of the process; when pleasantries are replaced with a little provocation. In an environment like this, there are no politics, there is no posturing. And meetings don’t feel like meetings at all. They’re just informal gatherings of like-minded people with their own unique set of skills – exchanging ideas and keeping each other honest. This is where real collaboration comes from and how actual progress is made. Because, in the end, the last thing anyone wants to do is let down a friend.