Whiskey barrel company created in response to flood recovery

The idea to produce white oak whiskey barrels in West Virginia came from the tragedy that was the 2016 flood, an official with The West Virginia Great Barrel Company said Thursday at the state capitol.

The West Virginia Great Barrel Company hopes to begin production in 2019.

Rebuilding homes in Greenbrier County was just the start, company spokesman Tom Crabtree said.

“The people who invested in West Virginia to rebuild the homes truly believed that rebuilding the homes was just the beginning of economic recovery in West Virginia,” Crabtree said.

Approximately 20 investors are putting up approximately $30 million for the plant and sawmill necessary for the operation in the White Sulphur Springs area.

Dozens of job will be created, Gov. Jim Justice said.

“They’re going to employ initially 113 people and the lowest paying job is $40,000 with the hopes of moving that employment up,” Justice said. “There is a huge demand from the distilling industry for white oak barrels.”

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Josh Baldwin