Did you know that there is currently a bourbon barrel shortage? Probably not, but according to a Wall Street Journal article from this past May, the lumber industry, and subsequently coopers, have struggled to keep up with the demands of the exploding bourbon industry. Between 2010 and 2013, bourbon production increased by 50%. That’s a huge leap, which requires a lot of new white oak barrels (by law, bourbon must be aged in new white oak barrels), but the financial crisis of 2007-2008 forced many loggers to leave the lumber industry. Things seem to be rebounding as of late, but according to the WSJ, “Conditions are tough for the little guys. Craft distillers have turned to consultants for help finding barrels.”
Even though Angel’s Envy is now part of the Bacardi family, and may not be feeling the direct effects of this barrel shortage, the company has decided to do its part to look for a solution. As part of its Toast the Trees program this September, (which is also conveniently National Bourbon Heritage Month), the company has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation. It has pledged to plant one new white oak tree for every picture someone posts of an Angel’s Envy cocktail on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #AE4THETREES – up to $10,000 worth. So yes, there’s a cap here, but that’s still a lot of new trees to help ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy their bourbon.