View Full Version : Does anyone here work for Brown Forman?

02-10-2006, 23:38
I live in Louisville and I have heard some stories about working for Brown Forman that I'm not sure if I believe. For instance, I have a co-worker who swears that the cafeteria in their office building serves wine coolers. I've also heard that moderate consumption of whiskey drinks is a regular occurence at people's desks in the office. I'm sure that people who work their get freebies of the products, but those stories seem just a little too far outside what I've seen in my experience with corporate America to be believable.

Does anyone know first hand? Out of curiosity, does anyone know what the business setting is like working in the offices of the bourbon industry?


02-11-2006, 18:32
Disclaimer: I am not now nor have I ever been a Brown-Forman employee and my first-hand information is close to 20 years old.

Back in the early 1980s, when I lived in Louisville, I did a lot of business with BF and was in and out of their offices all the time, though I can't say I ever ate in the company cafeteria. However, I often went out to lunch with BF folks, and cocktails at lunch certainly were common. Some executives there had a reputation that you didn't want to present to them after lunch, and I confirmed that with some first hand experience.

I never saw anyone drinking at their desk nor drinking at all in the office during business hours, except at the aforementioned off-site lunches. Who among us has never had a drink at lunch during a workday?

The only times we ever drank on the premises were if we happened to be having a meeting in a conference room and 5:00 o'clock rolled around. At 5:00 o'clock the liquor cabinet was opened (every conference room had one) and drinks were poured.

There were also times when we "had" to drink in the course of whatever business we were conducting, to taste something, but that would be "tasting," not drinking. If you needed to know what something tasted like, you tasted it. That's business.

From time to time we would have all-day or multiple-day meetings off-site, typically in a hotel suite (fewer distractions) and in those cases the bar opened at 10:00 AM.

I suspect that if anything has changed since then, they have gotten more conservative about it. During the time I was doing business with them, they had a very high profile incident involving a sales department dinner at a local hotel.

But, hey, these people make and sell liquor and they aren't shy about consuming their products. I have worked at one time or another with most of the major liquor companies and they aren't much different, ditto brewers.

I would characterize Brown-Forman as a conservative company, also a very good company and a very good place to work.

Now ask me about the tobacco companies I've worked with.

02-12-2006, 00:14
This reply will not answer your questions but I thought it a good idea and 'step up' to the plate. As much JD as I consumed from 1978-2003, B-F ought to give me a job! I would be happy to again have a job where I look forward to going to work each day - and feel better as the day wears on!!