Thanks to Food & Wine for this:

Residents of Lincoln County, a community of 35,000 in southern Tennessee, say they’ve had enough of the black mold quickly coating their homes, streets, and public spaces. And they’re ready to make Jack Daniel’s fix it.

As Insider explains, the mold, known as baudoinia compniacensis, or by its nickname “whiskey fungus,” grows thanks to the ethanol vapor given off by whiskey distilleries, or in this case, the one by Jack Daniel’s located in town.

In 2018, the liquor company built six barrel houses there and was going to construct 14 more before a recent lawsuit curtailed those plans.

Christi Long, who operates a local events company at her more than 100-year-old mansion in the community, filed a lawsuit in January against the county, citing that the barrelhouses lack the proper permits for operation, The New York Times reports. And, Lincoln County Chancellor J.B. Cox agreed, ruling that Jack Daniel’s must cease construction until it obtains the necessary permits.

Whiskey Fungus (photo by Ten Esse)

“This fungus now is on steroids,” Long told The Times, noting she and her husband have to power-wash their property every three months with harsh chemicals, including bleach, but the fungus simply returns. “If you take your fingernail and run your fingernail down our tree branch, it will just coat the tip of your finger … It’s just disgusting.”

Though Long and her husband don’t want to block the company’s growth completely. Instead, they’d like to see Jack Daniel’s install proper ventilation systems to remove the ethanol and curb the growth of the fungus.

“…[T]hey have requests for conditions they would like to have a public hearing on. All we asked for is that Jack Daniel’s follow the typical process for approval,” Holleman added.

As for how this fungus spreads in the first place, Holleman explains it’s all due to the evaporated byproduct, popularly known as the “angels share.”

“If you go on one of these distillery tours, they will tell you about the angels’ share that goes into the atmosphere,” Holleman told reporters. “And unfortunately, that also results in the devil’s fungus.”

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