By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 01, 2022 at 1:26 PM

Sure, this is Brew City, but who says we can’t have a Whiskey Tree for the holidays?

The Deer District has brought back its 21-foot tall whiskey barrel tree made from a stack of Jack Daniel Distillery barrels, returning a Lynchburg, Tennessee tradition to this beer town.

The tree is a cocktail of 113 American white oak whiskey barrels.

The tree is one of 13 around the country, including at the distillery’s home in Lynchburg, where the first such tree, made of 140 barrels, debuted in 2011. This year they're also in Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Philadelphia, Savannah, Tampa and Washington, DC.

The tree in the Deer District is not just real purrty for whiskey fans like you and me. It’s also for a good cause.

As part of Jack Daniel’s "Operation Ride Home" program, the top barrel of each tree will be auctioned off to benefit Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA). Proceeds help junior-enlisted service members and their families get back home for the holidays.

Since 2011, the program helped more than 10,000 service members and their families with travel to all 50 states by raising $2.3 million in donations.

"The Jack Daniel’s Barrel Tree has been a tradition in Lynchburg since 2011 and has a special way of bringing people together during the holiday season,” said Chris Fletcher, Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller.

“We love sharing this tradition with our friends in Milwaukee to help such a great cause as Operation Ride Home.”

“We hope our friends in Milwaukee will stop by and join us to reflect on this special time of year. After all, we all need some extra cheer this holiday season.”

Thanks to the generosity of Milwaukeeans, this year's barrels have already sold out here.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.