KFC is bubbling over with ideas — a gravy fountain, for one; 170 years later, there’s more to toast than ever Sept. 2; and Haier and GE Appliances union prep for contract talks

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 12:29 p.m.

KFC sent fans into a food frenzy when its official U.K. and Ireland Twitter account tweeted a photo of its latest invention: the “Gravy fountain of dreams.” Employees at the fast food giant said the fountain is “only at head office for now,” but they’re reportedly trying it out in stores across the Kingdom. No word on whether it will make it across the gravy pond (Mirror). Reaction approached crack-addict levels:

BROWN-FORMAN: This year’s annual batch of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon celebrating founder George Garvin Brown‘s Sept. 2 birth is bigger than usual — 14,400 bottles total, about 1,000 more than last year. Woodford Reserve master distiller Chris Morris, who set aside this year’s batch way back on June 4, 2004, isn’t sure why it’s so much more plentiful. “[It] could be the result of many factors,” he says, “such as the cooperage [barrel and cask makers] made some extra tight barrels that day or we had a lot of slow growth oak in the barrels.” Birthday Bourbon is bottled at 97 proof and has a retail price of $79.99 — $1.2 million if you could somehow round up all of it at once (Men’s Journal).

Birthday Bourbon
Available next month.

How’s it taste? Imagine the food equivalent of a porno movie.

Bottled in a decanter-style glass, the commemorative whiskey was initially launched 15 years ago. “In 2002, when we first introduced Birthday Bourbon, the market for premium Bourbons was almost nonexistent; Birthday Bourbon represented a ‘first’ in this category,” Morris said in a press release. “But 15 years later, global interest for premium Bourbons and well-crafted whiskeys is at a record high.” Each barrel in the Birthday Bourbon selection is drawn from the same day of production; 2016’s totals 93 barrels. It goes on sale nationwide starting next month (press release).

George Garvin Brown
Brown

Brown was born in Munfordville, Ky., on Sept. 2, 1846 — coming up on 170 years ago — and moved to Louisville in 1862, where he attended Male High School. He worked as a pharmaceuticals salesman until starting the company in 1870 with the original Old Forester brand, when he was 24. Brown married Amelia Bryant Owsley in 1876, and they had two children, Owsley and Robinson. George died in 1917 and is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery (Explore Kentucky History).

PIZZA HUT: VentureBeat says Domino’s has beat Pizza Hut to launch a Facebook Messenger bot, but it could be smarter (Venture Beat).

HAIER says the wages of about 4,000 union-represented Appliance Park workers “are not in line with market realities,” as the Chinese conglomerate and labor leaders get ready for next week’s contract talks. They will be the first since China’s Haier bought GE Appliances in June for $5.6 billion (WDRB and Business First).

AMAZON is opening a distribution center in Etna, N.J., on Sept. 14, and has already taken nearly 2,000 applications for a planned 1,500 jobs there. Company officials have said the center could eventually employ 3,000 during peak periods. Construction on the 855,000 square-foot, four-floor center started in mid-2015 (Newark Advocate here and here). Amazon employs 6,000 workers at distribution centers in Jeffersonville and Sherphardsville; more about its Louisville-area operations.

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