Campbell Brown | Photo courtesy of Brown-Forman

Campbell Brown | Photo courtesy of Brown-Forman

For the first time in nearly 100 years, a member of the Brown family will take the reins of Old Forester, the founding brand of Brown-Forman. It was announced this morning that Campbell Brown, a fifth generation descendant of company founder George Garvin Brown (whose autograph remains on the bottle today), will become president of Old Forester and be responsible for the worldwide growth of the trademark. His appointment is in conjunction with the new $30 million Old Forester Distillery on Whiskey Row.

One of his first tasks will be to continue Old Forester’s momentum — the Louisville bourbon has experienced a recent growth in sales for the first time in decades.

George Garvin Brown's signature is on every bottle of Old Forester.

George Garvin Brown’s signature is on every bottle of Old Forester.

“With the bourbon business booming and Brown-Forman’s commitment to Old Forester evident in our substantial investment in building the Old Forester Distillery, Campbell is very well suited to lead this venerable brand to national and global growth,” said Lawson Whiting, B-F’s chief brands and strategy officer.

Campbell Brown is a member of the Board of Directors for Republic Bank and Trust and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

“I am very pleased to take on the assignment of leading Old Forester back to the prominence it once had within Brown-Forman and in the bourbon industry,” said Brown. “It has remained a favorite among true bourbon aficionados, as well as a source of great pride among company employees and Brown family members. I look forward to helping introduce Old Forester to a new generation of bourbon lovers in the U.S. and around the world.”

Brown’s new role as president begins on May 1, which is the day before Derby. As Insider reported on Monday, Old Forester replaced Early Times in Churchill Downs’ mint julep mix and was named the official drink of the Kentucky Derby.