Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the premium spirits business of Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO) and maker of the world’s number one-selling Bourbon whiskey Jim Beam®, today celebrated the 75th anniversary of its historic Clermont, Ky., facility. Together with seventh generation Jim Beam family distiller Frederick “Fred” Booker Noe III and more than 500 employees, the company recognized the site’s important link to the past and its vital connection to the future.
“For 75 years, the Jim Beam Clermont Distillery has stood strong amidst the Kentucky landscape,” said Jeff Conder, Vice President, Americas Operations, Beam Global Spirits & Wine. “Today we celebrate the role the Distillery has played in shaping Jim Beam Bourbon into the world’s number one-selling bourbon and its continued significant contribution to Kentucky Tourism through our commitment to a multi-million dollar tourism development project.”
As the first stop from Louisville on the west side of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the Jim Beam Clermont facility employs more than 300 people and welcomes more than 80,000 visitors annually. The Jim beam tourism development project, which is scheduled for completion fall 2012, will further enhance visitors’ experience with Jim Beam and celebrate the history and heritage of the historic Clermont plant. A new state-of-the-art Welcome Center complex will be able to accommodate approximately 200,000 visitors annually. Guests will become a part of the Jim Beam family by taking an up-close and personal look at the family’s business in the bourbon industry.
The Distillery History
The property originally was the site of the Murphy Barber Distillery and sat adjacent to a rock quarry owned by the legendary bourbon distiller, Jim Beam. Beam purchased the defunct distillery in 1920, just as Prohibition was going into effect.
After Prohibition, Jim, his son Jeremiah, and his nephew Carl Beam renovated and rebuilt the plant in a mere 120 days, razing most of the old Murphy Barber buildings and constructing new ones.
On an early spring day in 1935, the Beams proudly hosted an open house for the local community; after a 17-year break, they were back in the bourbon business.
“My family had been making bourbon for more than 100 years before the distillery opened,” said Fred Noe. “Prior to the Clermont location, we had distilleries in Bardstown and before that, in Washington County. This one was the special one though because this is where we got back to work.”
The Distillery Today
The Distillery today produces a number of leading bourbon brands including, most notably, Jim Beam Bourbon. In addition, Jim Beam Black® and the ultra premium Small Batch Bourbons, Basil Hayden®, Knob Creek®, Baker’s® and Booker’s®, are also distilled there today.
More than 600,000 barrels of bourbon are aged in the 27 rack houses on the distillery grounds. In addition, approximately 90 million bottles of spirits are bottled here annually and shipped to more than 200 countries worldwide.
“Technology has obviously helped our production capacity,” says Noe. “We produce a lot more whiskey than we did back in 1935. But the formula of our family bourbon has stayed true. It’s been a standard since 1795.”
Visitors to the distillery can tour the T. Jeremiah Beam Master Distiller’s Home on top of Beam Hill and see where a number of Beam family distillers lived. Gifts, souvenirs and samplings of bourbon are available in the adjacent American Outpost Bourbon Tasting and Retail Shop. And a self-guided walking tour offering background on the century-old distilling process is also available to the public.
About Beam Global Spirits & Wine
Inspiring conversations around the world, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. is building brands people want to talk about. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Cruzan® Rum, EFFEN® Vodka, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, Teacher’s® Scotch Whisky, DeKuyper® Cordials and Liqueurs and Knob Creek® Bourbon. Beam Global Spirits & Wine is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO), a leading consumer brands company. For more information on Beam Global Spirits & Wine, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.