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Beam Suntory breaks ground on new distillery

Jim Beam owner Beam Suntory is investing US$60 million to increase production of its small batch Bourbons – including building a new distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.

Artist impression of the new distillery in Kentucky

Beam Suntory broke ground on the Fred B Noe Craft Distillery on Thursday (25 July), which is part of a US$60m investment to bring back the James B Beam Distilling Co in Clermont, Kentucky.

James B Beam Distilling Co was the firm’s name after Prohibition and will be the name of Beam Suntory’s Clermont operations from now on.

Furthermore, Beam Suntory plans to “elevate” its visitor centre with a tasting room, behind-the-scenes tours across all brands and the chance for guests to customise their own experiences.

Albert Baladi, president and CEO, Beam Suntory, said: “Beam Suntory is excited to honour our roots by investing in the James B Beam Distilling Co, and setting ourselves up for a bright future in Kentucky and around the world.

“With nearly 225 years behind us, we are proud of our history of entrepreneurialism, craftsmanship and innovation.

“As the world leader in Bourbon, we are thrilled to be laying the foundation for the next 225 years.”

The Fred B Noe Craft Distillery has been named after seventh generation master distiller Fred Noe, and will produce small-batch Bourbons such as Booker’s and Baker’s. It will be situated on the James B Beam Distilling Co site.

It will also be the home of the Little Book brand, which was created by eighth generation Beam distiller Freddie Noe. Furthermore, the site will be used for experiments and research into fermentation and distillation techniques.

Freddie Noe commented: “At Beam Suntory, we like to say that we’re all one big family and what we’re beginning here today reinforces our leadership in Bourbon, and sets us up for the future.

“Now I can’t think of anyone who’s set up the future of Bourbon any better than my dad, so I can hardly begin to express my pride in naming this new distillery after him.”

Beam Suntory recently gave a US$5m donation to the University of Kentucky on behalf of Jim Beam to establish the James B Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits.

At the start of July, a fire broke out at a Jim Beam warehouse in Kentucky – thought to have been started by a lightning strike – damaging 45,000 barrels of whiskey.

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