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Beam Suntory to ramp up production

Jim Beam owner Beam Suntory has revealed further details of its US$400 million distillery expansion in Kentucky, which will increase production capacity by 50%.

Jim Beam is owned by Beam Suntory
The expansion will help Beam Suntory meet future demand for its Bourbon

Beam Suntory’s multi-million-dollar investment to expand its Booker Noe Distillery was revealed by the state of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Economic Development in July 2022.

The investment will expand the capacity of the distillery by 50% in Boston, Nelson County. It is expected to be completed by 2024 and create more than 50 full-time jobs.

Beam Suntory said the project would also reduce the distillery’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% through the use of anaerobic digestors that will produce renewable natural gas to power the facility.

The company has partnered with 3 Rivers Energy Partners to build a facility across the road to turn spent stillage into biogas that will be piped directly back to the Booker Noe facility.

The digestors will also produce a high-quality, low-cost fertiliser, which will be made available to local farmers.

Once the site is complete, the distillery will be 65% powered by renewable natural gas, and 35% by fossil-based natural gas.

“We are committed to making a difference by investing in cleaner technologies and systems, and the expansion and significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from this project does just that with our biggest brand,” said Beam Suntory president and CEO Albert Baladi.

“This expansion will help ensure we meet future demand for our iconic Bourbon in a sustainable way that supports the environment and the local community that has helped build and support Jim Beam.”

The project will also enable the distiller to invest in high-efficiency gas boilers to make maximum use of renewable natural gas, use scrubbing technology to remove carbon dioxide from fermentation tanks, and after a purification process, facilitate the beneficial reuse of more than 100,000 metric tons of high-purity carbon dioxide annually.

Beam Suntory said it invests more than US$500m annually to make Bourbon in Kentucky.

The company recently completed a US$60m transformation of its James B Beam Distilling Co site in Clermont, Kentucky, including an ‘elevated’ visitor experience.

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