One million barrels of bourbon filled by employees during the COVID-19 pandemic
AUGUST 5, 2021 – CLERMONT, KY – The James B. Beam Distilling Co. celebrated the filling of its 17 millionth barrel of bourbon since Prohibition, representing 1 million barrels filled in just over 18 months. As the pace of production continues to accelerate in response to the increasing global demand for America’s Native Spirit, this milestone holds the special significance of being achieved against the backdrop of a global pandemic, including related disruptions and implementation of new protocols to protect the health and wellbeing of employees.
“Throughout this pandemic, our incredible teams kept coming in to work every day, to make the bourbon that consumers around the world are going to enjoy in about four years,” said Freddie Noe, 8th Generation Beam Distiller. “They adjusted to new workplace protocols that kept them, their colleagues and our operations safe - and they did this while caring for loved ones at home.”
We’ve been fortunate to celebrate a lot of milestone fills at the James B. Beam Distilling Co., but this one is very special, and we’re dedicating this barrel to our teams who have distilled, barreled, bottled and shipped our brands day in and day out for our consumers,” Noe added.
The milestone barrel was filled, sealed and signed by Noe, his father Fred Noe, 7th Generation Master Distiller, and local leaders at James B. Beam Distilling Co. homeplace in Clermont, KY. A video of the milestone fill, including a thank you to the local team, is available here.
In addition to making and filling 1 million barrels of bourbon, The James B. Beam Distilling Co., in partnership with local Beam Suntory teams, also made hand sanitizer at the onset of the pandemic, ultimately creating more than 40,000 gallons, equivalent to 50 million pairs of hands, which was donated to first responders and healthcare workers, as well as local municipalities and organizations in the community.
"Congratulations to the James B Beam Distilling Co. on this impressive milestone. Kentucky is bourbon's birthplace, and it remains an important part of our heritage and economy, providing more than 20,000 quality jobs in the commonwealth," said Gov. Andy Beshear. "Jim Beam's 17th million bourbon barrel shows that our spirits industry continues to grow at an incredible rate."
Fred Noe added, “The passion and dedication of our people who make bourbon the Beam way is unsurpassed. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen just how devoted our people really are. We’re raising a glass to them today. It’s an honor!”
About Beam Suntory
As a world leader in premium spirits, Beam Suntory inspires human connections. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam® and Maker’s Mark® bourbon brands, Suntory whisky Kakubin and Courvoisier® cognac, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek®, Basil Hayden’s® and Legent™ bourbon; Yamazaki®, Hakushu®, Hibiki® and Toki™ Japanese whisky; Teacher’s, Laphroaig® and Bowmore® Scotch whisky; Canadian Club® whisky; Hornitos® and Sauza® tequila; EFFEN®, Haku® and Pinnacle® vodka; Sipsmith® and Roku™ gin; and On The Rocks® Premium Cocktails.
Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and vision of Growing for Good, which now includes its transformative sustainability strategy, Proof Positive. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamsuntory.com and www.drinksmart.com.