Beam Suntory Family’s Disaster Relief Response Exceeds $2 Million; Airlift of Recovery Workers and Relief Supplies Enables Timely Distillery Restart

Corporate and Financial News


St. Croix, USVI, October 16, 2017 – The Cruzan Rum distillery has resumed rum production following a temporary shutdown due to the impact of Hurricane Maria. Located on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Cruzan distillery produces some of the world’s finest aged rums and is also a popular destination for visitors to the island.  

While the distillery suspended operations for approximately three weeks due to storm damage, Cruzan completed critical repairs and does not expect any supply disruptions in the marketplace. Even though some of the company’s warehouses sustained damage, Cruzan’s aging rum supply was not impacted. Previous investments to establish the distillery’s own power generation facility to strengthen business resilience also enabled the timely resumption of rum production.

“Cruzan’s roots are wide and deep in the USVI, and Cruzan and the Beam Suntory family have been engaged from the start in support of our employees and neighbors in the Territory during this incredibly challenging time,” said David Hunter, SVP of Global Supply Chain at Beam Suntory, the parent company of Cruzan Rum. “Our first priority was to establish the safety and wellbeing of our employees, and to help them get back on their feet. We airlifted in 35 restoration workers with necessary equipment and supplies to help get the distillery back up and running safely. In partnership with our friends at Diageo, we teamed up to ship to St. Croix a container of relief supplies, including 90 generators and drinking water.  Thanks to the courage, character and commitment of our Cruzan team, led by Master Distiller Gary Nelthropp, our people are looking ahead and helping contribute to the long-term recovery of the U.S. Virgin Islands.” 

In recent weeks, Beam Suntory, its brands and its parent company have provided more than $2 million in cash and in-kind support for disaster relief in the US, USVI and Mexico, including:  

  • $1 million to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief 
  • $500,000 to the Fund for the Virgin Islands
  • $100,000 to employee assistance funds established by distributor partners
  • Cash donations to relief organizations including the Bartenders Emergency Fund and Operation Barbeque Relief
  • Proceeds from the sale of remaining bottles of Booker’s Rye, 2017 Whisky Bible’s “World Whisky of the Year,” donated to hurricane relief  
  • Dollar-for-dollar company match of eligible employee donations to relief agencies
  • Airlift of 35 restoration workers and supplies to repair distillery 
  • Partnership with Diageo to ship relief supplies to St. Croix, including 90 generators and bottled water
  • $200,000 to the Mexican Red Cross for earthquake relief 

The Cruzan brand will soon announce a program to further support the ongoing recovery in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

About Cruzan® Rum
Named for the people of St. Croix (Crucians), Cruzan® Rum is a quality spirit, crafted for consumers to embrace all of life’s flavors surrounded by quality people. Cruzan Rum, distilled by the Nelthropp family, which has called the island home for eight generations, is a better tasting rum due to its ingredients and a unique five-column distillation process. The Cruzan portfolio of rums includes Cruzan® Aged Light Rum, Cruzan® Aged Dark Rum, Cruzan® Black Strap Rum, Cruzan® Single Barrel Rum, Cruzan® Estate Diamond™ Dark Rum, Cruzan® Estate Diamond™ Light Rum, Cruzan® 151 Proof Rum, Cruzan® 9 Spiced Rum and 15 flavored rums. Cruzan Single Barrel Rum and Cruzan Aged Dark Rum were most recently recognized with gold medals in the 2017 Rum Masters awards, a prestigious blind taste-testing competition that chooses the best among rums worldwide in the light, dark, extra-aged, super-premium, and flavor categories.

About Beam Suntory Inc.
As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.  

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 commitment to Growing for Good.  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 and

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