Jim Beam outlines expansion to ramp up bourbon production

Sep 13, 2022, 6:01 PM | Updated: Sep 14, 2022, 6:50 am
Shelves display bottles of bourbons for sale at a Pennsylvania fine wine and spirits store, Saturda...

Shelves display bottles of bourbons for sale at a Pennsylvania fine wine and spirits store, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in Harmony, Pa. Jim Beam plans to ramp up bourbon production at its largest Kentucky distillery to meet growing global demand in a more than $400 million expansion to be powered by renewable energy. The project will increase capacity by 50% at the Beam plant in Boston, Kentucky, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the same percentage, Beam Suntory said Wednesday, Sept. 14. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Jim Beam plans to ramp up bourbon production at its largest Kentucky distillery to meet growing global demand in a more than $400 million expansion to be powered by renewable energy.

The project will increase capacity by 50% at the Beam plant in Boston, Kentucky, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the same percentage, Beam Suntory said Wednesday.

The company behind the top-selling bourbon said it has reached production capacity at the Boston plant, about 36 miles (58 kilometers) south of Louisville, Kentucky. The expansion will be used to produce two mainstays — Jim Beam white and black label bourbons — and will mostly support expected sales growth overseas, especially in European and Asian markets, said Carlo Coppola, managing director of the Beam brands.

Jim Beam has registered mid-single-digit growth globally in the past two years, the company said.

Mixing renewable energy into crafting whiskey, Beam will use a process that produces renewable natural gas to power the plant, the company said.

Beam Suntory said it has entered into an agreement with 3 Rivers Energy Partners to build a facility across the street to convert waste from making bourbon into biogas, which will be treated to renewable natural gas standards and piped directly back to the distillery.

Once the project is completed, expected to be in 2024, the distillery will be 65% powered by renewable natural gas and 35% by fossil-based natural gas, the company said.

“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,” said Beam Suntory President and CEO Albert Baladi.

Beam Suntory, whose products include Kentucky-crafted Maker’s Mark, said last year it wants to cut its companywide greenhouse gas emissions and water usage in half by 2030. The company’s more ambitious goal is to remove more carbon than is emitted from its operations and among its supplier base by 2040. The spirits giant also is committed to planting 500,000 trees annually by 2030, with a goal of planting more trees than are use to make barrels to hold its aging whiskeys.

The new project will create 51 more jobs and includes additional storage warehouses. Bourbon ages in new, charred oak barrels, where it acquires its color and flavor, while stored in warehouses. Most bourbons typically age four to eight years before reaching consumers. Beam’s continued growth “reflects the strength of our state’s signature bourbon industry,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said.

Beam also is “fully leveraging” its capacity at its distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, where it produces Jim Beam, Basil Hayden, Knob Creek and Legent brands. The two Beam distilleries are about 14 miles (22 kilometers) apart in central Kentucky. At another distillery that opened last year at Clermont, the company produces such small-batch brands as Booker’s, Baker’s and Little Book.

The company broadly outlined its Boston plant expansion earlier in the summer, but the announcement Wednesday provided details about production and the use of renewable energy.

Beam Suntory, a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan, isn’t the first maker of bourbon to go green. Last year, spirits giant Diageo opened a carbon-neutral distillery of Bulleit bourbon powered by renewable energy in Lebanon, Kentucky.

Beam’s expansion at its Boston distillery comes amid continued rapid growth in the state’s $9 billion distilling industry. Kentucky distillers are in the midst of a more than $5 billion capital investment campaign that includes expanding production facilities and warehousing to meet the global thirst for Kentucky bourbon, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Kentucky is home to 95% of the world’s bourbon production, the association said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy answers questions after his legal...
Luis Andres Henao, The Associated Press

After Supreme Court backs Bremerton praying coach, no sweeping changes

Three months after the decision, there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches have been newly inspired to follow Joseph Kennedy’s high-profile example.
21 hours ago
A man stands amid cows infected with lumpy skin disease at a cow shelter in Jaipur, Rajasthan state...
Associated Press

Virus kills 100,000 cattle in India, threatens livelihoods

NEW DELHI (AP) — A viral disease has killed nearly 100,000 cows and buffaloes in India and sickened over 2 million more. The outbreak has triggered devastating income losses for cattle farmers since the disease not only results in deaths but can also lead to decreased milk production, emaciated animals, and birth issues. The disease, […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Ex-Seattle man found guilty of dumping body parts in Arizona

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — A former Seattle resident accused of dumping body parts around central Arizona has been been convicted of more than two dozen felonies. A Yavapai County jury on Thursday found Walter Harold Mitchell III guilty of 29 felony counts of concealing or abandoning a dead body, according to a statement from the […]
21 hours ago
Chinese military officers march down the steps of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday,...
Associated Press

Former Tibet official latest to fall in China graft sweep

BEIJING (AP) — A former vice governor of China’s sprawling Tibet region has been indicted on charges of accepting bribes, state media reported Friday. Zhang Yongze is the latest high-level former official to be indicted on graft charges just weeks before a major congress of the ruling Communist Party, whose leader Xi Jinping has made […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives at the Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, ...
Associated Press

Thai court to rule if Prayuth has overstayed PM’s term limit

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s Constitutional Court is set to rule Friday on whether Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has exceeded the term limits of his job and must leave office immediately. A ruling in Prayuth’s favor is considered likely but risks invigorating a protest movement long opposed to his government because he came to power undemocratically. […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

2 rock climbers found dead in Southern California

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (AP) — Two rock climbers were found dead near a Southern California peak after rescue crews responded to reports of injuries, authorities said. Rescuers were called around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to Tahquitz Rock near Idyllwild following a distress call, the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department said on Twitter. A team managed to climb […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Jim Beam outlines expansion to ramp up bourbon production