Jim Beam Planning $400 Million Expansion to Increase Production & Reduce Emissions

by Jim Casey

Beam Suntory—the company behind iconic bourbons like Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Basil Hayden, Knob Creek, and more—will invest more than $400 million to expand production at its Booker Noe Distillery in Boston, Kentucky (35 miles south of Louisville). The expansion will increase capacity by 50 percent. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions will reduce by 50 percent.

The Booker Noe Distillery produces two Jim Beam staples—White Label and Black Label—among others.

Beam Suntory is teaming with 3 Rivers Energy Partners to build a facility across from the Booker Noe Distillery. The facility will convert spent stillage (grain/water mixture after fermentation) into renewable energy (biogas) and low-cost fertilizer. The renewable energy will be piped back into the distillery. Local farmers will have access to the high-quality, low-cost fertilizer.

The expansion is expected to be completed in 2024.

“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/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.”

Jim Beam Jobs

In addition to capacity expansion, the investment includes land, warehouses, and 51 new local jobs.

Beam Suntory’s investment was first announced by the state of Kentucky through a series of economic incentive grants in July.

“I want to once again thank the leadership at Beam Suntory for this commitment to grow Booker Noe Distillery in Nelson County,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “The dozens of jobs this project is creating will benefit so many families in central Kentucky. And the company’s continued growth reflects the strength of our state’s signature bourbon industry. Congratulations to everyone involved with this significant investment. I could not be more excited to see what’s next for Jim Beam Brands in Kentucky.”

Beam Suntory invests more than $500 million every year to make bourbon in Kentucky. The company recently completed a $60 million transformation of the James B. Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.