Jim Beam has become the best selling bourbon in the world. There are two plants near the town of Clermont Kentucky that produce the Jim Beam spirit. The first is the main plant with the tourist office and the historic buildings as well as a huge production complex. The second one is the Booker Noe plant a few kilometers to the south. It is an industrial place with the copied equipment from the original plant.
The distillery was founded by Johannes 'Jacob' Boehm, a German immigrant to Kentucky during the eighteenth century. The family named was changed to the more Anglo-American ‘Beam’. In 1795, Jacob began selling his whiskey under the name Old Jake Beam from his distillery, Old Tub.
In 1820, Jacob Beam’s son David began managing the distillery and moved it to Nelson County. Following the end of Prohibition, Colonel James B Beam managed the business and in 1933 it was rebuilt in Clermont, Kentucky. Colonel Beam also bestowed his name to the company, thus the whiskey became known as Jim Beam Bourbon. In 1954, another distillery was founded near Boston, Kentucky, which operates in conjunction with the Clermont distillery today.
In the history of the brand now known as Jim Beam, there have been seven generations of distillers from the Beam (and Noe) family.
Jim Beam was purchased from Fortunte Brands by Suntory Holdings in 2014.