The story of the Beam family is one of seven generations, more than 200 years, countless challenges and one goal; to make the best bourbon in the world. So settle in, pour yourself a bourbon and prepare to travel back in time with the First Family of Bourbon.
In 1740, when the United States was still the Thirteen Colonies, the Boehm family first arrived in America, determined to live the colonial dream. Forty-eight years later, they’d relocated to where central Kentucky currently is and Americanized their German name to “Beam.” The hot summers, mild winters and nearby limestone spring made their new home ideal for … you guessed it … growing corn. Not what you were thinking? Don’t worry, the bourbon part is coming soon.
By the late 1700s, German, Scotch and Irish settlers were already making rye whiskey in Western Pennsylvania with recipes they brought over from their homelands. But when the U.S. government began offering incentives to move west and grow corn, many packed up their families and relocated to the Kentucky region of Virginia(strange times, we know). Among these farmers was Jacob Beam who, like others, used his father’s whiskey recipe to distill his excess corn into a new, sweeter kind of whiskey-bourbon was born.
Perhaps the best decision Jacob Beam ever made was to sell his bourbon. He sold his first barrel of Old Jake Beam Sour Mash in 1795, just three years after Kentucky became a state. His bourbon quickly became a local favourite-no small accomplishment considering that, by the early 1800s, Kentucky was home to about 2,000 distillers.