WhiskyFest New York Panelist Parker Beam
Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc.
For over a quarter-century, Parker Beam has been practicing his family’s craft at Heaven Hill Distilleries of distilling, aging and selecting some of the world’s most critically-acclaimed Bourbons.
Nowadays, Parker is joined by his son Craig, who works alongside his father in much the same way as Parker did years before with his father, Earl, starting in 1960. Together, Parker and Craig are responsible for making sure that the Heaven Hill Bourbons that are produced at the historic Bernheim Distillery possess the same high quality and consistent taste consumers have come to expect from such storied brands as Evan Williams and Elijah Craig. This includes the integration of the wheated-formula Old Fitzgerald line of Bourbons.
In addition to overseeing all aspects related to production, the two are also charged with safeguarding the world’s second-largest supply of aging Kentucky Bourbon whiskey, an inventory of more than 675,000 barrels currently aging in Heaven Hill’s 40+ open rick warehouses throughout Nelson County.
Park Beam, Parker’s grandfather and namesake, was the brother of James Beauregard Beam, better known as “Jim” Beam. It was Parker’s father, Earl, who was the first to ply his trade at Heaven Hill. Earl, in turn, then turned the reins over to Parker in 1975. In doing so, Parker became the seventh generation Beam to earn the title Master Distiller.
Parker’s son Craig joined Heaven Hill in 1982, and with Craig firmly entrenched in the business as the eighth generation of Master Distillers, the family’s continued legacy of Bourbon- making is assured.