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Parker Beam, Heaven Hill's Family Tradition

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Victor started a discussion

Heaven Hill Master Distiller Parker Beam passed away on January 8, 2017, at the age of 75 years, from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He had started work in the distillery in 1960 while his father Earl Beam, who was Jim Beam's nephew, was the Master Distiller. Heaven Hill Distillery, which was founded in 1935, has always had a Beam family member as its master distiller. The first was Joseph L. Beam (a first cousin of Jim Beam), followed by Joe's son Harry. Next was Earl Beam, who was the son of Jim Beam's brother Park. Parker was Earl's son. Parker Beam became master distiller in 1975. He is succeeded in the role by his son, Craig Beam, who has been acting as co-Master Distiller in recent years, especially during his father's illness.

Parker Beam received many accolades during his lifetime, including induction in 2001 into the first group admitted into the Bourbon Hall of Fame of the Kentucky Distillers' Association, and, in 2015, the KDA's first Lifetime Achievement Award. Heaven Hills' elite brand, Parker's Heritage Collection, is named after him. Heaven Hill produces many bourbon and rye whiskeys, including Evan Williams (the no. 2-selling bourbon in the world), Elijah Craig, Fighting Cock, Rittenhouse, and Pikesville.

Heaven Hill's business founders, owners, and managers have also been primarily from one family, the Shapiras. For many years now, the Shapiras have had total ownership of the company, making Heaven Hill one of the few remaining large distilling businesses worldwide.

What do you think of the role of family tradition in the distilling business?

about one year ago

2 replies

Victor replied

Addition to the penultimate paragraph: "...one of the few large distilling businesses owned by one family."

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

jeanluc replied

Thanks for posting this @Victor, the whiskey world has lost an influential figure who leaves a great legacy in his lifetimes work.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

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