Saturday, September 19, 2009

Correct Location of Pre-Prohibition Beam Distillery Identified.


This is a correction to a story in the most recent issue of my American whiskey newsletter, The Bourbon Country Reader.

In that story, "25 Stops That Should Be On The Kentucky Bourbon Trail," I identified a cluster of warehouses owned by Heaven Hill and located where the railroad tracks cross Bloomfield Road northeast of Bardstown as the location of Beam and Hart, the pre-prohibition distillery operated by Jim Beam, his brother, Park, and their brother-in-law, Albert Hart. I was mistaken.

The cluster of warehouses owned by Heaven Hill (pictured above) that is the pre-prohibition location of the Beam and Hart Old Tub Distillery is on Old Nazareth Road, also near railroad tracks, due north of Bardstown near the religious community of Nazareth. The Beams sold it during Prohibition and purchased the old Murphy, Barber & Co. Distillery, where they quarried gravel during the drought. That's the Beam plant known as Clermont today.

The Bloomfield Road site was previously a Schenley plant known as the Fairfield Distillery (even though it's several miles from Fairfield). They made Pride of Nelson and Old Jim Gore Bourbon there.

There are several similar sites around Bardstown and other Kentucky whiskey-making centers. They are the remnants of old distilleries, now owned by current producers who use the whiskey aging warehouses and occasionally some other buildings, but the distillery part and most other structures were demolished a long time ago. There is nothing much to see at any of these places and what there is you can see from the road, so please no trespassing.

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