In 2012, legendary 6th Generation Master Distiller Parker Beam was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS affects more than 30,000 Americans at any given time. Parker Beam is in the early stages of ALS.
Today, Heaven Hill Distilleries announced that it, in Parker's honor, it is working with the ALS Association to promote awareness and raise money to battle the disease.
Heaven Hill and Parker Beam will dedicate the upcoming fall 2013 edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection, an eagerly anticipated and highly regarded limited annual release of rare American Whiskeys, to raising funds for the ALS Association. Heaven Hill will donate $20 from each bottle sold and projects that a minimum of $250,000 will be raised.
Parker Beam is a charter member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame and a grand-nephew of James Beauregard 'Jim' Beam. He has been crafting some of the world’s most critically acclaimed whiskeys at Heaven Hill for more than 50 years; first with his father, Earl, and now with his son, Craig.
Despite his condition, Parker is continuing to work and contribute to Heaven Hill and the bourbon industry’s rising profile. He will continue to personally select the barrels used for his namesake Parker’s Heritage Collection bottlings.
The ALS Association has established a special fund, known as the Parker Beam Promise of Hope Fund. Details and quantities of the next Parker’s Heritage Collection release will be made public later this year.
"Both my wife, Linda, and myself have become very involved in the ALS Association and in raising awareness of the disease since I was diagnosed with it," noted Mr. Beam. "We are pleased to help in any way we can and are most appreciative to Heaven Hill and the Shapira family for helping with such a generous financial contribution from the sale of the upcoming edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection.
"We hope that others will become more aware of ALS and will find additional ways to help us in our fight."