Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Parker Beam, part of the Kentucky distilling dynasty, dies

Parker Beam
Parker Beam, 75, longtime master distiller for Kentucky's Heaven Hill Distilleries, has died after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Beam, of the iconic distilling family, died Monday. He was a whiskey maker for more than a half-century at the Bardstown, KY, company. He was responsible for the creation of Evan Williams, the world's No. 2-selling bourbon behind Jim Beam, and other Heaven Hill whiskeys.

"He was a true industry giant long before the current bourbon renaissance," said Max L. Shapira, president of Heaven Hill Brands. "Without question, he was committed to our industry and possessed a real passion for the craft of distilling." 

Beam's was a grandnephew of Jim Beam, born into a family that traces its Kentucky whiskey-making roots to 1795 when Jacob Beam set up his first still. Park Beam, Parker's grandfather and namesake, was Jim Beam's brother.
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