This is a great one. A man on a mission and mission accomplished. David Beam, the story of his mission.
David Beam, is a brother to Baker Beam. Their daddy was Carl Beam. Carl Beam was Master Disitller at Jim Beam. My Aunt Jo, told me that Carl Beam trained "Booker Noe" how to distill bourbon, the Beam way. Carl Beam's daddy (Park) and the famous Jim Beam were brother's.
David Beam has three son's, Troy, Bill and John Ed
I mentioned in another post about the Michter's Pot Still that Uncle Everett developed, and how it survived, (a replica) and is sitting right in Bardstown, Ky...Here is "The Rest of the Story".
This was published in the Kentucky Standard, Bardstown, Ky.
By Amy Taylor
David Beam has a yard just like other yards along West Stephen Foster--except for the spot with old-fashioned equipment that could make a barrel of whiskey a day (if it were legal to make booze in your yard).
I was by chance that Beam, the decendant of pioneer distiller Jacob Beam and the son of former Jim Beam master distiller Carl Beam, come upon his gleaming one-ton copper still.
David Beam was retiring after 37 years of service at the Jim Beam Clermont plant when a lawyer friend from Louisa, Ky asked for advice on an old Pennsylvania distillery property the layer had purchased at auction.
It was January of 1996. Beam traveled north with his friend to inspect the defunct Michter's Distillery in Schefferstown, just a stone's throw from the iron works where George Washington bought cannon balls during the Revolutionary War.
Wind blasted the 19th-century buildings of Michter's. There was a foot of snow on the ground. Outside a sign was posted that once advertised the distillery as the oldest operating in the nation.
Inside the decaying buildings Beam and his friend found hunks of whiskey history.
I was like a kid in a candy store. The retired supervisor of the Jim Beam Clermont distillery said. The equipment was remarkable, and it was all still there. I was amazed at what I saw.
The one-ton Pot Still that now sits in Beam's yard was on of the treasures the two men uncovered. Beam ended up buying the still from his friend, along with a smaller still, a fermenter, a mash tub and other equipment.
The big still, a replica of the single-batch pot stills that firms used before the advent of the continuous distilling process, had been made in 1976 and installed at Michter's as a show piece, Beam discovered. It was used to demonstrate distilling to the public.
Beam who grew up around whiskey-making equipment wrestled with ways to get his finds back to Kentucky. That summer he took a team of men from Kentucky to Pennsylvania that included his sons Bill, Troy and John Ed, along with Larry Walker of Heaven Hill and Donnie Ritchie of Jim Beam.
Larry was my crew chief Beam said. Donnie was in charge of transportation.
The men drove trucks with long trailers the 728 miles to Michter's where they used cherry picking equipment and the help of a group of brawny Mennonite farmers to lift the heavy pieces out of the buildings and load them up.
Bill Beam wasn't sure the crew could get everthing to fit, he said. We worked three 14 hour days to get it out of there.
His father remembers how on the way home the copper still attracted it's share of gawkers.
We'd come into a filling station to get gas and people would ask, What is that?
The men had notified federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents of the equipment move to be on the safe side, he said.
Back home in Kentucky, David built a special metal building to house his equipment. He spent days rubbing the tarnished copper pieces with polish, a process taht must be repeated every so often to keep them shinning.
Today the pieces are handsomely displayed, although in not a place that is public. All it would take to fire up the mini-distilling operation would be a boiler, Beam said.
Beam and his sons have spent hours discussing what to do with the historic equipment.
Bill can envision making whiskey with the still, pouring it into miniature oak barrels about the size of gallon jugs, then letting customers buy the little barrels and age their whiskey themselves.
Current law is a barrier to that plan, however, he said, since whiskey can't legally be sold in containers larger that 1.75 liters.
I think if enough people were behind it the law could be changed, Bill said.
The Beams can see firing up the still on distillery property or somewhere where it could be operated legally and where the public could observe it in operation.
If we were approached by the right people at the right time, we would do it, Bill said. We've had some interest, but nothing firm so far.
End of article
So there you have it. If I won the "lottery", I'd be right in there with em'. Helping to fund the starting of the next generation, of the "Real Beam's" making bourbon whiskey