Formerly the Jim Beam campus, the newly branded James B. Beam Distilling Company (JBBDCo) is known as the birthplace of bourbon. The Beam family has been crafting its iconic American whiskies for eight generations along the expansive bourbon trail in Clermont, KY.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2023
Second Award | Interior (Hospitality) (Built)

Project Name: James B. Beam Distilling Company

Category: Architecture: Hospitality (Built) & Architecture: Interiors (Built)
Studio Name: Bergmeyer
Design Team:

  • LOVE: Design, Creative Lead
  • Bergmeyer: Project Architect

Area: Hospitality, Experiential
Year: 2022
Location: Clermont, KY, USA

  • Stys Hospitality: Project Management
  • Shawmut Design and Construction: General Contractor
  • Fiskaa Engineering: MEP Engineer
  • LA Fuess: Structural Engineering
  • Hartranft Lighting Design: Lighting
  • Colburn Guyette: Kitchen Consultant
  • OJB: Landscape
  • Land Design & Development, Inc.: Civil Engineer
  • Greenbaum Associates: Geotech Engineer
  • C3 Commercial Construction Consulting, Inc.: Code Consultant

Photography Credits: Luke Hayes

Render Credits:
Other Credits:
Beam Suntory: Client

James B. Beam Distilling Co. | Bergmeyer - Sheet2
©Luke Hayes

Recognizing an opportunity to create a contemporary customer journey that would preserve the historical brand and connect it to a new generation of bourbon lovers, Beam Suntory embarked on a multi-phase renovation of its campus. The goals were to create an innovative visitor experience, improve existing operations and environmental conditions, introduce its brand and bourbon to new generations of prospective bourbon lovers, and make a home for its family of American whiskies under one roof.

Under the creative direction of LOVE, the JBBDCo sought to create an immersive tour of the campus that would draw in new and returning visitors with an unparalleled program that encourages guests to make this a repeat experience for years to come. We teamed up with LOVE as an architectural partner to work on the expansive scope of architectural design work throughout the campus.

James B. Beam Distilling Co. | Bergmeyer - Sheet3
©Luke Hayes

The American Outpost serves as the campus check-in, housing an interactive retail experience with custom capabilities and JBBDCo’s full suite of whiskies, a tasting area, and a newly constructed addition for administrative offices.

At Beam Made Bourbon, guests follow Beam’s liquid journey with a tradition over two centuries old involving key bourbon ingredients: corn, rye, malted barley, proper limestone-filtered Kentucky water, and yeast, done the Beam way. Setting the stage for curious minds, guests learn about distillation through museum-quality representations of the essential features of bourbon-making.

After experiencing the bourbon distillation process at the heart of Beam’s three-story Beam Made Bourbon and the Still Building, the journey continues to The Casehouse. This tour segment features an interactive museum and JBBDCo’s entire family of brands under one roof. Guests experience a six-stage, multi-sensory educational exercise to learn about distilling bourbon and complete the process by filling their own barrels and bottles first-hand.

James B. Beam Distilling Co. | Bergmeyer - Sheet4
©Luke Hayes

Dedicated to Seventh Generation Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe, the Fred B. Noe Distillery is a ground-up state-of-the-art distillery designed to produce and inspire the brand’s newest small-batch whiskies and new creations. A place for innovation, guests can find eighth-generation master distiller, Freddie Noe, experimenting with some of the most advanced techniques in distillation. Offered as a VIP experience, guests can work alongside Freddie to recreate one of his new flavor profiles in the newly designed Tasting and Barrel Rooms. Additionally, to promote the next generation of distillers, JBBDCo offers classroom space in this distillery in connection with the University of Kentucky.

Guests to the JBBDCo campus can also enjoy a delectable meal at The Kitchen Table, a first-of-its-kind experience on the trail featuring a full-service bar and restaurant built at the heart of the campus. This newly constructed building brought a much-desired culinary program to the campus, serving some of the Beam family’s favorite recipes alongside a bar program celebrating the full suite of Beam whiskies.