Jim Beam Fire: Burns More Than Barrels. Statement: 45,000 barrels, ‘young whiskey’

As firefighters bravely fight the blaze of two Jim Beam warehouses, where some 45,000 barrels are at risk, the bourbon industry’s soul hurts, as it endures another tragedy. Beam reports initial reports suggests it’s a lightning strike that caused the flames.

Jim Beam Statement:

We are thankful that no one was injured in this incident, and we are grateful to the courageous firefighters from multiple jurisdictions who brought the fire under control and prevented it from spreading. Initial reports suggest that the fire resulted from a lightning strike, and we will work with local authorities to confirm the cause and to remediate the impacts. 

We have a comprehensive warehouse safety program that includes regular inspections and rigorous protocols to promote safety and the security of our aging inventory. We operate 126 barrel warehouses in Kentucky that hold approximately 3.3 million barrels for our brands, and the warehouse that was destroyed contained 45,000 barrels of relatively young whiskey from the Jim Beam mash bill. Given the age of the lost whiskey, this fire will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for consumers.

We appreciate the support of our neighbors and the Kentucky Bourbon community as we manage through this incident.”

Beam’s warehouses caught fire around 11:30 p.m. last night near the Franklin County border and was still burning 8 hours later.

Beam suffered a fire in 2003, when lightning struck a Jim Beam warehouse. The video of this fire resurfaced in 2015, with the Weather Channel dubbing it “Firenado.

The current Beam fire is the fourth major distillery fire since the 1990s. In 1996, Heaven Hill lost its distillery to a tragic fire; four years later, Wild Turkey suffered a fire. But the worst of them all was at the Silver Trail Distillery in 2015 when a still explosion cost the life of a young distiller.

Distillery fires were once so common that in the late 1800s the insurance industry revamped their fire insurance policies to prevent themselves from paying out unnecessary claims.

But the modern distilling industry has much more to worry about than just insurance claims. With two major incidents at Barton 1792, a warehouse collapse at OZ Tyler and the mainstream media breathing down their neck for answers, they must be concerned that these incidents could impact tourism and most certainly supply. And of course, all it takes is for one legislator to make the bourbon incidents his / her plank, which would greatly damage bourbon’s current standing.

On Twitter, I was extremely disappointed to see people’s reaction to this tragedy go straight to price increases, joking about Jack Daniel’s starting the fire and how Alcoholics Anonymous benefited from the fire. That’s disgusting; these burning warehouses are connected to people’s livelihoods, families and our state’s tax dollars. But I guess these are the times we live in: Nobody gives two shits about anybody, as long as they have a good snarky comment for somebody to like and retweet.

That said, this is a very real tragedy, and I hope it’s the last time I have to write about a distillery fire.

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10 Replies to “Jim Beam Fire: Burns More Than Barrels. Statement: 45,000 barrels, ‘young whiskey’”

  1. Your absolutely right. People these days only care about making some smart ass comment as quick as they can, never thinking that these events effect people’s lives. Nobody gives a rats ass that this is what puts food on people’s tables. Not just a glass of bourbon in some fat cats hand!!

  2. Dude, get off your soapbox. Jim Beam is the fucking worst. All of their special releases since Bookers Rye have been pure scams that morons like you lap up so you can keep suckling at their teet, while fucking over regular consumers who aren’t fully educated about bourbon and look to fake journalists like yourself.

  3. Helluva an article Fred! I could not agree more with your comments and find the ignorance of the many statements today to be not only insensitive, but embarrassing to the Commonwealth of Ky and the entire bourbon whiskey industry.

  4. I’m glad to see the company cares that noone got hurt rather than the loss of money. As for the smart ass comments, I wholeheartedly agree. Many people go out of their way on social media to get that like button pressed. Good article. As for Ted finnicks cousin, whoever it is, showing your lack of maturity by coming on to a news article and complaining about the product and sad attempts at insults. Hate to break it to you son, Jim beams been around a lot longer than you. Obviously they’re doing something right. That’s coming from a jack Daniels fan.

  5. Many prayers for all who much do the hazardous work of investigating, mitigating and remediation.

  6. I bought a bottle of Beam yesterday and the guy working there said people were buying it up because the thought the fire would cause such a shortage the value would go up. Here I am, buying a bottle of repeal batch because I was lacking American whiskey for 4th of July and am on a budget (though I really like the repeal batch, smoother than most other Jim Beams).
    I know the article is against talking about the money, but perhaps the people out there buying it all up will increase Jim Beam’s profit margin so much that they bounce back from this quicker than a sneeze.

  7. Take your ascot, turn it sideways, and stick it up your candy ass. You’re a sham.

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