Yesterday, the James B. Beam Distilling Company (JBBDCo) celebrated more than two centuries of bourbon legacy by setting sights on the future with a historic announcement. As the First Family of Bourbon commemorated the completely revamped distillery homestead and visitor experience – which also features the newly opened Fred B. Noe Distillery and The Kitchen Table Restaurant – Fred Noe, the James B. Beam Distilling Company’s 7th Generation Master Distiller, announced the appointment of Freddie Noe as Master Distiller of the Fred B. Noe Distillery.
“There is nothing in this world that would give me more pleasure and make me prouder than seeing Freddie step into the role of Master Distiller,” shared Fred Noe in an emotional toast in front of friends and family during the celebration of the reimagined James B. Beam Distilling Co. “One of my biggest regrets is to never have distilled alongside my own father, Booker, so working side-by-side with Freddie will be a dream come true. I believe that a Master Distiller should understand the craft of distilling, uphold quality, and honor tradition while spearheading innovation. Freddie embodies this wholeheartedly and I look forward to seeing Freddie lead the charge in creating the next generation of whiskeys that help to grow the American Whiskey category around the world.”
Freddie Noe previously surprised and honored Fred Noe in 2019 when he announced the name of the new distillery as the Fred B. Noe Distillery. Freddie played a pivotal role in the development of this project, leading and manifesting Fred’s vision from more than five years ago. Fred had always been inspired by his own father, Booker Noe, who created the original small-batch bourbons. Now, Freddie will continue leading this effort with some of the James B. Beam Distilling Co’s most popular super-premium whiskies such as Little Book® and Bookers®, created by his grandfather, Booker. Freddie was often referred to as Little Book by Booker because of the similarities between themselves. Bookers started the super-premium bourbon segment and now, as Master Distiller, Freddie plans to launch the next generation of super-premium whiskies for the James B. Beam Distilling Co, just like his grandfather. The Distillery also plays a large part in the revamped visitor experience by offering an insider’s look into the family history and legacy, distillation process, and of course unique tasting opportunities.
Yesterday, Fred had the pleasure of turning the tables on Freddie when he gave an emotional speech with the unexpected announcement of Freddie’s new title. This is the first time in the history of JBBDCo that there are two family members, working alongside one another, sharing the Master Distiller title.
“It is an honor beyond words to follow in my father’s footsteps,” shared Freddie Noe, Master Distiller of the Fred B. Noe Distillery. “I will continue to honor the 227 years of family craft and experience in my work every day by dedicating myself to making genuine quality whiskey while pushing the brand forward.”
While Fred Noe will maintain his role as Master Distiller, overseeing the James B. Beam Distilling Company’s portfolio of brands that include Jim Beam® Bourbon, Knob Creek® Bourbon, Basil Hayden® and others, Freddie Noe will oversee the Fred B. Noe Distillery as Master Distiller. In this role, Freddie will experiment with new fermentation, distillation, and blending techniques to produce category-defining and boundary-pushing whiskey of the highest quality. Freddie will also lead experiential distillation sessions and seminars with hands-on activities in the blending lab.
Also housed at the Fred B. Noe Distillery is a state-of-the-art classroom for the University of Kentucky®’s James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits. Freddie developed an apprenticeship program after the institute was launched, with 200 hours of customized technical content for James B. Beam Distilling Company operators, wherein future leaders in the American Whiskey industry will come together to learn the genuine whiskey-making craft. The institute is designed in partnership with the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Distillers Association to educate the next generation through a first-of-its-kind curriculum that covers the skills needed to succeed in the distilled spirits industry.
The Fred B. Noe Distillery was part of a multi-million-dollar renovation to bring to life the rich stories of the First Family of Bourbon and the legendary brands that chart the history of American Whiskey. This revamp also includes an updated visitor experience, offering behind-the-scenes peeks at their incredible brands, a tasting room and even customizable experiences. The James B. Beam Distillery Co also launched an exclusive membership program, Barreled & Boxed, which will allow consumers to experience the distilling company’s most exciting releases straight to their doorsteps (available to consumers in select markets).
The reimagination of the homestead came to life through the help of world-renowned designers and builders, including LOVE, who led creative direction design, parent brand identity and the visitor experience, and Pearlfisher | Hakuhodo, who developed the brand architecture, creative and communications strategy. Additional partners also include Bergmeyer who led the development of The Kitchen Table, the Fred B. Noe Distillery VIP experience and the campus visitor experience, Joseph & Joseph who designed the base distillery build, OJB who designed the landscape across the entire campus, and Buzick Construction Inc. and Shawmut Design and Construction who all led construction efforts. Project management and owner’s representation for the visitor experience were led by Stys Hospitality Initiative.