A whirlwind stop-off at the Jim Beam Distillery, Kentucky

Anyone who has ever been to Kentucky knows – this is Bourbon Country.

Kentucky boasts forty distilleries producing 200 brands of bourbon, spread out along the state, and boasting bourbon trail visits for visitors. We definitely need to get back to do this, but on our big driving tour this summer, we had limited time between the drive from Columbus, Ohio to Nashville, Tennessee. Many of the smaller distilleries were set off farther from the highway – in picturesque countryside.

With our limited time, we decided for a quick stop off at one of the bigger distilleries, in Clermont, Kentucky, only a short distance from the highway: The James Beam Distillery.

James Beam Distillery, Kentucky/ Kimberly Sullivan

Jim Beam has been producing bourbon since 1795 – only interrupted temporarily during America’s insane Prohibition era.

The original distillery was begun by German immigrants to the US, who settled in Kentucky. The  Böhm family changed their name to Beam and started their business and grew it over the centuries into what is one of the best-selling bourbon brands in the world.

James Beam Distillery, Kentucky/ Kimberly Sullivan

We arrived on a beautiful (and hot) August day. The place was packed. We did not have a pre-booked tour, and so couldn’t see the full distillery. In all honesty, we didn’t have time anyway, so this will be for a future visit.

There was also a lovely restaurant, with homecooked fare and bourbon drinks, but there was a wait and we had a long drove before us. But again, will make a great stop on a  future visit.

James Beam Distillery, Kentucky/ Kimberly Sullivan

We did enjoy seeing some of the early bottles and walking around the old homestead and pausing to relax in the rocking chairs before hopping in our car to keep driving to our destination.

It was worth the stop-off. Next time we’ll book ahead, and stop off at some of the samller distilleries in this area. It’s definitely a region we’ll look forward to exploring more on future trips.


James Beam Distillery, Kentucky/ Kimberly Sullivan

James Beam Distillery, Kentucky/ Kimberly Sullivan


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