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Distillery Tour Experience for James B. Beam Distilling Co. by Love

Distillery Tour Experience for James B. Beam Distilling Co. by Love

Love Announces Strategy and Creative Direction Work for James B. Beam Distilling Co. in Clermont, Kentucky

Love worked to develop a new distillery tour experience that combines history, warmth, and welcome

Love, a creative agency based in Manchester, has unveiled its latest work – the creative direction and strategy for James B. Beam Distilling Co.’s new distillery tour, as part of the campus’ 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. The ambition is to make the distillery tour the stand-out stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

The reinvented visitor experience spans the 400-acre soul place of the brand in Clermont, Kentucky. It is underpinned by a creative approach that brings the famous whiskey brand’s history to the fore. The core strategy was about celebrating and elevating the Beam family legacy and heritage, and its eight generations of Master Distillers for more than 227 years. The space brings its warmth and welcome to a wider visiting audience through carefully curated experiences that excite but also allow for quieter moments and precious memories.

The new tour opens its doors to the entire family of James B. Beam Distilling Co.’s (JBBDCo.) portfolio, which includes small-batch bourbon fan favorites such as Knob Creek, Basil Hayden and Little Book.

The expansive project transformed both existing spaces while creating new experiences. The signature Distillery tour “Beam Made Bourbon” has relaunched with the first stop showcasing spatial, experiential, graphic and signage designed by LOVE. It is a new space that focuses on the quality of ingredients and care of selecting them. It also conveys the awe-inspiring scale of the JBBDCo. production, while highlighting the enduring craft and pride that goes into it.

Conveying the scale, the vaulted space features a triple-height ceiling, with a waterfall highlighting the limestone filtered water it takes to make some of the world’s leading bourbons. It also features a vintage car reminiscent of the one Jim Beam used to drive home a sample of his special strain of yeast every night for safekeeping. Every material and touchpoint denotes craft and attention.

Also standing proud on the campus is The American Outpost (formerly known as The American Stillhouse visitor and retail center), with everything from interactive experiences to the tags and labels conceived by LOVE. Inspired by a sign for the original retail building, it is the first and last stop for visitors and allows them to learn about the Beam family through an interactive heritage wall and photobooth.

Other campus highlights include The Kitchen Table bar and restaurant, which is inspired by a family photo of the Noes around Jim Beam’s actual kitchen table in Fred Noe’s house. It is purposely built and positioned with the back porch overlooking the beautiful views of the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, offering a welcoming spot for both locals and visitors. Love’s creative direction informed all spatial and interior elements, from the elegant wood and leather details to the warm and welcoming lighting.

The Fred B. Noe Distillery, meanwhile, is the new home to the company’s small-batch whiskies and future innovations. A distillery and VIP experience, the building features its own distillery, classroom in collaboration with the University of Kentucky, meeting room, VIP bar and VIP blending space.

The projects builds on Love’s previous work creating a new identity for the JBBDCo. parent company to re-establish it as a consumer-facing brand. Launched in 2019, the brand identity highlights the authentic story of all the parent company’s brands.

Quotes:
David Palmer, Owner and Executive Creative Director, Love: “The new visitor experience is about conveying the Kentucky warmth, the soul and the spirit of the brand in different ways. The key to the project was understanding the family and its human connections. The relaunched tour reflects the scale and achievement of the family, but also mirrors its humbleness and craft. It is real, honest, and tactile, while also providing quieter moments for reflection. We have created the foundations of what a brand experience can be for one of the world’s most successful distilleries. It draws on the idea of legacy but also paves the way for the future. We loved the idea of this grand family and keeper of an iconic American brand that keeps marching on.”

Russell Ashdown, Creative Director, Love, says: “The James B. Beam Distilling Co. is an industrial factory on the one hand, but surrounded by beautiful scenery of rural Kentucky on the other. Consumers clearly come looking for both – to deep dive into Beam Made Bourbon, but also perhaps for a chance to switch off. The new tour allows them to have a bourbon on a shaded porch looking over the landscape at The Baker Beam Home, but also to visit the beating heart of the distillery in an industrial and dramatic space. Those two experiences are key and complement each other. At this scale, a brand experience can be different things, even on the same visit, for the same person.”

Chris Myers, Senior Creative Director, Love: “While the James B Beam Distilling Co. has this huge heritage behind it, there’s also a thread of the family that doesn’t stand still. That’s why the identity, while full of bourbon vernacular and the personality you would expect from a company such as JBBDCo., also has a modern feel to it. We made sure the new identity is respectful to the past while feeling modern at the same time.”

Additional credits:
OJB Landscape Architecture established the long-term master plan and is the landscape architect for on-going campus improvements for the revitalised James B. Beam Distilling Co. campus in Clermont, Kentucky.

Bergmeyer worked in collaboration with Love on the architectural design across the campus, including the development of The Kitchen Table restaurant, the Fred B. Noe Distillery VIP experience, and The American Outpost campus visitor experience.

CREDIT

  • Agency/Creative: Love
  • Article Title: Distillery Tour Experience for James B. Beam Distilling Co. by Love
  • Organisation/Entity: Agency
  • Project Type: Spatial
  • Project Status: Published
  • Agency/Creative Country: United Kingdom
  • Agency/Creative City: Manchester
  • Market Region: North America
  • Project Deliverables: Art Direction, Brand World, Design, Retail Design
  • Industry: Food/Beverage
  • Keywords: Distillery, Whiskey, Tour, Brand Experience, Experience Design, Retail Design, Spatial, Immersive, Brand Home, Brand World, Strategy, Art Direction, Spirits Branding, Drinks, Alcohol, James B. Beam.

  • Credits:
    Creative Direction/Strategy: Love
    Architects: Bergmeyer
    Landscape Architects: OJB Landscape Architecture
    Lighting Design: Hartranft Lighting Design
    Photographer: Luke Hayes

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