In late July we reported Jim Beam was undergoing a major $400M expansion at the Booker Noe Distillery in Boston, KY. It has now been stated that production at the facility is set to increase by 50% while simultaneously reducing carbon emitting pollution by 50% as well. How are they doing this? Through the use of anaerobic digestors that will produce renewable natural gas to power the facility.
Beam Suntory has entered into an agreement with 3 Rivers Energy Partners to build a facility across the street to convert spent stillage into biogas which will be treated to renewable natural gas standards and piped directly back to the Booker Noe facility. The digestors will also produce a high-quality, low-cost fertilizer, which will be made available to local farmers, thereby supporting sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices.
Upon project completion, which is expected in 2024, the Booker Noe distillery will be 65% powered by renewable natural gas, and 35% by fossil-based natural gas.
“We are committed to making a difference by investing in cleaner technologies and systems, and the expansion and significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from this project does just that with our biggest brand,” said Beam Suntory President and CEO Albert Baladi. “This expansion will help ensure we meet future demand for our iconic bourbon in a sustainable way that supports the environment and the local community that has helped build and support Jim Beam.”
In addition to capacity expansion, the investment includes land, warehouses, and 51 new local jobs. Further, this project allows the distillery to invest in high-efficiency gas boilers to make maximum use of renewable natural gas, use scrubbing technology to remove carbon dioxide from fermentation tanks, and following a purification process, facilitate the beneficial reuse of more than 100,000 metric tons of high-purity carbon dioxide annually.
“As consumers around the world continue to discover bourbon, we want Jim Beam and our commitment to sustainability to be part of that discovery,” said Carlo Coppola, Managing Director of the James B. Beam Distilling Co. “I’m so proud to be honoring our legacy as the First Family of Bourbon by leveraging this renewable energy to support our brand’s trajectory for the next 225 years.”
Beam Suntory invests more than $500 million every year to make bourbon in Kentucky. The company recently completed a $60 million transformation of the James B. Beam Distilling Co.’s homeplace in Clermont, KY, including a new and elevated visitor experience, inclusive of the full Beam family of brands like Knob Creek®, Basil Hayden® and Booker’s® Bourbons, the Fred B. Noe Distillery, and the Kitchen Table restaurant.
“Our goal is to help Jim Beam create a sustainable future for their company and the planet,” said John Rivers, CEO of 3 Rivers Energy Partners. “With this process, we will create new renewable energy, and help sustain the agriculture needed to create their products. It is truly a full circle sustainability approach.”
3 Rivers Energy Partners specializes in the design, build, and operations of renewable natural gas projects. The company works to provide renewable energy solutions for organizations by utilizing existing bio-waste streams as feedstock for renewable energy sources.