You know the headline by now, a Jim Beam rick house filled with 45,000 barrels of bourbon was hit by lightning and burned to the ground, but just recently, we were at the site of the bourbon warehouse fire.
You see the Beam warehouses share a parking lot with Glenns Creek Distilling which we featured in a recent post. The very waterway that received runoff from the fire is Glenns Creek which flows on the edge of the Beam warehouses, Glenns Creek Distilling, and the abandoned Old Crow Distillery. This runoff is causing lower levels of oxygen in the water and is killing fish. Officials have attempted to aerate the water in an attempt to save struggling fish. The impact will take some time to understand fully.
When we visited, we parked in the Beam parking lot to take a photograph of the Old Crow Bourbon Sign that sits on what was the entrance to the entire facility. Please see the two pictures accompanying this post that contain the Old Crow Sign.
Forty-five thousand barrels destroyed that hold about 53 gallons of liquor each which equates to approximately 6 million 750 ml bottles lost. The lost bourbon equaled about 1% of Beams bourbon inventory. Beam operates 126 barrel warehouses in Kentucky that together hold 3.3 million barrels of whiskey.
What we know at this time is that one other warehouse received damage, but heroic Firefighters from four counties responded to the blaze and were able to keep the fire contained. Containing this fire was very fortunate as a great deal more bourbon resides on the property.
Fortunately, no one was injured, and most of the damage was restricted to the company property itself. However, a farmhouse located across the street from the blaze experienced damage brought on by the extreme heat. Also, several of the fire trucks positioned to fight the blaze had their headlights melt.
The fire appears to be an accident brought on by mother nature. The impact on the waterways and the aquatic wildlife will take some time to measure. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the area and were very happy to do a tasting at Glenns Creek Distilling and experience the Old Crow Distillery with its iconic and industrial history. We never expected that we were standing at the site of the bourbon warehouse fire that would happen in just a few months.