LOVE designs new brand experience for James B. Beam Distilling Co.
With the aim of making the iconic American Whiskey brand’s new distillery tour the stand-out stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, British agency LOVE conceived the creative direction and strategy. As part of the campus’ multi-million-dollar renovation, the project hopes to bring the brand’s history to the fore by incorporating warmth and welcome.
James B. Beam Distilling Co. (JBBDCo.) sought the help of LOVE to elevate the Beam family legacy and the brand’s 227-year heritage when redesigning its 400-acre home in Clermont, Kentucky. The new brand experience features the entire family of JBBDCo.’s portfolio, including small-batch bourbon brands Knob Creek, Basil Hayden and Little Book.
David Palmer, owner and executive creative director at LOVE, says, “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.”
While new spaces were created, old ones were revamped. Its signature distillery tour, ‘Beam Made Bourbon’, was updated, now featuring the agency’s spatial, experimental, graphic and signage designs.
With every material and touchpoint aiming to demonstrate craft and attention, the space utilises a vintage car reminiscent of the one Jim Beam himself once drove. The triple-height ceiling space even includes a waterfall that highlights the limestone filtered water it takes to make some of the world’s leading bourbons.
Elsewhere, LOVE designed the spatial and interior elements of The Kitchen Table bar and restaurant, a space that was inspired by a photo inside master distiller Fred Noe’s house of his family around Jim Beam’s kitchen table. The space is characterised by elegant wood and leather details, along with being able to see views of the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.
The first and last stop of the tour, the American Outpost, allows visitors to learn about the Beam family history through an interactive heritage wall and photobooth. Along with the tags and labels, it was all designed by LOVE.
Palmer adds, “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.”