The Jim Beam distilling dynasty was founded when a group of immigrants from the German Boehm family emigrated to America, Americanised their name to ‘Beam’ and settled in the hills of Kentucky. One of their number, Johannes ‘Jacob’ Beam (1770-1834), began distilling in 1795 and was followed by his two sons who both became famous whiskey makers in their own right. John H Beam founded the Early Times Distillery and David M Beam succeeded his father at his Old Tub Distillery. James Beauregard ‘Jim’ Beam was one of David’s three children.
Prohibition closed the distillery but after repeal in 1933 the James B Beam Distilling Company was formed. Although the company has changed hands several times, the Beam family have remained with Frederick Booker Noe III now representing the seventh generation (as illustrated on the side label).