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Tragedy Strikes As 45,000 Barrels Of Jim Beam Burn Up In A Warehouse Fire

SourceTwo barrel houses at a Jim Beam facility in Kentucky went up in flames late Tuesday, destroying tens of thousands of barrels of bourbon.

Crews were able to put out the fire in one of the structures, but the other kept burning into Wednesday morning. No injuries have been reported.

Beam Suntory, the company that owns the plant in Versailles, said 45,000 barrels “of relatively young whiskey” were lost in the blaze. …

“Initial reports are the fire resulted from a lightning strike, and we will work with local authorities to confirm the cause and to remediate the impacts,” Beam Suntory said in a statement. …

“We are thankful that no one was injured in this incident, and we are grateful to the courageous firefighters from multiple jurisdictions who brought the fire under control and prevented it from spreading,” the company said.

I hate to be the bearer of such bad news one what really should be one of the happiest, most celebratory day on the calendar. But it goes without saying that this is important and a story we all need to take a moment and reflect on. Because basically, this is my Chernobyl.


We have so many blessings in this country. And one of them, is sweet, nourishing, delicious bourbon. There are so many places in the world that either don’t have it or don’t even allow it. And if we don’t take a moment to appreciate the fact that billions around the world go to bed every night not half drunk on good old American, barrel-aged, sour mash whiskey, we’re doing them and ourselves a disservice.

I don’t care what you drink. Maybe bourbon is not your thing or Jim Beam is not your brand. That’s fine. I respect that. Accepting our differences is part of what makes America America. But I also believe a booze fire is something that brings us all together. Even if it was a vodka or gin distillery, which I don’t much go for because I’m with my philosophical guide, the great Ron Swanson when he says, “Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets,”

…I nevertheless would mourn the loss of future good time associated with this loss.

So I join the good people at Jim Beam when they thank those brave men and women who risked all to try and save the building and its inventory. And I’m also relieved there were no injuries in the attempt. Even as I’m sad for all the hours of blissful, happy drunkeness that will never happen because those 45,000 barrels went up in flames. In what had to be the greatest smelling fire in history.

The one thing I will take exception to is the idea that it was lightning. It had to have been a man made accident of some kind. Because the God I believe in is too loving and forgiving to ever do that to us. So RIP, 45,000 barrels. I’d pour one out for you, but this 4th of July, we don’t have a drop to spare.