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Beam, Straight Up: The Bold Story of the First Family of Bourbon

ISBN: 978-1-118-37836-6
206 pages
September 2012
Beam, Straight Up: The Bold Story of the First Family of Bourbon (1118378369) cover image


An insider's look at the Jim Beam brand, from a 7th generation Master Distiller

Written by the 7th generation Beam family member and Master Distiller, Frederick Booker Noe III, Beam, Straight Up is the first book to be written by a Beam, the family behind the 217-year whiskey dynasty and makers of one of the world's best-selling bourbons. This book features family history and the evolution of bourbon, including Fred's storied youth "growing up Beam" in Bardstown, Kentucky; his transition from the bottling line to renowned global bourbon ambassador; and his valuable business insights on how to maintain and grow a revered brand.

  • Includes details of Fred Noe's life on the road, spreading the bourbon gospel
  • Describes Fred's journey to becoming the face of one of America's most iconic brands
  • Shares a simple primer on how bourbon is made
  • Offers cocktail and food recipes

For anyone wanting a behind the scenes look at Jim Beam, and an understanding of the bourbon industry, Beam, Straight Up will detail the family business, and its role in helping to shape it.

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Table of Contents

Prologue ix

Foreword Kid Rock xi

Chapter 1 A Little History 1

Chapter 2 A Kentucky Boyhood 23

Chapter 3 Booker: Yes, Sir. 49

Chapter 4 College Man 71

Chapter 5 Starting Out 87

Chapter 6 The Making of a Bourbon

Ambassador 101

Chapter 7 Road Warrior 115

Chapter 8 The World Isn’t As Big

As I Thought 129

Chapter 9 Bourbon and Change 143

Chapter 10 The Beam Way: How to

Build a Company That Lasts 155

Chapter 11 Home 169

Appendix 177

Cocktails 177

Hangover Cure 182

Cooking with Bourbon 182

Acknowledgments 193

Index 195

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Author Information

FRED NOE is the great-grandson of the legendary distiller, Jim Beam, as well as Beam Inc.'s Global Brand Ambassador and Master Distiller. He is the seventh-generation distilling Beam.

JIM KOKORIS is a longtime family friend, spokesperson, and publicist for the Beams. He is also the author of three novels: The Rich Part of Life, Sister North, and The Pursuit of Other Interests.

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Press Release

September 04, 2012
Beam, Straight Up: The Bold Story of the First Family of Bourbon

Beam, Straight Up

The Bold Story of the First Family of Bourbon

By Fred Noe,

Seventh Generation Jim Beam® Bourbon Master Distiller and Global Brand Ambassador 

The evolution of bourbon in American history is a rich and complex one, and the seven (and counting) generations of the Jim Beam family have been right there at the forefront of its storied transformation for the past 217 years to experience it in all its glory.

In his delightful new book, Beam, Straight Up: The Bold Story of the First Family of Bourbon (Wiley; $22.95; September 2012, 978-1-118-37836-6), seventh generation Beam family member Frederick “Fred” Booker Noe III chronicles how the First Family of Bourbon – the Beams – molded the bourbon industry into what it looks like today, and even reveals his own individual journey towards marking his footprint in the family business.

Back in the day, every Bourbon distiller in Kentucky was a relative of the Jim Beam family, but with the release of this new book, Noe has become the only family member ever to author a book about the Beams’ illustrious role in the distillery industry. His effortlessly fun, but honest demeanor shines through in the process, providing a fresh new perspective on how to survive in an age-old business.

In Beam, Straight Up, Noe not only offers valuable business insights and takeaways for any business person, he also shares his personal story of coming to terms with and reflecting on his own life, defining life milestones as colored by his family’s line of work, and eventually touching on his personal relationship with his character of a father, Booker Noe.  Besides this, however, he also opens up about:

  • His life on the road, spreading the bourbon gospel
  • The legacy behind creating the world’s No.1-selling bourbon, Jim Beam Bourbon
  • His long journey to becoming the face of one of America’s most iconic brands
  • Special cocktail and food recipes
  • The bourbon industry today, and how the Jim Beam family helped shape it
  • The various sponsorships, charities and events that the company supports

Part biography and part business book, this entertaining yet sincere account presents a spirited lesson on how to live up to your potential, and perhaps even more importantly, how to enjoy your whiskey along the way.

For more information about Jim Beam, visit www.jimbeam.com or find Fred Noe on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimbeam.    

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