It seems too long since I had the chance to walk the campus of the James B. Beam Distilling Co in Clermont, Kentucky. I really missed stopping here as we passed on I-65 about 25 miles south of Louisville, Kentucky. The distillery visitor experience has been closed to the public during the pandemic, but the staff have pressed forward with renovations and new developments while we were away. As part of a multi year effort to expand and improve the facility, they have really focused over the last 18 months while closed to the public. One thing you will notice when you come is “The Kitchen Table”, a restaurant just a short walk up the hill from the American Outpost which is a combination museum and gift shop. The Kitchen Table Restaurant is a welcome addition to the James B. Beam Distillery experience.
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The Kitchen Table is a collaboration between James B. Beam Distilling Company and QED Hospitality. QED is a management group that also oversees the operation of venues such as the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans, the well known Jack Rose in the Garden District as well as several others.
Brian Landry, Chef/Owner at QED is pictured behind the bar with Freddy Noe of James B. Beam Distilling Company. Together, these two have created a dining experience that is worth the trip.
The Bourbon Road podcast was invited to attend as part of media event to introduce the restaurant and the menus offered to diners who visit the distillery. I was lucky enough to have my wife Melody attend with me to experience the evening. It’s a good thing we had a driver. Little did we know we would sample the entire menu along with a wide variety of matched cocktails. Thanks to Mint Julip Tours and our driver Brian for getting us there and home safely.
We were treated to a four course menu each accompanied by a well crafted cocktail. We didn’t eat from the entire menu (seen here), but they got pretty close. Personally, I couldn’t have eaten another bite.
Not far from where we were seated in the restaurant was a round kitchen table surrounded by chairs each with a name of a Beam family member. Representing the table where generations of Beam family members would gather for meals and fellowship. Above the table, on the wall hangs a picture of Booker and his wife sitting down for a meal with an old friend. A bottle of bourbon appropriately placed on the table.
You really get a feeling of family here, with a country touch, but elevated with great food and even better service. The appointments of the restaurant are tastefully done and the influence of Freddie Noe is apparent. This place was developed to accent an already magical place.
Make no mistake, this is a bourbon distillery and the spirit remains front and center. You will get the very best that James B Beam has to offer. Everything on the menu features locally sourced products wherever possible.
Be sure to stop in the next time you visit The Bourbon Trail. Take a tour, sample some great bourbon and grab a bite to eat on site.
The Kitchen Table is open for lunch for now. Expect extended hours and dinner service early next year or anytime a tour is operating.
The restaurant will be available for events as well.
I must say that Melody and I had an amazing time. We really enjoyed the food as well as the cocktails. Freddie Noe, Brian Landry and the rest of the staff were perfect hosts and we are looking forward to our next visit very soon. The Kitchen Table Restaurant is a welcome addition to James B Beam distillery experience.
Thank you to Desiree at Multiply as well as Blair and Haley who made sure we had the very best experience.