- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky’s bourbon industry has chosen the longtime master distiller at Heaven Hill Distilleries as the first recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Parker Beam is in his 55th year at Heaven Hill. Beam learned the distilling business from his father, Earl, to continue his family’s storied whiskey-making history. Parker Beam became master distiller in 1975 and in 2013 was named master distiller emeritus after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, says the KDA’s board of directors also voted to name the Lifetime Achievement Award after Beam. Beam was elected as a charter member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame in 2001.

Beam was recognized on Wednesday as the bourbon industry honored its newest Hall of Fame members.

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