A Q & A with the founder of NPCA’s newest partner, Limestone Branch Distillery
Limestone Branch Distillery, makers of Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, has partnered with National Parks Conservation Association to launch a cause marketing campaign to raise awareness about the issues impacting our national parks and to help fund NPCA’s efforts to protect and preserve them. The initiative harkens back to the brand’s roots, as their signature bourbon was originally created in 1872, the same year Yellowstone was designated as our first national park.
We recently spoke with founder and seventh generation distiller Steve Beam to hear more about his passion for the park, and why it is so important for him to use his product and family’s legacy to protect and preserve our national parks.
Q: Can you tell us the history of this whiskey and its connection to Yellowstone National Park?
A: Yellowstone Bourbon was named after the park, the same year it was designated our first national park. A salesman by the name of Charles Townsend, returning from a visit to Yellowstone, suggested the name in honor of the new national treasure — surely a product carrying the name of this natural wonder would be a hit (and sell)! Plus, the bourbon was — and still is — big and bold like Yellowstone. So our family knew it was the perfect name for our product.
Q: What is your personal connection to the national parks?
A: My favorite memory is, as a young child, going through Great Smoky Mountains National Park with my family — we picnicked and explored across the park, seeing bears, waterfalls. I remember learning that the air was cooler because of the elevation. It solidified my lifelong bond with nature. In fact, most of my fondest memories as a child were from family vacations to national parks and monuments. Our family would also visit Mammoth Cave National Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, and the National Mall and Memorial parks. We had many family reunions at Knob Creek, now part of Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park. With national parks ingrained in my family history and memories and playing such an integral role in my upbringing, as soon as I had the opportunity, I knew I wanted to use the distillery to give back to these iconic and special places, one bottle at a time.
Q: What led to your decision to partner with NPCA?
A: I think many of us take national parks for granted and assume they will always be there, regardless of our actions. Even here in Kentucky, I can tell that overvisitation and budget cuts have increasingly negative effects on them. It’s important to me that our brand raises awareness of this. We can be an advocate for our namesake and beyond and bring attention not just to Yellowstone National Park but to all national parks and, most importantly, the urgency and necessity of maintaining them. NPCA is the natural fit for this — in partnering with NPCA, Limestone can serve as a microphone for your advocacy-centered mission, and together, we can spread these important calls to action.
Q: Finally, for good measure … what is your favorite national park?
A: Ha, you have to ask! Yellowstone, of course. But, Yosemite is a close second.
From May 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018, Limestone Branch Distillery will donate $1 to the National Parks Conservation Association for each bottle of Yellowstone Select sold, up to $30,000.
About the author
Casey Pola Associate Director, Corporate Partnerships & Cause Marketing
As the associate director of corporate partnerships and cause marketing, Casey identifies, cultivates and stewards corporate partners and prospects through cause marketing and corporate philanthropic efforts.