Maker's Mark's Mistake Sent Jim Beam's Sales Soaring

Staff Writer
That little lowering-alcohol-content snafu actually helped Maker's Mark's parent company

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Remember that little problem Maker's Mark had when the distillery said it would lower the alcohol content on its signature bourbon — and then reversed its tune? Yeah, Jim Beam is laughing all the way to the bank becuase of it. 

Reuters reports that sales of Maker's Mark jumped 44 percent after the initial announcement, presumably because fans stocked up on the original Maker's Mark. And it could be why Beam's net income rose for 2012; says Reuters: "Beam on Thursday said net income rose to $114.5 million, or 71 cents per share, in the first quarter, from $79.1 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier." Those are some big dollar signs, but the company acknowledged that that kind of growth from Maker's Mark was likely unsustainable in the long run. 

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Overall, Jim Beam's sales rose 8 percent to $577.7 million, as the increase of Maker's Mark's sales offset some weaker sales of Sauza Tequila, Courvoisier cognac, and Kilbeggan Irish whiskey.