Molson Coors Beverage Company said it has reached an agreement to acquire Blue Run Spirits, a US producer of finely crafted bourbon and rye whiskies.
Molson Coors said the deal represents another step in its evolution as a total beverage company while providing Blue Run with resources to continue its growth.
Based in Georgetown, Kentucky, Blue Run is one of the whiskey industry’s most compelling new entrants since the brand’s launch in October 2020, winning numerous awards.
It has also gained international acclaim among whiskey experts and branding aficionados with its divergence from traditional industry norms, which Forbes has called “sneakerizing the bourbon industry,” with premium whiskies that generate intense interest with each release.
As Molson Coors’ first spirits acquisition, the addition of Blue Run is expected to boost the company’s footprint in spirits as it continues to evolve from its storied history as a beer company and premiumise its portfolio.
In tandem with the acquisition, Molson Coors has established Coors Spirits Co., an expansion of its existing spirits business, which will house Blue Run, Five Trail Blended American Whiskey, Barmen 1873 Bourbon and future innovation.
Molson Coors entered the whiskey space with the 2021 launch of Five Trail Blended American Whiskey and the 2022 introduction of Barmen 1873 Bourbon.
“Molson Coors has been on a journey to broaden beyond our beer roots and build powerful brands in growing categories, and Blue Run joining us is an exciting next step as we establish Coors Spirits Co.,” Michelle St. Jacques, Molson Coors’ chief commercial officer, said.
“Blue Run has accomplished in three years what many brands hope to do in a generation and has done it at the luxury end of the whiskey category. Importantly, we are committed to maintaining Blue Run’s well-known quality, design and innovation as we continue to grow our spirits portfolio.”
Blue Run’s founders – Mike Montgomery, Tim Sparapani, Jesse McKnight and Andy Brown – will all remain with the brand, with Montgomery taking on an expanded role with Molson Coors as its vice president of Coors Spirits Co.
David Coors will continue to lead Molson Coors’ full-strength spirits strategy and business development as executive chair of Coors Spirits Co.
“Since launching Blue Run, we have always strived to do things a little differently to truly embrace today’s younger, more diverse generation of whiskey drinkers,” Montgomery said. “We are humbled by how the whiskey community has embraced our vision and that Molson Coors wants to join and support us in this journey.”