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Molson Coors to acquire Blue Run Spirits

Molson Coors has revealed plans to acquire the Kentucky-based craft whiskey and Bourbon company Blue Run Spirits.

The deal, which represents another step in Molson Coors’ evolution as a total beverage company while providing Blue Run with resources to continue its growth.

Blue Run, which is based in Georgetown, is one of the whiskey industry’s newest entrants since the brand’s launch in October 2020 and the deal marks Molson Coors’ first spirits acquisition.

The acquisition of Blue Run additionally boosts 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 according to the company will house Blue Run, Five Trail Blended American Whiskey, Barmen 1873 Bourbon and future innovation.

According to Molson Coors, this acquisition will more than double the size of the company’s spirits team, further supporting its  premiumisation strategy.

Speaking about the deal, Molson Coors’ chief commercial officer Michelle St. Jacques said: “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.”

St. Jacques explained: “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.”

Currently available in 31 states, Blue Run, with its trademark butterfly medallion on the bottle, can be found at retail and on-premise accounts in every region of the U.S and online. In March 2023, Blue Run announced plans to build a distillery in Kentucky. Now those plans will continue as part of the Molson Coors family. In addition, Blue Run has three new whiskies scheduled for a late summer release.

As part of the deal, Blue Run’s founders Mike Montgomery, Tim Sparapani, Jesse McKnight and Andy Brown will all remain with the business. Montgomery is set to take on an expanded role with Molson Coors as its vice president of Coors Spirits Co and Jim Rutledge will continue to serve as Blue Run’s distillery consultant and liquid advisor and Shaylyn Gammon will serve as whiskey curator for Coors Spirits Co. Additionally, David Coors will continue to lead Molson Coors’ full-strength spirits strategy and business development as executive chair of Coors Spirits Co.

Montgomery added: “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. 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.”

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