SOLD: Beer Giant Molson Coors Grabs Blue Run Spirits

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Coors Spirits Co. has acquired Blue Run Spirits.

And just like that…American beer institution Molson Coors has bought Blue Run Spirits (est 2020), that snazzy newer brand with the poppin’ butterfly bottle logo, for a non-disclosed amount.

It’s interesting to see a colossal beer company show this kind of interest in American Whiskey. Putting the shoe on the other foot, what would the reaction be to see Maker’s Mark buy a trendy recently formed craft beer brand? Pure speculation, but this move ultimately feels like a compliment and further demonstration of confidence in the future strength of Bourbon (American Whiskey overall).

Coors already has an established footprint in the whiskey category. It launched its own Five Trail American Whiskey in September 2021. Barmen 1873 Bourbon (Spring 2023) was its second brand release. Technically, they’re already in the game.

Coors stated this move is all about bolstering the premiumization of its spirits portfolio.

“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.,” Molson Coors’ Chief Commercial Officer Michelle St. Jacques 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.” 

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Coors Spirits Co Portfolio following Blue Run Spirits purchase.

When you think about it, the crossover between whiskey and beer from a production viewpoint ain’t the craziest thing in the world. The metamorphical journey of each start out pretty much identical.

WHISKEY FERMENTION: Water + Yeast + Grains

BEER FERMENTATION: Water + Yeast + Grains

About Blue Run Spirits

BRS was founded in 2020 by Mike Montgomery, Tim Sparapani, Jesse McKnight and Andy Brown. None of which were in the spirits profession prior to founding BRS.

Their strategy goes hand-in-hand with a unique term they labeled as “sneakerizing” the whiskey business. Meaning eye popping bottle designs. Limited releases. They sought the expertise of Nike design expert Devon McKinney, famous for his role in the Air Force One.

What’s Next?

All BRS founders will all remain with the brand. Montgomery will take on an expanded role with Molson Coors as its vice president of Coors Spirits Co. Bourbon Hall of Famer Jim Rutledge will continue to serve as Blue Run’s distillery consultant and liquid advisor and recognized, whiskey community rising star Shaylyn Gammon will serve as whiskey curator for 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.”

THE BRS DISTILLERY?…In March 2023, BRS dropped big news of plans to create a $50M state of the art distillery in Georgetown, KY (just outside Lexington).

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Blue Run Spirits Distillery Rendering.

Designed by international architect firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) who also designed Google Headquarters, this is a stunning rendering of a state of the art distillery of the likes never before seen in Bourbon Country. Up to this point, its all ambition, lets hope it still comes to frution!

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