The deal represents another step in Molson Coors’ evolution as a total beverage company while providing Blue Run with resources to continue its growth, the company says.
Based in Georgetown, KY, Blue Run quickly grew as a company after launching in October 2020.
As Molson Coors’ first spirits acquisition, the addition of Blue Run boosts the company’s footprint in spirits as Molson Coors continues to evolve from a beer company and premiumize 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.
This acquisition will more than double the size of Molson Coors’ spirits team.
“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.,” says Molson Coors Chief Commercial Officer Michelle St. Jacques. “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. Those plans will continue as part of the Molson Coors family. In addition, Blue Run has three new whiskies slated for late summer/fall release.
Blue Run’s founders — Mike Montgomery, Tim Sparapani, Jesse McKnight and Andy Brown — 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, while 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 says. “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.”
Blue Run was represented by Samos Capital of Southlake, TX in the transaction and is legally represented by Foley and Lardner LLP of Milwaukee and Kaplan, Johnson, Abate and Bird LLP of Louisville, in addition to being supported by Joseph Goode and Cody Matthews of Truist Bank of Charlotte, NC. Molson Coors was legally represented by Quarles and Brady LLP of Milwaukee.