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Molson Coors Beverage is making a notable shift in its portfolio by acquiring whiskey producer Blue Run Spirits, signaling its entrance into the spirits market. This purchase marks Molson Coors’ initial foray into the spirits industry, as it seeks to broaden its offerings and cater to evolving consumer preferences.
Georgetown, Kentucky-based Blue Run Spirits, established in 2020, specializes in crafting luxury bourbon and rye whiskey. The brand has rapidly gained recognition for its quality, winning awards at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the 2023 New Orleans Spirits Competition. With distribution across 31 states, Blue Run Spirits has established itself as a noteworthy player in the spirits landscape.
Molson Coors, traditionally associated with beer brands like Coors Light, Miller Light, and Blue Moon, is embracing change under the leadership of CEO Gavin Hattersley. The acquisition of Blue Run Spirits aligns with the company’s strategy to evolve beyond its beer-focused heritage and premium its portfolio. The Coors Spirits Co. division, which introduced its first bourbon offering, Barmen 1873 Bourbon, in 2022, will now be joined by Blue Run Spirits.
Michelle St. Jacques, Molson Coors’ Chief Commercial Officer, expressed the company’s commitment to expanding its spirits lineup. St. Jacques highlighted Blue Run’s achievements, noting the brand’s rapid rise to prominence in the luxury whiskey category. The acquisition showcases Molson Coors’ intention to preserve Blue Run’s exceptional quality, design, and innovation as they continue to diversify their spirits portfolio.
Blue Run’s Co-founder and CEO, Mike Montgomery, will continue to lead the brand while simultaneously serving as Vice President of Coors Spirits Co. This strategic move solidifies Molson Coors’ commitment to integrating Blue Run Spirits’ expertise and vision into their spirits division.
As the beverage landscape shifts and consumer preferences evolve, Molson Coors’ entry into the spirits arena offers a pathway to reach a broader consumer base beyond their traditional beer products. The spirits market, specifically whiskey, and bourbon, has been enjoying robust growth, amassing approximately $5.7 billion in annual revenue. This move positions Molson Coors to tap into the lucrative spirits sector while leveraging its existing market presence and distribution channels.
Molson Coors’ recent ventures, including nonalcoholic ready-to-drink cocktails and energy drink distribution, reflect a strategic focus on diversification. This acquisition underscores the company’s commitment to adapting to changing consumer demands and driving growth in a dynamic beverage industry landscape.