Blue Run Spirits to Build $51 Million Distillery


August 30, 2022

Blue Run Spirits Golden Rye Whiskey Batch 2 Molson Coors

Blue Run Spirits LLC will build a new $51 million whiskey operation in Georgetown that will create a projected 45 quality jobs for Kentuckians.

“Our state’s bourbon industry continues to build momentum and reach new heights,” said Gov. Andy Beshear in making the announcement. “This investment by Blue Run Spirits is a welcome addition to the Georgetown and Scott County community and the Kentucky bourbon and tourism scene. I want to thank the company’s leadership for their vision to grow in the commonwealth and add to Kentucky’s position as the bourbon capital of the world.”

The project will include a 35,000-square-foot distillery and a 20,000-square-foot rickhouse and will serve as the company’s first vertically integrated distilling operation and future headquarters. Capital investment will go toward the purchase of distilling equipment, site acquisition and construction costs, as well as other startup-related expenditures. The investment also will create a projected 45 full-time jobs for local residents, including operations and administrative positions.

“When we started Blue Run Spirits in October of 2020, we never imagined a distillery would be in our future, but our unprecedented growth has deemed that a necessity, which is an incredibly exciting prospect for our entire team,” said Blue Run Spirits CEO and co-founder Mike Montgomery. “The generous support of the commonwealth is making this a reality. We look forward to becoming a dynamic contributor to the economic vibrancy of Scott County and Georgetown and deepening our connection to an area so significant in the rich history and the promising future of bourbon in Kentucky.”

Blue Run Spirits was founded in 2020 and has released 10 bourbons and rye whiskies. This year’s volume is expected to quintuple its 2021 total, with sales projected at approximately $15 million. Volume of sales in 2022 is anticipated to reach 50,000 4.5-liter cases, with an anticipated rise to 85,000 to 100,000 cases in 2023.

Many of the company’s products have received accolades from well-respected spirits competitions across the country. For example, the prestigious worldwide San Francisco World Spirits Competition has awarded numerous prizes to Blue Run products in multiple categories. Blue Run currently is distributed in 19 states and two provinces in Canada.

Blue Run Spirits’ planned expansion builds on recent bourbon and spirits growth across Kentucky. Since the start of the Beshear administration, the commonwealth’s spirits industry has announced more than 50 new-location or expansion projects totaling over $1.1 billion in planned investments and creating more than 900 announced full-time jobs. Currently, approximately 60 spirits facilities directly employ more than 5,300 people.

Scott County Judge/Executive Joe Covington said he is excited to build on the rich tradition of Kentucky bourbon in the area and bring quality jobs to the community.

“Blue Run Spirits’ proposed facility in Georgetown will have a substantial positive impact on jobs, local business revenue, tourism and raising the profile of Georgetown and Scott County worldwide,” said Judge Covington. “Having the first distillery established in Scott County since prohibition based in Georgetown, the hometown of Elijah Craig and the birthplace of bourbon, is a significant milestone for the entire commonwealth of Kentucky, particularly the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.”

Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather said he looks forward to building a successful partnership with the company.

“Sometimes things align perfectly. This is the right company at the right time and in the right place.” Mayor Prather said. “This is a remarkable opportunity for Georgetown and Scott County from the perspectives of economic development, job creation, tourism and cache. Blue Run is a homerun addition to our business park. Thank you, Blue Run, for selecting Georgetown for this important investment.”

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) last Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $700,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $50,976,430 and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 45 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $31.92 including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved Blue Run Spirits for up to $150,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the distillery can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, Blue Run Spirits can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

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