The fast-growing whiskey brand Blue Run Spirits has unveiled plans for a new, $51-million whiskey operation in Georgetown, KY.
The project will include a 35,000-square-foot distillery and a 20,000-square-foot rickhouse. It 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, the company says, 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,” says 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, the company says, 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.
Blue Run currently is distributed in 19 states and two provinces in Canada. The company sources its whiskey.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) has 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 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 company 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.
“Our state’s bourbon industry continues to build momentum and reach new heights,” says Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “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.”