US – A booming whiskey market in the US has attracted new investment from alcoholic beverage giants Molson Coors and Pernod Ricard. 

French firm Pernod Ricard’s investment is in the form of a joint venture with Rabbit Hole distillery founder Kaveh Zamanian to create a new Bourbon brand, called Mary Dowling. 

Mary Dowling Whiskey Company makes its debut with two expressions: a high-rye Bourbon finished in Tequila barrels, and Double Oak Cask Strength Bourbon. 

 The brand was named after the ‘most successful and influential female distiller in the male-dominated world of pre-Prohibition Bourbon’. 

According to the brand, Mary’s life was filled with ‘life-altering’ events including the death of her husband, a distillery fire, the founding of a bank, legal battles, and shifting production to Juárez in Mexico during Prohibition. 

Pernod Ricard has made a number of moves in American whiskey in recent years, including the creation of a dedicated division and the purchase of a majority stake in peanut butter-flavoured Skrewball whiskey.

The company is also planning to build a US$250 million distillery for its Jefferson’s Bourbon brand.

Molson Coors acquires Blue Run  

Molson Coors’ newest bet on the Whiskey market is high-end Bourbon and rye whiskey distiller Blue Run Spirits. 

Acquired for an undisclosed sum, Blue Run will join Molson Coors’ family of whiskey brands, which includes Five Trail and Barmen 1873 Bourbon. 

Founded in 2019, Blue Run specialises in producing premium, small-batch bourbon whiskeys, and has been credited with “sneakerising” the industry, with its clean-line bottles, limited releases, and social media hype.  

The company has generated what appear to be impressive sales in its short history: it sold 21,000 nine-litre cases in 2022 (a 300% year-over-year increase) and is forecasting sales of 32,000 nine-litre cases this year. 

To consolidate its presence in the sector, Molson Coors whose main fundamentals are in the beer business, has decided to set up a unit, Coors Spirits Co., to house its own Five Trail blended whiskey and Barmen 1873, as well as the Blue Run assets. 

Diversifying to spirits comes at a time when the US spirits sector revenues surpassed beer for the first time ever in 2022. 

During this period, GlobalData insights reveal that spirits supplier sales grew 0.8 share points to gain 42.1% of the market, while beer fell behind with a 41.9% share.  

US whiskey was one of the areas to drive the growth of the overall sector and along with Tequila is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% between 2021-26. 


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