Blue Run Is Building a Jaw-Dropping New Whiskey Distillery
The renderings from the international architect firm Bjarke Ingels Group showcase buildings that appear to flow like a river
Blue Run Spirits, a relatively young but award-winning craft spirits brand, just announced an ambitious $50 million whiskey distillery and headquarters in Georgetown, KY. Basically, they’re putting together a distillery that looks like a flowing body of water.
Designed by international architect firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the early digital renderings showcase a 35,000-square-foot distillery and a 20,000-square-foot rickhouse. Dubbed “Meander,” the flow of the buildings is meant to evoke the journey of the limestone-rich water of the Royal Spring in Georgetown as it winds its way through the distilling, aging and blending process.
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Getting BIG involved is, well, a big deal: The Copenhagen-based firm has designed Google Headquarters, Lego Brand Museum, Audemars Piguet Museum and Hotel, the San Pellegrino Flagship Factory and the “world’s best restaurant” Noma.
“For Blue Run, we have boiled the entire process of whiskey-making down to a single linear sequence — from distilling to maturing to bottling,” says Bjarke Ingels, the Founder & Creative Director of BIG. “The half-mile-long process meanders through the gentle hillsides creating bends and banks, inlets and outlooks. A single shingled roof of photovoltaic tiles twists and turns to maintain optimal orientation even as the activities underneath require grandeur or intimacy.”
“We are thrilled to be able to reveal an early look of Bjarke Ingels Group’s design for the new Blue Run Spirits distillery in Georgetown, giving everyone a glimpse at where we are heading in developing a welcoming, unexpected and modern facility with a true focus on sustainability,” said Blue Run Spirits CEO and cofounder Mike Montgomery in a statement. “This will be a game-changing addition to Blue Run’s long-range business plans, allowing us to meet forecasted and unforeseen demand, while also giving our Whiskey Director Shaylyn Gammon and Liquid Advisor Jim Rutledge a home base of operations.”
Formed in 2020, Blue Run is known for releasing (sourced) ryes and high-rye bourbons that sell out rather quickly. Given that the company’s founders include a Nike designer and that the company itself touts elevating whiskey “through a modern design,” it’s no surprise that the new buildings represent such a radical departure from the typical distillery.
Work on the distillery and rickhouse will start this year, with a projected opening date of 2025.
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