Kieran Folliard's 2 Gingers sold to liquor giant

JANET MOORE | Updated 12/7/2012

Folliard to become "Chief Irish Whiskey Ambassador" for Beam Inc.

Kieran Folliard holding a bottle of his 2 Gingers Whiskey.
Tom Horgen

Beam Inc., a giant in the global spirits business, said Friday it will purchase 2 Gingers, an Irish whiskey that was the brainchild of Twin Cities entrepreneur Kieran Folliard.

Terms were not disclosed.

Folliard, who came to Minnesota from Ireland 25 years ago to found an Irish pub business, will become Chief Irish Whiskey Ambassador in the United States for Beam and chief operating officer for the 2 Gingers brand.

After selling his local pubs in 2011, Folliard introduced 2 Gingers in January to the fast-growing Irish whiskey market. Named after his red-haired mother and aunt, the premium twice-distilled Irish whiskey is made by Beam's Kilbeggan Distilling Co. in Ireland.

In less than a year, the brand has already become the fastest-growing Irish whiskey in Minnesota, and the source of the popular Big Ginger and Skinny Ginger cocktails.

In a statement, Folliard said his brand's "history combined with Beam's resources as the second-largest spirits company in the United States can create brand recognition that would take a small company like ours decades longer to achieve on its own."

Deerfield, Ill.-based Beam, which has $2.8 billion in annual revenue, said the deal is not material to its free cash flows and the acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on the company's 2012 or 2013 results.