Friday 7 December 2012

Beam acquires 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey

Beam - owners of Cooley Distillery - has just acquired the 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey brand, along with the services of its creator, Kieran Folliard, as Chief Irish Whiskey Ambassador in the US.

I'm happy to hear that. I've never had the opportunity to try this US-based whiskey brand but news of Kieran Folliard's whiskey endeavours has travelled all the way back to his native Ireland. I've mentioned them several times around here before.

Kieran was in the pub business in Minneapolis until 2011. His bar, The Local, used to win the prize every year for shifting the most Jameson of any bar, anywhere in the world. Mostly in the form of a signature drink, The Big Ginger, containing whiskey, ginger ale, lemon, lime and ice.

He sold his share of the business to launch a new whiskey brand (licensing laws in Minnesota meant he could not do both). This was 2 Gingers, named for his red-haired mother and aunt.

It's a four year old Cooley blend, a 30/70 malt/grain mix. Unusually for a Cooley blend though, it has a little sherry-aged spirit.

Beam took over Cooley in early 2012, and cancelled the supply of whiskey to private labels to increase capacity for its own brands. I don't know what the contractual arrangements were for 2 Gingers but I was hoping that wouldn't be the end of the road for Kieran's story.

Clearly it isn't, and Kieran Folliard must be pleased with the new arrangement since he stays on to apply his considerable promotional skills to 2 Gingers and to the rest of the Beam Irish whiskey stable.

I look forward to tasting 2 Gingers on this side of the Atlantic.