Kieran Folliard is currently on an airstream tour for the brand he founded and still involved in today though it was recently sold to Deerfield, IL based Beam Global. We had a chance to speak with him on how 2 Gingers came to be, entrepreneruship, following your passion and the signature Big Gingers drink.
Folliard and his team in 3 years have grown the brand from it’s root in Minnesota to national distribution nationwide.
SLC: How did you come about starting 2 Gingers? What was the catalyst to you founding the company?
Kieran: I was in the pub business. What we wanted to do was create our own blend. We had identified and found there was an opportunity in the marketplace within the pubs, how do we go left when everybody is going right? We want to create a whiskey thats season-less and genderless. How to bring non-whiskey drinking males and females into the market was one of the things we set out to do
I left the corporate world and decided to open my own irish pubs. For me it was a creative artistic expression on how to create things, experiences and also made sure it was economically viable. I studied Marketing in college so I was familiar with how to create and launch brands.
SLC: How did you passion for 2 gingers fuel you to where you are now?
Kieran: I had the opportunity recently to speak about entrepreneurship with MBA candidates and I told them the importance of understanding who you are yourself and your core values. You can identify going back to when you were a young person and what excited and repelled you. What moves you and how do you infuse that into your business idea to follow your passion? I think to just have product fixation and an opportunity can be fine but its more about the all encompassing how it not only fits into the business life but the rest of your life. Does it stand for something more than just the business.
For me it was about acting on ideas, encouraging as opposed to putting down. What is it all wrapped up in and stand for. My continued involvement with it, now that 2 Gingers is owned by Beam is that there can;t be a disconnect. I have to feel good about it.
SLC: Describe 2 Gingers in 3 words?
Kieran: Encourage Your Passions. Not just follow your passion but to support and write your own stories.
SLC: Why the Big Ginger is the marquee drink?
Kieran: Because it reflects the personality of the brand. One of our values is curiosity.
SLC: I’m a Chicago male, and i’m ordering my first 2 gingers drink, what do you want that person to feel upon first sip?
Kieran: Taste the difference. It has a smoothness and we took out the burn. That grimace upon drinking whiskey. Our whiskey is to be enjoyed the whole way through.
SLC: What made you at the time decide to bring on Beam Global?
Kieran: In the short term, we needed someone with the strength and capability that Beam brought to be able to distribute it past Minnesota. As long as I got to have final say on the brand as we moved forward, that was very important to me. Keeping the vision without diluting it so early on was very important to me.
If you’re headed out tonight order a Big Ginger with 2 Gingers, we are sure you will like it.
Want to create your own Big Ginger at home? Try this recipe.
BIG GINGER RECIPE
2 oz. (1/4 c.) 2 Gingers whiskey Irish whiskey )
• 1 c. ginger ale
•Wedge of lime and lemon for garnish
Fill a tall glass with ice and pour whiskey over it. Add the ginger ale, garnish with the lemon and lime.
*images:1, via 2 Gingers