Beam Inc. has acquired Irish whiskey newcomer 2 Gingers for an undisclosed sum.Launched in January 2012 by Minnesota-based entrepreneur Kieran Folliard, 2 Gingers is a twice-distilled offering produced by Beam’s Kilbeggan Distilling Co. in County Westmeath, Ireland. Priced at $19.99 a 750-ml., the brand has emerged as the fastest-growing and second-largest Irish whiskey in the state of Minnesota, and is expected to exceed 20,000 cases across 2,100 accounts for 2012, according to Beam, which would make it the fifth-largest Irish whiskey brand in the U.S. market.
It’s been an auspicious debut for 2 Gingers, particularly in a category where brands often start slow. By comparison, it took Tullamore Dew (now the market’s third-leading Irish whiskey brand) more than five years to reach the 20,000-case threshold in the U.S., while rival Michael Collins still hasn’t reached that level after six years on the market.
Meanwhile, former brand owner Folliard will remain on board as Beam’s chief Irish whiskey ambassador in the U.S. In this role, he will be charged with developing the experience between American consumers and the Kilbeggan Distillery and Visitor Center, as well as promoting and driving growth for Beam’s full Irish whiskey portfolio, which also includes the Kilbeggan, Connemara, Tyrconnell and Greenore labels