Kieran Folliard: 2 Gingers, Many Irish Pubs & No All-Ireland Football Medals
Irish exports are well known and well received around the world – from our butter, to our cheese, whiskey, beer and of course our people – it is the Irish people throughout history who left Ireland to forge a better life, to find new opportunities and in doing so, created bridges back to Ireland, bridges that allowed future generations to traverse them, that inspired others who met these Irish people to go visit the little craggy rock off the west coast of Europe and it has been these bridge builders that have fostered deep connections between countries.
One such bridge builder is Kieran Folliard. A Co. Mayo native, Kieran left Ireland more than 30 years ago to work in the Irish food industry overseas before settling in the twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul in America’s mid west.
It was here that the Mayo man did what Irish people do best – figure out how to make a go of things, how to build something, how to succeed. He built an Irish pub group, he became the world’s biggest seller of Jameson, he launched his own whiskey, 2 Gingers, he sold the pubs, he sold the whiskey and he’s still not done.
I’m never short of respect for people like Kieran who take risks, who build, who create, who win, yet who don’t lose their charm, their kindness or their unique Irishness. Kieran was making Irish whiskey cocktails and Irish whiskey popular before many in the U.S. knew Irish whiskey to be anything other than Jameson.
I left our chat inspired, excited and encouraged by what’s possible when you take a sip of whiskey and say – grand , what’s next. Enjoy the conversation.