Deerfield, Ill.-based Beam Inc. added the 2 Gingers brand to its Irish whiskey portfolio. Additionally, the company announced that Kieran Folliard, the founder of 2 Gingers, will become Beam’s chief Irish whiskey ambassador in the United States.

“Earlier this year, we entered the fast-growing Irish whiskey category with the acquisition of our flagship Kilbeggan brand,” said Chris Bauder, general manager of whiskey for Beam Inc., in a statement. “And now we’re taking another step forward to expand our Irish whiskey business in the U.S. with the addition of Kieran Folliard and 2 Gingers to our Beam Irish whiskey family. We couldn’t be more pleased to have Kieran and his fast growing 2 Gingers brand on board.”

Folliard also expressed his excitement to be part of the Beam family in a statement, saying: “2 Gingers’ history combined with Beam’s resources as the second largest spirits company in the U.S. can create brand recognition that would take a small company like ours decades longer to achieve on its own. I am excited to partner with Beam to grow 2 Gingers and the entire Beam Irish whiskey portfolio across the U.S.”

Folliard is a 25-year resident of Minnesota, where he grew his former Irish pub business into one of the largest Irish whiskey accounts in the world, the company says. Six months after selling his on-premise establishments in 2011, Folliard introduced 2 Gingers, a premium twice-distilled Irish whiskey made by Beam’s Kilbeggan Distilling Co. that is named for his mother and aunt, who both have red hair. In less than one year, the brand has already become the fastest growing Irish whiskey in Minnesota, it says.

In his new role as chief operating officer of 2 Gingers and chief ambassador of Kilbeggan Distilling Co., Folliard will travel throughout the country to market, promote and drive growth for Beam’s entire Irish whiskey portfolio. In addition, Folliard will be taking an active role in the development of the experience between the American customer base and the Kilbeggan Distillery and Visitor Center in County Westmeath, Ireland.