Minnesota’s Whiskey War

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The owner of Minnesota-based 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey is taking on the world’s largest Irish whiskey maker Jameson.

Owner of 2 Gingers and former restaurateur, Kieran Folliard says Jameson Irish Whiskey is infringing on their trademark cocktail “The Big Ginger” with a drink they’re pushing called the “Big Jameson Ginger”.

2 Gingers filed a temporary restraining order in federal court Wednesday morning after they learned last week of the “Big Jameson Ginger” name.

Folliard has been selling the Big Ginger drink since 2005. He sold his Twin Cities restaurants that included The Local, The Liffey, Cooper, and Kieran’s Irish Pub in 2011 to focus on whiskey making. Also federal regulations prohibit doing both at once.

2 Gingers marketing director Jane Bartel says Jameson attempted to purchase the Big Ginger name in 2009, but was unsuccessful.

“It’s a pretty clear infringement on our trademark,” said Bartell. “They pretty much wedged their name into our cocktail the Big Ginger.”

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

Folliard wants Jameson to stop using any names that incorporates “big” or “ginger” in the title. Bartel says they feel they had no choice but to go to court.

“(Jameson) they’re a giant. We work out of an office in northeast Minneapolis and have four fulltime employees,” said Bartel. “The Big Ginger has been a big stepping stone for us and a way to get the foot in the door… We feel it’s a big threat to our business and our livelihood here.”

General Manager of The Local, Josh Petzel says he surprised by the lawsuit. Folliard originally created the Big Ginger cocktail in The Local bar.

“It was as much a surprise to us as it was to the general public,” said Petzel. “These sorts of battles happen day-in and day-out… Usually they happen in a much larger level in international or multi-national. So it’s a little disconcerting to see it here.”

More from Edgar Linares
  • Norge

    Someone in MN knows how to make whiskey??? Jeezzz…I gotta get out more…all I thought we could make was fried walleye and hotdish!

    • CBenfer

      mmmm…now I want some fried Walley and hotdish…dammit!

  • sam

    maybe everyone should support the new minnesota brand…2 GINGERS…by having a BIG GINGER in your local pub…ask for it by name and insist on 2 gingers irish whislkey

  • Jujuan

    Thanks for the advice, Kieran.

  • Sambo

    Minnesota has enough drunks as it is.

    • Geezer

      No way silly!!Take me drunk ..i’m home…

  • Peter

    Greed… Simply put. MR. Folliard… You are an Ass… and you did NOT in any way create this drink and YOU KNOW IT!!! It is like the guy that started putting juice in Vodka…. orange, tomato, …. you name it… I was putting Gingerale in Jameson 20 years ago…. so, get over it… and realize where you really got the idea for this GREAT revelation of stealing Jameson’s ideas…. So, stop playing David against Goliath and realize you should have stuck to making cheese burgers and fries and running your local pubs… leave the national and international distribution of liiquors to professionals.. and by the way… 2 Gingers is a less than adequate whiskey… in fact, it is pretty weak….

    • I have your back

      You sir are a silly little Peter. You think that Kieran is trying to say that he invented mixing Ginger ale and Whiskey? No, that’s not the story pal, it’s called name infringement. Kieran in fact came up with the name the Big Ginger. And Jameson is trying to steal the name, not the drink. Oh and by the way fan boy, Jameson is garbage whiskey that fake Irish people drink to make themselves feel like they are a part of something. Most liquors don’t boast taste and triple distilled in the same sentence. Triple distilling is what you do to make alcohol. taste like nothing because you have something to hide. Usually alcohol that claims triple distillation is Vodka. Yuk! Vodka? So lets go over everything you just learned. 1. The Big Ginger is a name of a drink and can be owned by the person you made it up. 2. Jameson is Irish Vodka. 3. You are a little Peter. 4. Little Peter likes Irish Vodka. 5. I hope someone puts you in rehab because you have been drinking Irish Vodka for 20 years, and what you say makes no sense.

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