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Kupchella interview: Minnesota Irish whiskey king's eyes still smiling

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Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, Minnesota's Irish pub and whiskey king Kieran Folliard served up some hilarious tales and offered a peek at a new business venture in an interview Thursday with BringMeTheNews founder Rick Kupchella.

The lively exchange between Kupchella and 2 Gingers Whiskey founder Folliard was the featured event at the Smile Network's "From A Man's Perspective" networking lunch, a monthly event that highlights the work of Minnesota business leaders.

Folliard, once a reigning leader of Irish pubs in the Twin Cities, in 2011 sold his stake in the popular local bars to devote his full attention to the whiskey business.

2 Gingers, launched in January 2012, went national when Folliard sold it to Beam Inc. in December. He remains with the venture as Beam's "Chief Irish Whiskey Ambassador in the U.S."

Kupchella, a veteran broadcast journalist and media entrepreneur, is chairman of the Smile International Board of Directors. The organization funds surgical missions and provides supplies needed to repair birth defects and treat other serious health issues, including burns, tumors and genetic defects.

Check out Kupchella chatting with the charismatic entrepreneur about his arrival in Minnesota in 1987, the development of his pubs and 2 Gingers – and his new business venture:

Irish roots

Buying the first pub

2 Gingers story

What's next

2 Irish toasts

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