Finnegans Revenue Grows 23%, Surpasses $1M in 2011

The Minneapolis-based beer company donates 100 percent of its profits to charities that feed the homeless; last year, the $46,000 it donated provided roughly 120,000 meals for the hungry.

Finnegans, Inc.'s revenue jumped 23 percent in 2011 and surpassed the $1 million mark for the first time in its 11-year history.

Through the Finnegans Community Fund, the Minneapolis-based beer company donates 100 percent of its profits to charities that feed the homeless. Last year, it bought $46,000 worth of fresh produce from local farms in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The food was delivered to area food shelves, which then provided roughly 120,000 meals for the hungry.

“Eleven years ago, I had a little recipe and a huge vision,” Jacquie Berglund, co-founder and CEO of Finnegans and the Finnegans Community Fund, said in a statement. “It's wonderful that so many folks enjoy our beer, but the real benefit is feeding more hungry families fresh produce.”

In the Twin Cities, the Emergency Foodshelf Network's Harvest for the Hungry program provides fresh food to local food shelves using donations from Finnegans. But Berglund said that her company is scaling the model statewide and region-wide to other partners who can do the same thing in the communities they serve.

In addition to hitting the $1 million milestone last year, Finnegans also grew from two employees to five and expanded distribution to North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Additionally, Finnegans established two new boards of directors-one for Finnegans, and one for the Finnegans Community Fund.

Since 2000, Finnegans' army of volunteers has grown to 1,200.

“These special volunteer spend thousands of hours planning events, pouring beers, and doing everything from marketing to sales and operations,” Berglund said in a statement. “With only a handful of paid staff, recruiting and retaining eager volunteers is tantamount to running a successful business, and they allow Finnegans to add to the more than $238,000 we have already donated to local charities in our history.”

Finnegans produces an Irish amber ale and a limited-release blonde ale. It is Minnesota's sixth-largest brewing company based on barrels produced within the state in 2010, of which there were 4,573.

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