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“Minnesota aims to attract more visitors as they select destinations in the highly competitive travel market,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism.
• Jackie Berglund, the one-time international economic troubleshooter who became a beer-based social entrepreneur a decade ago, reports that Finnegans had revenue growth of 50 percent in 2012 and that it donated $100,000-plus in profits to local food charities.
“Our brand and our mission are tightly aligned with growing trends, such as craft beer, community-supported agriculture and the social enterprise movement,” said Berglund, CEO of Finnegans and its nonprofit arm, the Finnegans Community Fund. “As we continue to build a community of talented staff and business partners, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.”
Meanwhile, Finnegans sold more than 7,500 barrels of beer in 2012, making it the fifth-most-popular Minnesota brand behind Schell’s, Summit, Cold Spring and Surly, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Finnegans is brewed under contract with St. Paul’s expanding Summit Brewing.
Partners include many businesses and the Twin Cities Beer Fest (sponsored by Chicago Lake Liquors), which donated its profits to the Finnegans Community Fund.
• Northeast-based Indeed Brewing, one of several local microbreweries, plans to invest $250,000 in additional production equipment and cellar tanks, and add more employees. Indeed plans to double production to 6,400 barrels annually. The company, which opened in 2012, employs 12 people and has attracted 10,000 visitors to its taproom in what was once a tire warehouse and Sears Roebuck distribution center. Indeed is part of the burgeoning development of the Northeast arts-and-hospitality scene.
“By adding tanks on an aggressive schedule we hope to stay slightly before demand, which should help ensure the high quality and consistency of our beers while giving us some room to experiment with interesting ingredients and styles of beer,” said Indeed co-founder Tom Whisenand. “This is really a dream come true ... it seems like just yesterday we were sitting around the kitchen table discussing our business plan and now we are doubling capacity.”