After 17 years in business, Finnegans Brewing Co. (817 5th Av. S., Mpls., finnegans.org) finally has its own brewery.
The nonprofit beer organization opened its new Finnegans House doors last Saturday for a single-day debut before closing again to finalize equipment preparations. The complex, which includes a private club and an innovation lab in a four-story building in downtown Minneapolis, will reopen March 30.
“Dreams come true,” said co-founder and CEO Jacquie Berglund. “It feels like a miracle at this point.”
Finnegans, known for its Irish Amber ale and its good deeds, was the first beer company in the world to donate 100 percent of its profits to charity — Berglund said the company has made a $1.2 million impact in the community. Finnegans is also the second-longest-running 100 percent donation model of any kind in the country (the first is Newman’s Own).
Now, after years of making its beer at Summit Brewing Co., Finnegans has its own digs. The new operations and a taproom is on the first floor. Head brewer Ryan Mihm — who joined Finnegans less than a year after stops at Allagash (Maine), New Belgium (Colorado) and Insight (Minneapolis), where he held the same job — has some new brews up his sleeve, including the Bière de Mars, which is aged in blackberry whiskey barrels.
The Brewer’s Den, Finnegans’ new membership club geared toward networking, will take over the second floor. Memberships start at $30 a month (with opening specials), and include social gatherings, recipe tastings, complimentary brews and more. The third floor is reserved for event space and the fourth floor will become the Finnovation lab, a social business incubator and accelerator, in collaboration with Impact Hub MSP.
“This is all about continuing the mission of this brand,” Berglund said. “When we started this company there were five or six breweries, now there are over 150. The landscape has changed. If we’re going to continue to compete we’re going to have to grow and try new things.”