Developer, Social Entrepreneur Bet Big On Finnegans’ Future

By Neal St. Anthony
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Beer entrepreneur Jacquie Berglund has brewed up a unique, seven-figure multi-tap strategy designed to double beer production to up to 12,000 barrels this year.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Social entrepreneur Jacquie Berglund quit a good job and sold her condo to start Finnegans, a beer company that has donated $1.2 million since 2003 to nutrition programs.

Berglund also has witnessed Finnegans’ revenue stagnate for several years as Twin Cities specialty brewers grew from a handful to more than 100.

“We couldn’t compete,” she admitted. “Many other brewers have a taproom.”

Now she’s rolling out the barrels.

Berglund has brewed a seven-figure, multi-tap strategy designed to double beer production to up to 12,000 barrels and double revenue to more than $4 million this year.

“This will be our time,” she predicted this month from Finnegans House, a $10 million, four-level brewery, taproom, social club and entrepreneurial center located in downtown Minneapolis.

Kraus-Anderson, the developer-contractor, financed and built Finnegans House as something of a social centerpiece of its $125 million overhaul of its headquarters block. It’s quite an upgrade from K-A’s nondescript old digs and surface parking lot.

Finnegans, located between 8th and 9th streets along 5th Avenue, is flanked on the north by K-A’s distinctive new headquarters and on the south by a 165-room Marriott Hotel connected to Finnegans that is expected to open in September.

Across from Finnegans’ already busy patio is the 17-story HQ apartments.

Finnegans will soon be surrounded by nearly 1,000 people who reside or work on that block alone.

Berglund, who also raised more than $1 million from three individuals to build out and equip the brewery and taproom, has managed to position her brand for significant growth, thanks to deep-pocketed partners.

Berglund will continue to contract for packaged-product sales through Badger Brewing of Shakopee. The faster growth should come from higher-margin beer sales in the taproom and other revenue streams from Finnegans House. That’s also how she will make the rent to K-A.

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