Finnegans Fights Hunger with Beer

Finnegans, a Minnesota-based for-profit beer company, gives 100% of its profits to its own 401-3(c) charitable arm to address hunger. They articulate their mission this way: “We believe in barstool philanthropy…Turning beer into food for the hungry.”

The company engages its customers in a FINNEGANS Volunteer Brigade to participate in volunteer activities that benefit food shelves, ranging from food drives to fund drives. In its first 15 years, the company and donors to their community fund have given $1.2 million to food bank partners in five states. The website asserts that “doing good and having fun are not mutually exclusive.”

One of the company’s most interesting innovations is a Reverse Food Truck. “Rather than serving food, our food truck does the opposite. It accepts non-perishable food donations. Think of it as a food shelf on wheels,” Finnegan’s advertises. The truck travels to community events and can be booked by customers and volunteers as well.

Founder Jacquie Berlund always wanted charitable giving to be part of the company’s make-up: “FINNEGANS started as an idea of how a beer company could make the world a better place. I never really had a big plan – I just wanted to make/sell a quality product and help people with the profits from the product,” she wrote in a blog. “When I was a little girl my family didn’t have a lot of money and as a result I have always had compassion for those struggling by. I am a big believer that we live in the wealthiest country in the world and it should not be acceptable that so many folks in our country are not able to meet their basic needs. So, I am a big advocate for helping to create healthy communities where community members are able to meet their basic needs and thrive.”