Social Entrepreneur Brews Beer for Food

Print Share on LinkedIn More

December 7, 2011; Source: Aiken StandardJacquie Berglund of Minnesota runs a beer company with a difference. No, it’s not the quality of the brew that distinguishes it— she readily admits it’s a “middle of the road gateway beer.” Instead, it is the fact that the company’s profits all go to charity and in particular are aimed at addressing hunger. So far the company has reportedly passed along $220,000 to charities since 2000, when it was founded. Though Berglund does have a few employees, she says that most of the work is done by volunteers. As reported in the Aiken: “Among the many things she loves to do—go to happy hour, hang out in the woods, figure out ways to create community wealth.”

Berglund believes in a sound business plan, and part of her expressed philosophy is, “If you’re trying to save the world and your beer is crap, it’s not going to work.”

Without knowing the whole financial picture, it’s hard for NPQ to judge the value of this particular model. Is the company a nonprofit? There is mention of a refurbished mansion as its headquarters . . . but apparently Berglund has many fans.—Ruth McCambridge


  • Kate Barr

    I’ll provide a character reference – she’s the “real deal” of a for-profit business with a singular community purpose. Honest, direct, and reputable. Pretty good beer, too.


    I could not ask for a better reference! See – this is why it pays to have discerning readers. Thanks Kate!

  • Kate Barr

    Thanks, Ruth.

    I will add the comment that the Finnegans Beer story illusrrates the general confusion about terminology and distinctions in the social enterprise world. I would guess that a substantial percentage of purchasers of Finneragsn Beer assume that they are purchasing directly from a nonprofit. Why it matters and if it matters is a good question.

  • Colleen Buganski

    I worked for FINNEGANS as the Director of Community Relations in 2009. If you need to, I can connect you with Jacquie Berglund directly. She is a social entrepreneur who is really going places!