Check it out :: Finnegans rebrands

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March 29, 2010
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie
Finnegans, the charitable beer company based in Elliot Park, has launched a rebranding campaign.

Ultimately, the goal is to make Finnegans more than a beer company and establish the organization as a leader in social entrepreneurship, said Finnegans CEO Jacquie Berglund. There is a task force investigating a new product for the Finnegans label, which now features a shamrock with a halo over it.

Berglund moved her Finnegans office into the Hinkle-Murphy mansion in 2009.

She’s also launched a new quarterly event called Social Suds — a gathering of people interested in social entrepreneurship. CNN filmed at the Feb. 25 event while in town working on a story about Finnegans.

Berglund is eager to build a community of socially conscious businesses and organizations.

“For Minnesota to be the Silicon Valley of social entrepreneurism is really the goal,” she said. “We could really own that piece. There is so much exciting stuff going on in this town and it’s just a matter of connecting the dots and people collaborating.”

Finnegans has recently surpassed the $150,000 mark in donations to local nonprofits fighting homelessness and poverty. Berglund founded the beer company in 2000. When the company launched its first beer, Finnegans Irish Amber, it pledged to donate 100 percent of profits back to the community to help the poor. The beer is sold throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.


Cooking with Brenda Langton

Brenda Langton, the acclaimed chef behind Spoonriver and founder of the Mill City Farmers Market, is gearing up for another round of her “Healthy Eating, Healthy Living” classes.

During the three-evening course participants will get a chance to learn about Langton’s philosophy and practices for a healthful diet.

“There’s no better time than right now to take charge of your health by cooking delicious foods that build up our immune systems, helping us feel happy and full of life,” Langton said in a statement about the class. “It’s my hope that this class will provide inspiration for people to practice simple cooking techniques in a fun, relaxing environment in a way that’s healing to our minds and bodies.”

Langton, a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing, is partnering with the center and The Wedge Co-op on the course.

The three-night course will cover a range of menu items, including breakfast options, savory snacks, soups, vegetable and legume dishes and desserts without refined sugar.

The course costs $285, which includes a copy of the “The Café Brenda Cookbook.” Register at or call 624-9459.

When: March 30, April 6 & April 13, 6–9 p.m.
Where: Roth Distributing, 1300 W. 47th St.


Jerky contest at Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen is hosting the first annual National Jerky Competition on April 5.

The restaurant put out a call for entries all across the country. The contest is open to professional and amateur chefs, according to a news release.

Any type of jerky is eligible for the competition, including traditional beef jerky and more unusual varieties, such as strips dipped in chocolate or peanut butter.

For more information, go to

When: April 5
Where: Hell’s Kitchen, 80 S. 9th St.


Nordeast Premium unveiled

Grain Belt Brewery is unveiling a new beer called Nordeast to honor the neighborhood where it got its start in 1893.

The new Grain Belt Nordeast is an American lager with light maltiness, hop aroma and a mild bitterness.

The first cases of Nordeast will be delivered to Surdyk’s. It will then be available at other liquor stores and bars in Northeast. There will be a wider distribution on April 8.

When: April 7
Where: Northeast bars  and liquor stores