MINNEAPOLIS — Finnegans Brew Co., long known as the first beer company to donate 100 percent of profits to charities fighting hunger, is giving something else away this month: recognition. They are releasing a beer called Tricia to honor one of their long-tenured team members, Tricia Nelson.
Tricia has been with the company for 11 years, having started as an intern (rather, FINNtern) and moved her way up to Sales Development and Community Relations Manager. She is the woman behind the curtain of many Finnegans projects, including the Finnegans Market, a self-sustaining market held in the Finnegans House courtyard that aims to build community and increase access to nutritious food for all in the neighborhood. She takes on the heavy lifting that goes into managing the Finnegans Community Fund and non-profit partnerships, and fosters relationships with farmers and producers that source the ingredients used in beers and whose fresh produce line the shelves of the food pantries that partner with the brewery.
To put it simply: Tricia does it all. She is incredibly committed to Finnegans and is the living embodiment of the mission to turn beer into food and build strong communities in the process.
Tricia (the beer) is a barrel-aged Belgian Brett Pale Ale sitting at 6.4 percent ABV. It is a funky brew with a classic Belgian taste and notes of pepper and spice. Drinkers will get hints of mild oak, mixed berry and pineapple on the nose. It is available on tap at the Finnegans House and in 750 ml bottles. And it is Tricia (the person)’s favorite type of beer. No Tricias were harmed in the making of this brew, despite her reluctance to accept the attention.
“I was horrified at first, but now I’m embracing it. Who has a beer named after them?! I’m just so flattered and grateful to work for a company that would go this far to recognize an employee,” Tricia noted, blushing of course.
Finnegans is known for being unconventional. The release of Tricia lines up with Employee Appreciation Day on Friday, March 1, but that is not by design. Jacquie Berglund, Founder and CEO of Finnegans, believes in giving recognition in the moment and isn’t driven by status quo, which can be said for how she runs the business as a whole.
Having launched in 2000, Jacquie and the Finnegans team opened their first brewery/taproom just last year, in the Elliot Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Finnegans then shifted from contract brewing to crafting their own brews, with the hiring of their first ever head brewer, Ryan Mihm and assistant brewer, Logan McLean. They went from having three beers available to having brewed over 70 varieties.
Despite all of these changes, one thing remains the same: Finnegans cares about giving back and positively impacting the community and about their team. It takes a village to raise a more purposeful pint, and this village works hard to do good.