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Local Founding Fathers Beer Co. Uses Profits To Help Vets

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota-based company plans to do something good with the money it makes selling beer.

Founding Fathers lager just hit store shelves in Minnesota and North Dakota, and the company plans to quickly expand distribution to include more than a dozen states in the early part of next year.

Fifty percent of the profits from beer sales will go directly to Minnesota charities supporting military families.

“Three years ago, I thought it was time to make a change,” said Phil Knutsen, founder and CEO. “What can I do that would make a difference?”

Knutsen thought of his personal life. His father and father-in-law were in the military and his son is now. He believes that supporting them and other military members is the way to go, supporting America’s servicemen and women.

So the Founding Fathers brand was introduced, with beer in the forefront.

“I wanted a cause that would affect a large number of people, that our customers could rally around,” said Knutsen.

The nonprofit Tee It Up For The Troops will benefit, and so will the Minnesota Military Family Foundation, which gives grants to military families needing financial assistance.

“And the money from the beer sold in Minnesota is going to go right back to those families in need, and we’re very excited to be partnering with Phil,” said Tom Lyons, with Minnesota Military Family Foundation.

He said his organization has given out more than 1,000 grants worth more than $2 million.

The goal for this new beer company in its first year of business is to donate a couple $100,000 in profits to several military charities. And once distribution expands to others states across the country, Founding Fathers will partner with other organizations in those states to continue giving.

The first batch of beer was bottled in a Pennsylvania brewery. Two other breweries, including one in LaCrosse, Wis., will bottle Founding Fathers beer, too.

Beer might be just the start for Founding Fathers. The idea is to develop other products in the future and support those military charities with the profits.

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