MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Craft beer has become a big business in the U.S., especially here in the Twin Cities, and there’s quite a buzz about a new craft beer in Minnesota.

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Though beer sales overall have been sluggish in recent years, sales for craft beers are up 15 percent during the first half of last year.

And more breweries and brew pubs are popping up all over. In the last 30 years, the number of breweries in the U.S. skyrocketed from fewer than 100 to nearly 2,000.

Clearly, there are a number of ways to satisfy a mature beer palate in the Twin Cities. Minneapolis’ Town Hall Brewery always offers something new. The award-winning brew team there conjures up about 40 unique varieties every year.

There’s even a brand new brew rolling off the line at Summit Brewery in St. Paul, where head brewer Damion McConn helped create Finnigans Blonde Ale.

“The original premise involved a beer that would be lighter and refreshing for the summer months.  She wanted paler beer to differentiate from her current amber ale,” said McConn.

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The Blonde Ale is the brain child of Finnegans CEO Jacquie Berglund. With her direction, McConn went to work.

The hops for the ale are hard to come by. One of the malts comes from Belgium.

“At the end you’re just making a half-percent adjustment in one malt just to get the exact color profile you want,” said Damion.

This is Finnegans’ second style of beer in 11 years of operation. All of the profits go toward alleviating hunger.

“I felt so excited that we finally got there and to be working with such a great beer partner and Damion –a good Irishman — from Summit, it just doesn’t get any better,” said Berglund.

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Places like Finnegans have done quite well because of the craft brew demand. This is their new location, because they outgrew the old one.