The Mill: Mighty Axe prepares for mightiest hop harvest yet

Mighty Axe Hops prepares for their largest harvest ever // Photo via Mighty Axe Hops' Facebook

Mighty Axe Hops prepares for their largest harvest ever // Photo via Mighty Axe Hops’ Facebook

August 23–August 29

After expanding their three-and-a-half acre hop growing operation in Ham Lake to a 40-acre hop yard in Foley, Mighty Axe Hops are preparing to haul in their largest harvest to date.

“We’ve got 80 acres of trellis installed—40 acres of hops planted, and the next 40 is what we’re doing now,” Mighty Axe Hops co-founder Eric Sannerud said in an interview with St. Cloud Times. “The harvest facility is nearly complete; it’s the finishing touches and final inspections at this point. From that perspective, it’s going pretty well.”

The 13,000-square-foot building will house state-of-the-art threshing, processing, and packaging equipment that will allow the company to process the record harvest.

This year, the hop growers are estimating a harvest of roughly 60,000 pounds from four different varieties. That yield, which is more than all other of Minnesota’s hop growers combined, will soon be eclipsed next year when all 80 acres of hops—comprised of eight different varieties—are producing.

Drink

WarPigs USA Brewing Company is now available in Minnesota // Photo courtesy of WarPigs

WarPigs USA Brewing Company is now available in Minnesota // Photo courtesy of WarPigs

WarPigs Brewing came to Minnesota! The collaboration brewery (between 3 Floyds Brewing Co. and Mikkeller) brought their beer to the states from Copenhagen this summer, and have started distribution in Minnesota. Lazurite IPA is now available at The Ball Park Cafe at the State Fair and on draft at select retailers in the Twin Cities.

Barrel Theory Beer Company of Lowertown St. Paul released their first bottled beer this past Sunday: Draco, a Berliner, a kettle sour made with passion and dragon fruits. Barrel Theory also added to their brewing team by bringing in Tyler Ostlund who previously worked for Surly. Ostlund will work under head brewer Timmy Johnson.

Continuing to encourage beer drinkers to take their beverages out into the wild with them, Portage Brewing released some cool new gear. Familiar to many beer drinkers are a 64-ounce double walled stainless steel growler in silver and 750-milliliter Crowler cans that are soon to come. But the brewery is also selling a 750-milliliter double walled stainless steel growler, which is sleeker than its 64-ounce counterpart.

SuperCritical by Lagunitas Brewing was released in California last week. It’s a “dank, odoriferous” IPA brewed with cannabis terpenes that were provided by CannaCraft. Since the beer is sans THC, any buzz felt is from the alcohol content only.

Food

Hai Hai, the new restaurant from the owners of Hola Arepa // Photo via Hai Hai's Facebook

Hai Hai, the new restaurant from the owners of Hola Arepa // Photo via Hai Hai’s Facebook

Eater is preparing the Twin Cities for fall—they called out “five of the most anticipated restaurants.” Of special note is a new place that will be called Hai Hai by owners of Hola Arepa. They bought a space that used to be a strip club and—no surprise—the first thing they had to do was install windows.

Hemp farming in Minnesota is a growing venture with more than 2,000 acres planted this year (compared to 47 acres in 2016) and processing plants popping up. Andrea Vaubel from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture says industrial hemp is a viable market the U.S. is missing out on.

Four new food options have been added to the Gopher’s TCF Bank Stadium for the upcoming football season. The Minnesota-based food vendors include Curds and Cakes, Ike’s Restaurant, Jax Café, and Pimento Jamaican Kitchen. Yay, more curds!

Seventh Street Truck Park, an indoor food truck court, opened to the public on August 25. The restaurant is located next door to New Bohemia.

Culture

Open Streets Lake + Minnehaha 2017 // Photo by Mike Beck, via Open Streets' Facebook

Open Streets Lake + Minnehaha 2017 // Photo by Mike Beck, via Open Streets’ Facebook

Two dates are left in the Open Streets Minneapolis project: West Broadway on September 9, and Nicollet on September 24. If you’re not familiar, Open Streets is all about community. Using roadblocks to redirect traffic, areas usually burdened by high traffic are open for neighbors, shop owners, patrons, and the general public to mingle on foot in ways not typically available.

A community solar garden around Leech Lake Indian Reservation is the first community solar project in the nation to be integrated into an energy assistance program and it’s the first solar project in Minnesota dedicated to helping low-income families. The collaborative effort to fund and install the solar panels demonstrates that energy efficiency could make a major impact in energy poverty.

Check out the recent winners of the Sally Awards from the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Winners are recognized for their significant commitment and contributions to arts in Minnesota, one for each of the five categories: arts access, commitment, education, initiative, and vision.

Since it’s that time of year, check out this really great photo essay called “Beyond the Stick” by Debra Fisher Goldstein. The images are a collection taken from 2006 of images both rare and familiar from the Minnesota State Fair.


The Mill is The Growler’s regular digest of all things new and notable in the world of food, drink, and culture. Stop back weekly for restaurant news, brewery rumors, and more. Have some news you want to share? Got some gossip to dish? Drop us a line at [email protected]

A Blind Tasting beer festival

Taste & Rate 48 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Sept. 20, 2019 | 5:30–9pm
Upper Landing Park
Tickets: GA $40 | DD $20