Largest Hops Farm Comes to St. Cloud Area [PHOTOS]
FOLEY -- What started as a love for beer and a desire to try farming has now turned into the largest hops growing farm in Minnesota.
Co-founders Eric Sannerud and Benjamin Boo of Mighty Axe Hops held a groundbreaking ceremony this (Thursday) afternoon to celebrate the beginning of an 80 acre expansion of their hops farm into Foley.
The two started growing hops during their college days on three acres of Sannerud's parent's farm. Sannerud says the three acres just wasn't enough space and they needed to expand to be successful.
"We started four years ago and grew just a little bit of hops, like 20 hops and down the road here this fall we plan on planting 40,000," says Sannerud.
Mighty Axe Hops does have future plans to work with St. Cloud area breweries they are currently working with Minneapolis breweries.
"There are a lot of great breweries throughout the state, Beaver Island Brewing Company is just in St. Cloud and we're excited about their expansion and what they are doing but we are taking all comers," says Boo.
Mighty Axe Hops decided to partner with Bernick's, Bremer Bank and Winkelman Building Corporation to help design and fund the hops farm.
Vice President of Winkelman Building Corp. Tom Bruce says everyone is excited to start building the facilities.
"[The project] will start in July, we're going to try to get the 5,000 square foot pull barn up for the storage of all of the equipment," says Bruce.
After the pull barn is built they will focus on completing the main facility.
Bruce says most of the material is coming from Germany so dealing with time differences and converting metric measurements has been some minor challenges they've encountered.
The entire project is expected to be completed by late fall.