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Mighty Axe hop farm, Mpls restaurant 'Elbow Room' among latest closures

The state's largest hop farm was devastated by a storm last year.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused more closures in Minnesota, including forcing the largest hop farm in the state to close for good. 

Mighty Axe Hops, which was started by Eric Sannerud and Ben Boo in 2014, grows hops on a 120-acre farm in Foley. The hops have been used in many local beers across the state as craft breweries highlighted the use of local ingredients in their beers. 

After a devastating storm on Labor Day last year, this year's pandemic solidified the venture's end, the business announced Tuesday

"Thank you to our brewer friends. Your creativity using our new school hops, your embrace of us before we had any good idea of what the heck we were doing, your partnership to bring the local story to your customers are forever in our hearts," Sannerud wrote. "It's stupid obvious, be we couldn't have done our work without you."

Sannerud added that with their staff and customers, "we proved that Minnesota grown hops could be more than a side gig."

The closure comes months after it said it was looking for a buyer, The Growler reported in March. The 2019 storm had caused them to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of hops, preventing them from growing more this year without additional funding.

"There’s a lot of effort that a lot of people have invested in Mighty Axe hops — and by extension, Minnesota hops — that if this farm doesn’t grow hops, it’s a significant waste," Sannerud told the magazine at the time.

Elbow Room closing

Meanwhile, R. A. MacSammy's Elbow Room on 48th and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis appears to be the latest restaurant to close during the pandemic. 

Owner Kevin Huyck started the food concept with a food truck in 2012, and opened his brick-and-mortar addition in 2018. The food truck will stay open seasonally, closing in October. 

Our running list of businesses that have closed during the pandemic can be found here. 

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