Minneapolis' Grain Belt sign could shine again

Grain Belt Beer sign
The historic Grain Belt sign in Minneapolis.
Photo Courtesy of Garfield Clark Commercial Real Estate

August Schell Brewing Company is buying the iconic Minneapolis bottle cap sign on Nicollet Island, aiming to refurbish and preserve it.

The New Ulm, Minnesota-based brewery, which makes Grain Belt Beer, plans to work with preservationists to relight the sign, which has been dark for nearly two decades. It spells out Grain Belt Beer through 900 feet of neon tubes about 50 feet wide and 40 feet tall.

Built for $5,000 in 1941, the sign originally stood on the now-demolished Marigold Ballroom. It moved to Nicollet Island in 1950.

2009: Grain Belt sign up for sale

August Schell Brewing Company bought Grain Belt in 2002. On Wednesday, company officials announced the deal to purchase the sign from the Eastman Family Trust on Wednesday. The parties are not disclosing the price.

The brewery said in a statement that after the deal closes it will donate the sign to the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota if the sign still works.

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