Construction begins on Bell’s U.P. brewery

ESCANABA – Construction of the Upper Hand Brewery on Airport Road in Escanaba began this week following a ceremonial groundbreaking attended by Bell’s Brewery president and local brewing advocates.

The beer-brewing and bottling company, a division of Bell’s Brewery of downstate Comstock, is in the Renaissance Zone at the Delta County Airport.

Bell’s Brewery President Larry Bell said Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony was the first he’s ever attended despite being in business for 30 years. He expressed appreciation for the cooperation of everyone involved in bringing the brewery to Escanaba.

Bell said the $1.6 million project will take time to acquire the license, construct the 11,500-square-foot building, open the facility and brew the beer.

“There’s lots of work ahead,” he said. “We have to make the beer and sell it.”

Bell’s products are sold in stores and taverns across the region. Bell has plans to manufacture local products with a U.P. attitude, such as “The Upper Hand Logger,” “The Escanaba Black Beer,” and “The UPA” which stands for “U.P. Ale.”