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      Bell's Brewery breaks ground in new location

      Escanaba held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday to welcome a new brewery and bottling facility.

      Over the next six months, $1.6 million will be invested into an area near the Delta County Airport. An 11,500 square foot building will sit on a five acre site.

      "Initially this will probably be about five or six jobs. It's a small project to start, but we're hoping that it'll grow over time," said Larry Bell, Bell's Brewery Incorporated President.

      The first three beers that will be made inside the brewery will be called Upper Hand Lager, Upper Peninsula Ale, and Escanaba Black Beer.

      "We're not really looking to take this beer below the bridge. If you want to have this beer, you'll have to come to the U.P.," Bell said.

      Among those in attendance for the groundbreaking ceremony were members of the Bay de Noc Brewers Club who said having a top selling company will be a great addition to the area.

      "We're pretty thrilled about this new project. Bell's is a fine, fine beer. It's a huge player in the craft brewing industry, and we're just loving having it in our backyard," said Don Curran, special events coordinator for Bay de Noc Brewers Club.

      The new brewery will be built on the Delta County Airport's "Renaissance Zone".

      "The airport has an industrial park of 130 acres, and we've got them released from the FAA which means we can build around this industrial park and bring manufacturing, wholesale, and retail businesses to Delta County with more places to be able to find to build," said Kelly Smith, airport manager.

      Once the brewery is up and running, tours will be offered.