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      Bell's to build brewery in Escanaba

      Sign over the Bell's Brewery location in Comstock, Michigan

      The City of Escanaba announced on Thursday that Bell's Brewery intends to purchase land in the city for the construction of a brewery and bottling facility.

      Larry Bell met in a special session with Escanaba City Council members on Thursday morning to discuss the purchase of 3.16 acres in the city's Whitetail Industrial Park, which was approved for a cost of $30,000. Bell was also asking that the council give him the right of first refusal to the purchase of land next to the 3.16 acres, which could possibly be used for future expansions of the brewery facility.

      "Escanaba is the major metro center of the U.P. I pass through on a regular basis and the property there will be convenient for me and my staff to get to," said Bell. "Escanaba has all the resources anyone opening an industry would want to have. I see a lot of potential to continued development."

      Bell estimated the cost of construction and equipment to be $2.5 million and expects the project to be completed within 18 months. The brewing company has been testing recipes for the Escanaba brewery at their main location in Comstock for several months.

      "Brewing beer is part of Escanaba's proud history, and Bell's Brewery is part of our future. We couldn't agree more with Larry about the potential he sees in our community. This is a true collaborative partnership," said Delta County Economic Development director, Vicky Schwab.

      Schwab has been working with Bell since last year, providing information on Escanaba's community and possible building sites.

      "Bell's will be a natural fit in our emerging craft beer and winemaking culture, and reinforces the fact that Escanaba is a great place to do business," said Escanaba Mayor Leo Evans.