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      Bell's Upper Hand Brewery to start production

      Bell's Brewery is set to start making beer next month at its new Upper Hand Brewery in Escanaba.

      The Daily Press of Escanaba reports (http://bit.ly/1ANly4o ) that Bell's President Larry Bell says the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has approved the brewery's license. He expects the production of beer for kegs to be fully operational by mid-September. Bottled beer production will follow.

      The $2.5 million expansion to Escanaba is part of a companywide capital improvement totaling $15 million. Bell's employs more than 200 people at a brewery and pub in Kalamazoo, a distribution center in Galesburg, and a brewery and corporate office in Comstock. The Escanaba brewery will employ five people.

      Upper Hand Brewery will make and distribute beer but not sell directly to the public.