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      Escanaba brewery plans move forward

      Kalamazoo-based Bell's Brewery is expanding to Escanaba where it expects to open a brewery at the Delta County Airport property next year.

      The Daily Press of Escanaba reports that construction of the $1.6 million Upper Hand Brewery began in November on a five-acre parcel, with completion expected in June.

      Bell's Brewery President Larry Bell says construction of the beer-brewing and bottling operation is on schedule. Also underway is the licensing process, with job interviews for five positions expected to start in January.

      Bell's employs more than 200 people at its brewery and pub in Kalamazoo, distribution center in Galesburg, and brewery and corporate office in Comstock.

      The Escanaba brewery will manufacture and distribute beer and have a sampling room, but will not sell beer to the public.