Upper Hand Brewery, a division of Bell’s Brewery, Inc., celebrated a grand opening today just over a year after breaking ground in Escanaba.
The 11,500 square foot facility is located in the Delta County Airport Renaissance Zone.
“To be able to open a brewery in the U.P. fulfills a lifelong dream for me. I couldn’t be prouder to open the doors of this great facility here in Escanaba,” said Larry Bell, founder and president of Bell’s Brewery in Comstock.
Built primarily with local vendors and contractors from Michigan’s U.P., the brewery features a 20-barrel brewing system capable of producing about 200,000 gallons of beer a year. Brewhouse and fermentation vessels are all made in the U.S.
Three beers – UPA or Upper Peninsula Ale, an American Pale Ale, Escanaba Black Beer and Upper Hand Lager will be available outside of Escanaba on draught beginning this week. Bottles will follow in early December.
Upper Hand beer will initially only be available in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Other areas to the west will follow as production allows. It will not be available to purchase below the Mackinac Bridge.
“Brewing beer is part of our history; Upper Hand is part of our future. We are incredibly grateful for the investment and opportunity Upper Hand brings to Escanaba, Delta County and beyond,” said Vicki Schwab, Delta County EDA Director.
Brewery tours and private tastings are also planned at the brewery. Additional details will be released as that information becomes available.
“Right now, we are focused on getting as much of this beer out to those who have been so patient with us for so long,” said Sam Reese, Upper Hand Production Manager.
“The enthusiasm and support has been overwhelming and we cannot wait to share this beer with our neighbors here in Esky as well as the rest of the U.P.,” he said.
A public open house is planned at the brewery for December 6th from noon to 5 p.m. Everyone is welcome to tour the brewery and sample (21+ please) Upper Hand beer.