A creative group of people have gained a little notoriety with their kickstarter campaign. Picobrew LLC has developed a way to brew high quality beer with near pinpoint accuracy with an appliance about the size of a microwave. Called Zymatic, this appliance is made up of a series of chambers inside a steel box that can brew your original recipe or one of thousands of clones. The last day to contribute is October 30. As of this post they have already raised over $500,000.
Upper Hand Brewery – a division of Bell’s Brewery, Inc. - a state of the art craft brewery and bottling facility,broke ground on Friday at the Delta County Airport Renaissance Zone.
The construction investment for the new brewery is estimated to be $1.3 million for the 11,500 square foot facility. Bell’s has selected Iron Mountain based Gundlach Champion, Inc. (GCI) as the General Contractor on the project. Based in Iron Mountain, GCI has expertise in the construction of commercial, industrial, tribal, educational, healthcare, and municipal structures, including wastewater treatment facilities.
“The Upper Peninsula has always had a special place in my heart. And Escanaba has all the resources anyone opening a business would want to have. We look forward to being a part of the Escanaba and Delta County business community” said Larry Bell, president and founder of Bell’s.
Escanaba City Manager Jim O’Toole agrees. “I am incredibly excited to mark the beginning of construction of the new Bell's Upper Hand Brewery. The development will positively impact the community and will help us tocontinue to develop assets and resources. Each barrel of beer produced in Escanaba and sold throughout the Midwest will not only help the local economy but it will keep jobs in Escanaba. I thank all the partners who helped make this project a reality and look forward to a prosperous future for the company.”
The proposed brewery plans to produce a variety of beers and ales to be distributed across the UP and adjacent northern states. Bell said he was drawn to the Escanaba area based on its central location and cooperation demonstrated by local units of government and business leaders.
Vicki Schwab from the Delta County Economic Development Alliance concluded“We’d like to thank Larry for his vision, community spirit, partnership, and bringing his recipe for success to Delta County. We know Upper Hand will leave us thirsty for more. We want to thank Larry Bell for saying yes to Escanaba.”
The Escanaba expansion is part of a $15 million capital improvement planned by the company. Thecraft brewery employs more than 200 people,and distributes beer over a territory that includes an 18-state area, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Initial plans call for five employees at the Escanaba brewery.