Bell’s brewery sale finalized

ESCANABA – The sale of land in the Delta County Renaissance Zone for the construction of Bell’s Upper Hand Brewery has been finalized.

The Delta County Board of Commissioners approved the sale of 5.10 acres in the county’s renaissance zone to Bell’s Brewery for the construction of Upper Hand Brewery for $49,005 earlier this week. The board’s approval comes after reverter clauses were signed off on renaissance zone land by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and city of Escanaba last month.

According to the DNR, a roughly 40-acre parcel of land, which includes the 5.10 acres for Upper Hand Brewery, was originally deeded to the city of Escanaba in 1941 through a public use deed that contained a reverter interest, which stated the land could only be used for airport purposes. If that was no longer the case, the land would revert to the state of Michigan.

The city of Escanaba later conveyed the entire airport, including the parcel, to Delta County in 1973. The release of the reverter interest is required in order for the county to sell or lease the property for business development in and around the Delta County Airport.

“It was a lot of work from a lot of people that made it happen,” Delta County Administrator Nora Viau said of the process. “It was a cooperative effort with the Department of Natural Resources representing the state, the city, the Economic Development Alliance, the county, the airport manager and airport.”

Escanaba’s Upper Hand Brewery, a $1.6 million, 11,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art craft brewery, is expected to employ five people and produce a variety of beers and ales for distribution across the U.P. and adjacent northern states.