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Escanaba OKs Bell's Brewery Plans For UP Plant

ESCANABA (WWJ/AP) - Bells Brewery Inc. has received the Escanaba City Council's approval to buy property for a $2.5 million manufacturing plant in the Upper Peninsula city.

The Kalamazoo-based beer-maker on Friday offered $35,000 for 3.15 acres in the Whitetail Industrial Park.

Bell's says the Upper Hand Brewery will be built within 18 months and employ five people. says the council approved the offer Thursday.

Delta County's Economic Development Director says beer-making is part of Escanaba's past and now is part of its future.

Larry Bell founded the company in 1985. Its website says it has grown into "a regional craft brewery that employs more than 200 people" in 18 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

Michigan currently boasts more than 100 breweries, and that number continues to grow. The Michigan Brewers Guild estimates the state's thriving brewing industry contributes more than $24 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $133 million.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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