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Upper Hand

ESCANABA, Mich. – Upper Hand Brewery is proud to announce that two of its beers were awarded medals at the 2019 World Expo of Beer.

Escanaba Black Beer was awarded a gold medal in the Dark European category, while Barrel-Aged Old Fighter took home bronze medals in both the Strong American and Wood-Aged categories.  

“Escanaba Black Beer is one of the three original Upper Hand recipes, and it has remained unchanged in our year-round portfolio since the day we opened,” said Upper Hand Brewery President and Founder, Larry Bell. “It is very gratifying to see it win top honors in its class.”

“I’m also delighted that the barrel-aged version of our Old Fighter was recognized with medals in two categories,” he added. “Like a good bottle of wine, we brewed this beer specifically to age gracefully, so it is incredibly validating to see it honored after over three years.”

There were 803 entries in this year’s World Expo of Beer, which is held annually in Frankenmuth, MI. It is Michigan’s largest professional beer competition. Upper Hand Brewery is the only U.P.-based brewery to receive awards at the 2019 event.

Escanaba Black Beer is available year-round in cans and draft.  Barrel-Aged Old Fighter is a small-batch, draft-only brand available at select bars and restaurants throughout the Upper Peninsula.

 

ABOUT ESCANABA BLACK BEER:

Escanaba Black Beer is at home around both summer fire pits and winter fireplaces. This dark, delicious, malt-forward black ale has a moderate roastiness that is balanced with a silky-smooth, mildly bitter finish (4.5% alcohol by volume – available on draft and in 12oz cans).

ABOUT BARREL-AGED OLD FIGHTER BARLEY WINE-STYLE ALE:

Barrel-Aged Old Fighter is a bold, brash take on the American Barley Wine style. Barrel-aged for fifteen months in blend of bourbon, rye, and port wine barrels, Old Fighter displays caramel, rich malt, and oak character throughout (12.7% alcohol by volume – available on draft).

 

ABOUT UPPER HAND BREWERY:

Upper Hand Brewery is a crew of hikers, campers, dog-walkers, anglers, hunters, bikers, and folks that just want to get out there. We believe that life’s mission is to do what you love, where you love, with the people you love. For us, that means brewing the best beer we can, in the best place on Earth: Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

We put a lot of thought into brewing beer that reflects what we love about where we live. We have the unique opportunity to try and capture an experience—a sense of place—in each and every beer, and we take it seriously. That’s not to say we don’t have a lot of fun. The U.P. is full of adventures and we love making beer that makes those adventures even better.

A little more about us: our founder—Larry Bell of Bell’s Brewery—had always dreamed of opening a brewery in the Upper Peninsula. Little clues of those dreams can be found in many of the classic Bell’s brands, which pay tribute to the U.P. in their names and label artwork. His dream became a reality when we broke ground on our 20-barrel brewhouse in 2013, and we haven’t looked back since.

 

 

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ESCANABA, Mich. – Upper Hand Brewery is excited to announce packaging changes from twelve-ounce bottles to twelve-ounce cans beginning in Spring 2018. The cans, packaged in six-packs and specialty four-packs, will feature a new look that pays homage to the original labels, while establishing a stronger tie to their Upper Peninsula roots.

“Part of the allure of living in and visiting the U.P. is the amazing opportunities for outdoor recreation. Cans can go more places than bottles – whether exploring the trails, campgrounds, or beaches, we want our fans to feel comfortable bringing us along on their adventures,” said Laura Bell, CEO of Bell’s and Upper Hand Breweries.

The switch from bottles to cans also comes with a change to Upper Hand’s beer portfolio. Flagship brands UPA, Yooper Ale and Escanaba Black Beer will remain a part of the year-round brews offered by Upper Hand Brewery. In addition, an all-malt light lager, dubbed Upper Hand Light, will join the year- round brands upon their release scheduled for March. Upper Hand will release its first IPA in Summer 2018. The IPA, with a name to be determined, will join the four aforementioned brands in year-round production.

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Seasonal and specialty favorites Laughing Fish, 906 Ale and Double Ringer will be available in cans only upon their 2018 and 2019 releases. Upper Hand will continue draught offerings for its core brands, seasonal offerings, and select specialty beers.

 

ABOUT UPPER HAND BREWERY

Brewed on a 20-barrel system in Escanaba, Michigan, our beers celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of the north and our community. We may be a young brewery, but our roots run deep. Upper Hand beers are available throughout the Upper Peninsula, Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. We brew our beer in the North, where it is meant to be enjoyed. We invite you to visit and enjoy not only our beer, but the wonder and beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

 

COMSTOCK, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery, Inc. is proud to announce that effective Feb. 1, Laura Bell, co-owner, has assumed the role of CEO.

Larry Bell will continue in his role as president and remain active in various projects, including long-term planning and overall direction with Laura reporting directly to him.

laura bell“When I started this, I didn’t know that I would be so fortunate to have a partner that shared my passion for our brewery and the people who make it what it is,” Larry Bell, Bell’s founder, said.

A second generation co-owner, Laura will oversee all brewery operations and planning for Bell’s and its sister brewery in Escanaba, Upper Hand Brewery. Bell’s is the 7th largest craft brewery in the U.S.

“This marks the beginning of the next chapter for our family-owned business and I am very proud of the leader Laura has become,” Larry Bell said.

This change in leadership will further strengthen our future in this ever changing marketplace.

“I am honored and humbled at this opportunity. Our team has done an amazing job and it’s exciting to think about where we go next not only as a brewery, but also as a company that is deeply committed to its community, its employees and partners,” Laura Bell said.

“I have learned a lot from my father and I look forward to continuing the work he started in 1985,” she said.

Laura was just 2 months old when her father founded Bell’s Brewery. She spent much of her childhood helping with odd jobs and eventually worked in the Eccentric Café’s kitchen during high school.

Laura officially started working at the brewery full-time in 2007. Since then, she has spent time in sales, all areas of beer production and in marketing. As Vice President, she oversaw the brewery’s Business Insights, Government Compliance, Marketing, Sales and Specialty Brewing departments.

Laura is deeply rooted in Kalamazoo and an active member of the community.

 

upper hand brewery

ESCANABA, Mich — Upper Hand Brewery will be heading to Minnesota in January 2017, making it the third state where the brewery distributes its beer. Upper Hand beer is also available in Michigan¹s Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin.

The brewery will be working with Artisan Beer Company to bring their beer to the entire state. Artisan was created in 2011 and has statewide distribution in Minnesota. They have structured an enviable portfolio as a result of their continued focus and commitment to the distribution and promotion of leading craft and import beer, cider and mead.

Providing the freshest beer and best customer service is extremely important to us and we could not accomplish this without a strong distributor network. We¹re extremely excited to welcome Artisan to the Upper Hand family, commented Larry Bell, President and Founder of Bell¹s Brewery, Inc. (Upper Hand Brewery is a division of Bell¹s).

To celebrate the brewery¹s expansion, launch events will be held throughout Minnesota. Additional details will be announced on Upper Hand¹s website and social media outlets as they become available.

ABOUT UPPER HAND BREWERY

Brewed on a 20-barrel system in Escanaba, Michigan, our beers celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of the north and our community. We may be a young brewery, but our roots run deep. Upper Hand beers are available throughout the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin. We brew our beer in the North, where it is meant to be enjoyed. We invite you to visit and enjoy not only our beer, but the wonder and beauty of Michigan¹s Upper Peninsula.

upper hand brewery

Escanaba, Mich — ­Upper Hand Brewery is throwing a BBQ ­Yooper Style  in the backyard of their brewery this summer. The brewery¹s First-Ever Backyard BBQ will take place on Saturday, July 23, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 3525 Airport Rd, Escanaba, MI.

Tickets to the BBQ are $25 in advance and $30 day of. Admission includes first beer, commemorative pint glass, all the BBQ you can eat, free lawn games and music by local U.P. favorites Driver, Conga Se Menne and Grassfire. To celebrate the occasion, Upper Hand will also be tapping a number of specialty beers during the event.

“Our fans and the local Escanaba community have been amazing with their support of the brewery and we wouldn’t be here without them,” commented Larry Bell, President and Founder of Upper Hand Brewery and Bell¹s Brewery, Inc. (Upper Hand is a division of Bell¹s). “The BBQ is a chance to not only celebrate summer in the U.P., but even more so, everyone who has helped us get where we are today.”

For more info or to purchase tickets, visit the brewery’s taproom in Escanaba or go to www.uppperhandbrewery.com. All attendees must be 21 or over.

ABOUT UPPER HAND BREWERY

Brewed on a 20-barrel system in Escanaba, Michigan, our beers celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of the north and our community. We may be a young brewery, but our roots run deep. Upper Hand beers are available throughout the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin. We brew our beer in the North, where it is meant to be enjoyed. We invite you to visit and enjoy not only our beer, but the wonder and beauty of Michigan¹s Upper Peninsula.

You can also stay in touch with Upper Hand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

upper hand brewery

ESCANABA, Mich. – Upper Hand Brewery is excited to announce the upcoming release of its newest specialty beer, Double Ringer, a Double India Pale Ale (IPA).

Meant to celebrate the spring thaw in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Double Ringer is the ninth beer to be released since Upper Hand opened its doors in November 2014, including four year-round offerings.

“You’ll find few places where spring is more vibrant than northern Michigan. With its intense aromas and flavors, Double Ringer will stir up your senses, just like the perfect spring day,” commented Larry Bell, President and Founder of Upper Hand Brewery and Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (Upper Hand is a division of Bell’s).

Brewed solely with Equinox hops, Double Ringer is robust and hop-forward, coming in with an ABV of 10.0 %. Offering a blend of pine and tropical fruit aromas, with a bit of malt backbone, this Double IPA is a beer that should be enjoyed fresh.

It is named for that elusive, perfect throw made while enjoying a friendly game of horseshoes in the backyard.

Double Ringer will be available in limited quantities on draught and in bottles throughout the U.P. and Northern Wisconsin beginning in early April, just in time for spring.

upper hand brewery

Upper Hand Brewery, a division of Bell’s Brewery, celebrated its grand opening today, just over a year after breaking ground in Escanaba.

The brewery features a 20-barrel brewing system capable of producing about 200,000 gallons of beer per year. Three beers — UPA (Upper Peninsula Ale), Escanaba Black Beer and Upper Hand Lager will be available outside of Escanaba on draft beginning this week. Bottles will be released beginning in December.

Both draft beer and bottles will only be available in the Upper Peninsula region.

“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.

A public open house is planned for Dec. 6 from Noon to 5 p.m. at the brewery.

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