Construction, Food Service & Agriculture, and Manufacturing

Brewery expands production capacity

April 28, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Bell's Brewery taps into Cottage Bar Chili Cook-off
Galesburg-based Bell’s Brewery was founded in 1985 and is the brewer of several of Michigan’s top-rated beers. Photo via fb.com

One of the largest breweries in the region is expanding.

Bell’s Brewery is set to begin an expansion at its Comstock production facility, according to Walbridge, a Detroit-based construction company, last week.

Walbridge was selected as the contractor for the project.

Construction will begin immediately, and the additions are slated for full operation by next February.

The expansion

The “fast-tracked” project will add about 200,000 square feet to the existing facility and include a new bottling hall, keg storage and warehouse.

The 27,000-square-foot bottling hall will require the company to remove the main truck drive, re-route site drainage and water lines and match existing floor elevations.

The keg storage facility will be 13,000 square feet, with several loading docks. It will also house spent yeast, a glass crusher and aluminum baler. The keg cooler will be 14,000 square feet.

A 100,000-square-foot logistics center and warehouse will also be constructed.

Various other site work will be done, including on storm and water drains.

The work will support Bell’s sustainability goals and “eco-friendly business model.”

Increased capacity

The expansion will bring the brewery’s annually capacity to about one-million barrels, ahead of the stated 900,000-barrel capacity Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co. will hold once its $40-million expansion is completed.

Bell’s is the seventh-largest craft brewer in the country, brewing more than 300,000 barrels of beer last year, while Founders, which brewed 193,000 barrels last year, sits at No. 17, according to 2014 data released by the Brewers Association.  

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