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Posted on Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

The Week in Beer: Greet the new school year with beer

By David Bardallis


LET THERE BE HOMEBREW: Adventures in Homebrewing is now open at 6071 Jackson Road.

David Bardallis | Contributor


The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and the moving trucks are beginning to reappear everywhere in Ann Arbor. It all points to the approach of fall and the return of tens of thousands of students to our fair city. Some “townies” welcome the electric atmosphere that only the exuberance of youth can bring; others dread the increased traffic, crowds, and noise associated with the school year.

Whether you’re in the first camp, the second camp, or even are a student (of proper government-approved age, of course), Ann Arbor beer is here to help you celebrate, commiserate, or just inebriate. Take a look at your Week in Beer for the latest scoop.

Thursday, Aug. 18

>> Celebrate the awesomeness of our local water source, the Huron River, properly: with beer! The second of five “Brew for the River” events takes place at Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery, 311 S. Main, beginning at 4 p.m. Brewer Ron Jeffries has come up with Hummocky Lick Sumac Sensation beer, brewed just for the occasion and named after a headwater creek and brewed with sumac and cherries, two Michigan staples. Ron describes it thus: "Like many of my beers, it's part inspiration, part desperation, part salvation, part damnation, and the final credit should probably go to that little voice in my head." Proceeds from sales of the beer go to the Huron River Watershed Council to help their work of preservation and education. And if you got your “Brew for the River Passport” last week from Wolverine State Brewing, don’t forget to get it stamped so you have a chance later to win some free beer.

Friday, Aug. 19

>> Shopping time again at Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, Ann Arbor, from 5-7 p.m. And by “shopping” you know, of course, I mean beer drinking. Milan’s own Original Gravity Brewing is the star of the show at the biweekly Michigan beer tasting at the Wine and Beer Bar. This time there are five tasty OG beers — $3 a pint or $1 sample pour — to choose from: County Street Amber, Belgian Training Wheels, 440 Pepper Smoker, Train Jumper Black IPA, and the newly released Eazy-Duz-it IPA, a "session" style beer at 4.4 percent alcohol by volume, brewed with lots of wheat malt and Amarillo hops. Brewer Brad Sancho will also be there to hand out swag and discuss his beers. Get your shopping cart ready!

Thursday, Aug. 25

>> The Huron River celebration moves to Grizzly Peak, 120 W. Liberty, beginning at 4 p.m when brewer Duncan Williams and team present Watershed Ale, a cask-conditioned, blended ale with bee balm and yarrow, two herbs native to the area. Bring your “Brew Passport” to get it stamped! Proceeds from sales of the beer again go to the Huron River Watershed Council.

Notes on the Napkin

  • Coming this week to the taps at 2019 W. Stadium in Ann Arbor: 38 Redemption Black Pilsner, a beer so mysterious I have no information on it whatsoever. I guess we’ll all have to go down there together and be enlightened as to what a “black pilsner” might be. Who’s with me?

  • But traditionalists need not fear. The “true” pilsner style that started it all, Czech-style, is the next beer slated for Liquid Soundtrack, a series of homebrewer-inspired projects brewed on Wolverine’s commercial system. Stay tuned for this brew, which will feature RO-treated water (that’s reverse osmosis to non-water geeks) and the Noble hops essential for this delicious style.

  • And speaking of homebrewers, Ann Arbor-area ones finally have a local store to help them with their obsession, er, hobby. Following many months of a drawn-out inspection process, Adventures in Homebrewing is now officially open for business at 6071 Jackson Road, just beyond the Jackson-Zeeb Meijer. Owners Jason and Tyler not only offer a large selection (still not entirely unloaded) of beermaking equipment, ingredients, and kits, they offer knowledge and expertise as well, helping everyone from newbies to seasoned pros work out issues with their recipes or procedures or anything else, really. If you’ve been thinking of taking up the hobby, drop by the store and see what it’s all about. And get ready for a grand opening party, to be scheduled sometime in late September.

  • Yep, you can definitely feel the change in the air as summer begins to fade into another season: football season! And what goes better with football than — wait for it — yes, beer. Wolverine unsurprisingly is planning some big tailgate parties and activities in honor of the return of our beloved Champions of the West. Watch this space for more details as they become available. In the meantime, enjoy BBQ from Satchel's at the tap room this Saturday.

  • Rumor has it Ann Arbor’s venerable Fraser’s Pub, which has wholeheartedly embraced the craft beer revolution, is also planning on serving some great Michigan-made beers in outside tents during Michigan football Saturdays. Once again, when I know more, you’ll know more. Go Blue and go brew!

David Bardallis is a freelance writer and editor, blogger, bon vivant, and man about town. Visit “All the Brews Fit to Pint” at, follow @allthebrews on Twitter, or join the "All the Brews Fit to Pint" Facebook page. Email your beer-related thoughts to


C. S. Gass

Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 9:46 p.m.

21 years in law enforcement has taught me that an article like this has no impact on whether an underage person picks up a drink. They're more interested in where you can get the cheapest, strongest, most popular to be seen drinking, swill that they can find. Mr. Bardalis is speaking about none of these things. The 21 year old drinking age is an arbitrary age which in reality means little. I have encountered many people over the age of 21 who need to never drink. They will never be ready for alcohol, from a maturity standpoint. Conversely, I have met many people under 21 who were mature beyond their years. If they were to acquire an 'illegal' beer, I wouldn't lose sleep over it. The type of beer that Mr. Bardalis is referring to is associated with the fewest assaults, barfights, family fights, and arguments. How you ask? By being well made. Craft Beer you see has a higher hopping rate, on average, and thus more lupulin, a sedative, that I have found keeps drinkers from clowning around like those who drink other kinds of alcohol or cheap, overly filtered beer. There is also the associative factor, people associated with craft beer are, in my experience smarter, better educated in some cases and more well behaved that non craft beer drinkers. There are much worse things your precious teacup will be tempted to put in his or her body here in Ann Arbor this fall. Please give Mr. Bardalis, and the rest of us, a break from your falsely placed concern.

Patti Smith

Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Jesus Christ people, it ain't like he's saying we should all cash a bowl to begin the school year. I think we all know that people under the age of 21 should not drink because it's illegal, but let's be honest...who here abided by that rule? I sure didn't. I seriously doubt that anyone < 21 who was NOT going to drink is now GOING to drink because of this article. Everyone needs to relax, stop worrying and have a homebrew...if you're over 21 that is ;)


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

David is a BEER journalist! All of his pieces are about beer. Ann Arbor is on the map because of the University of Michigan, which employs thousands of adults that love beer.  Think about how many breweries are in Ann Arbor now.  You can't tell me U of M has nothing to do with that! is lucky to have him as a writer. Lighten up, people!


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

"Townies need that beer more than the students do." SO much more. I will also be greeting the new school year with beer- in fortification for dealing with the students and in celebration of my own school agers going back to school. Adults, the forgotten category of Ann Arbor residents!


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

Considering myself a townie, I often greet the new school year with beer. You certainly don't have to be a student to do that. Townies need that beer more than the students do.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

From this mornings <a href=""></a> Whether or not this person was actually drinking, I think it should be clear that we should not &quot;greet the new school year with beer.&quot;

David Bardallis

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:31 p.m.

Sorry, I posted this in the wrong thread above; meant to put it here: @KJMClark, now you've lost me. How is a 43-year-old man an underage college student? I dunno, I guess maybe if the person in the story was me, this might have some relevance.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2 p.m.

On another note, I also enthusiastically welcome the new Adventures in Homebrewing store. If this store in any way resembles the other, the local homebrewers are in for a real treat.

David Bardallis

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

Also, award-winning Ann Arbor Brewers Guild homebrewer extraordinaire Bob Barrett will be working in the store on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so drop by if you want to pick his brain.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 1:17 p.m.

&quot;Legion of Decency.&quot; Priceless. Despite the kneejerks above, I will enthusiastically greet the new school year with beer. Nicely done, David. J


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

This is a horrible title, is really losing it's focus. Most &quot;kids&quot; at U of M are underage. Did that even cross your mind???? I agree with one of the comments above. What happened to the adults that ran the A2NEWS.


Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

Dave, your math only works if you assume that each undergraduate year has the same number of students. But we pretty much know that's not the case. Every year more students drop out than transfer in from other schools. I'm thinking 10dz is probably right that the majority are under 21. Besides that, what about high school students? I'd be willing to bet that more high school kids in the area read than university students. I know my daughter reads some of the paper. University students have the Daily. I'm 43. I know a lot of parents who will actually be glad that the school year starts. (Not me, but whatever.) If the 43 year old involved in the crash was a parent &quot;greeting the new school year with beer&quot;, you might get such a crash. Come on. Your columns are great. I really appreciate hearing that Adventures in Homebrewing is coming to Ann Arbor. But the title bites. Putting &quot;school&quot; and &quot;beer&quot; in the same sentence is just a problem.

David Bardallis

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:30 p.m.

@KJMClark, now you've lost me. How is a 43-year-old man an underage college student? I dunno, I guess maybe if the person in the story was me, this might have some relevance.

David Bardallis

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:49 p.m.

Most &quot;kids&quot; at U of M are by most legal definitions considered adults. My preference would be to treat them that way rather than attempting to infantilize them. But let's break down the numbers a little, anyway. Quoting the Wikipedias: &quot;In fall 2010, the university had an enrollment of 41,924 students: 27,027 undergraduate students, 12,188 academic degree-seeking graduate students, and 2,709 first professional students.&quot; Although it's not possible to tell from these numbers what the distribution of undergrads is -- i.e., how many are nontraditional (i.e., older) students, how many are of-legal-age seniors, etc., I think we can reasonably figure about 1/4 of 27,027 fall into this category. Grad and professional students are all assumed to be of legal age. So we take 20,270 (75% of 27,027) and divide it by 41,924 and get an estimate of 48% of UM students being not of legal drinking age. This does not constitute &quot;most&quot; or an &quot;overwhelming majority.&quot; But all of this is pretty much beside the point, since I reject the ridiculous premise that 18-year-olds are cruising the Food &amp; Drink section and discovering for the first time that alcohol exists when reading my column. I mean, what world are you living in, anyway?

Susan Beech

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 12:08 p.m.

Shame on you. You are a journalist, and supposed to be able to choose your words wisely. I would think that you would be able to come up with a better heading than one that links drinking and school. I am sure in your journalism classes they taught you that many readers only read the headlines. Your headline leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth... I am not a member of any &quot;Legion of Decency&quot;, just someone suggesting you think before you publish.

David Bardallis

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:26 p.m.

Quite right, madam, it is shocking, nay, appalling! that someone who regularly writes about craft beer in a college town might sometimes mention the subjects of beer and college in his articles. We indeed live in crazy times.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

you hit the nail on the head


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:59 a.m.

One important ingredient of a proper education is the spirited discussion of philosophy, life, the universe, and everything, over pints at the pub. The frat boy who drinks himself to death is more likely to be a product of an upbringing hewing to the League of Decency's unrealistic puritanical standards, in much the same way that 'abstinence only' sex education leads to higher rates of unintended pregnancies. I personally intend to work on solving the problems of the universe over a pint or two of Watershed Ale....

Christin cave

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

This is excellent news! As a craft brewer, I am very excited about the opening of the second Adventures in Homebrewing and not having to travel to Taylor. In defense of the author, he is referring only to craft brews. Beers that no student could afford or handle to the point of inebriation.... Brewing is a craft. An ancient one at that.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 1:36 a.m.

In an attempt to redirect this thread, let me just say I am very intrigued by a black pilsner and am eager to check it out. But as a point of reference, that address refers to Wolverine, right?

David Bardallis

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

Yes, the Wolverine tap room is located at 2019 W. Stadium. If you haven't been before, it can be a bit tricky to find -- it's behind the Great Lakes bike shop, not right on the road, by the old Big George's warehouse. Well, it IS the old Big George's warehouse.

David Bardallis

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 10:28 p.m.

While the author appreciates the Legion of Decency's feedback, he kindly suggests that the adults try reading the very first paragraph before hyperventilating onto the Internet.

David Bardallis

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

es, Mr. Gladney, those two words do appear in the first paragraphs. So do the words &quot;ELECTRIC&quot; and &quot;TRAFFIC,&quot; but this does not make my article about alternative-fuel vehicles. See, there are these things called sentences that combine many other words in order to form what we might call thoughts or, even, communication. You even directly quote where I mention the drinking age, but somehow you still seem not to have managed to read that part. @KJMClark, I truly appreciate your civil tone vs. the self-righteous insults and insinuations preferred by some other people. And you're right; the part where I mention the drinking age was originally part of the first paragraph, but it did get split up. Nevertheless, my point remains that you can't seriously read the preamble of the article as an admonishment for 18 year olds to run out and get drunk. All residents of a college town feel the effects of a new school year, whether they are students or not, and it ought to be clear in light of what I've written that the headline is addressing the community as a whole. I am sorry if some people think only 18-20 year olds read headlines (and, more absurdly, run out and do something based on the headline), but we're just going to have to agree to disagree. I can assure you that most 18 year olds are already aware that alcohol exists and have probably heard that the U.S. government changed the drinking age from 18 to 21 some decades ago. As for the Legion to Fight Deaths from Underage Drinking, I have not heard of any such group. I was only trying to rhetorically point out the sanctimonious silliness being directed at me by people claiming *I'm* the one who isn't a grownup. In any case, thank you again for at least being able to express yourself civilly.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

Sorry Dave, but they're right, it wasn't a good idea for a title. And you're referring to the &quot;Legion to fight deaths from underage drinking&quot;, which isn't prudish at all. Besides, I think you're referring to the second paragraph, where you say &quot;even are a student (of proper government-approved age, of course)&quot;. There are a lot of us with under-21 kids, who don't appreciate attaching &quot;the new school year&quot; with alcohol. A better title might have been &quot;celebrate the wheat harvest&quot; or barley harvest, or hops harvest (thought that's not here yet). Those definitely are things beer lovers should celebrate.

Jack Gladney

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 11:30 p.m.

Whether you're in the first camp, the second camp, or even are a student (of proper government-approved age, of course), Ann Arbor beer is here to help you celebrate, commiserate, or just inebriate. &quot;STUDENT&quot; &quot;INEBRIATE&quot; Again, where are the grown ups? Let's all wring our hands at the death of the next frat kid who ends up dead because society ( promotes drinking. Grow up. #Delete


Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 10:15 p.m.

&quot;Greet the new school year with beer&quot; Considering that the overwhelming majority of students are under 21, this has to be the most juvenile and irresponsible headline that I have ever seen. has set new lows for the publishing industry.

Jack Gladney

Thu, Aug 18, 2011 : 9:52 p.m.

&quot;Greet the new school year with beer&quot; Seriously? What happened to the adults that used to be in charge at The Ann Arbor News?