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September 17, 1998 - Image 21

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-17

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IOB - The igan Daily Weekend azine -=Thursday, Septemb17, 1998

0

0

2 Road-Trip of the Week
Rell's: experience great beer from start to finish

The MIChigan DaiIekend Magazi
Gotafake ID? Beware: Area
stores have seen it before

BY .. S.. rt
Weekend, Etc Editor

forUaxing&S in Care Nees
CLSTOCMU

"How much do you know about
brewing beer?," Bell's Brewer Steve
Buszka asks cheerfully enough. But his
face darkens a bit for his next and more
serious inquiry: "You do drink beer,
don't you?"
In 1985, Bell's owner Larry Bell,
whose home-brewed beer was already
making cultured palates water all over
the area, opted to try his hand at a little
professional brewing. Armed with four
employees and small-scale brewing
equipment including boilers, storage
drums, pressure gauges, bottling equip-
ment and the like, Bell inked a lease to
house his operations in a pair of ram-
shackle Kalamazoo warehouses sur-
rounded by little more than forgotten
industrial wasteland.
Today, while dingy trains still thunder
by the brewery, Bell's has become a kind
of crowded campus of busy buildings.
Complete with a bar and outdoor beer
garden, the brewery features an array of
cluttered buildings where 40-plus
employees and enormous pieces of
machinery team up to brew enough beer
to fill thousands of kegs and hundreds of
thousands of bottles every month.
"Microbreweries have caught on and
become a very big deal recently,"
Buszka admits. "We were a bit ahead of
our time over here."
Bell says that even though the market
may now be crowded with small brew-
cries lookingw to cash in- businesis
still boomin.
"Microbrew sales have slowed since
a few years ago, but we're still going
strong with a growth rate last year of 15
or 20 percent," he said. "We used to
grow at 59 percent but you can't grow
that much every year."

Bell's' 14 different varieties of beer
begin in the company's mill house (a
building not much bigger than a phone-
booth) where as many as 25 different
kinds of barley from all over the world
are weighed and readied. A series of
two- and three-story machines separate
and boil the grain's sugar in a larger
warehouse, while other steel-plated
beasts add ingredients including assort-
ed flavors of hops and other grains, and
still others douse the
whole concoction
with yeast. The "Microbr
resulting liquid is
then piped into have caa
open-air vats for fer-
mentation - during afd becc
which the vats' con-
tents look more like bid deal
surreal cheese pizza
than the beverage We W Er
that complements
pizza so very well. OUr fim
Each of the metal
vats holds about 800
cases of beer; Bell's
fills two at a time

igh on
ahead of
- Steve Buszka
Bell's Brewer

turn up in stores
one day."
Buszka said
Bell's currently
sports about 40
different beer
recipes, all of
which have been
or will be avail-
able in the brew-
ery's bar. The
company sells
about 30 percent
of its beer in the
Kalamazoo and
Grand Rapids
area, another 30
in Ann Arbor and

bag of grains transforms into mountains
of chilled silver kegs and box after sim-
ple brown box of beer, the brewery also
provides those who turn up the oppor-
tunity to try beer unavailable anywhere
else.
"The people in the bar are our guinea
pigs," Buszka explains. "With new
recipes we usually brew about four kegs
worth. If the employees like it, we sell it
in the bar. If the customers like it, it may

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PLENTY OF FREE PARKING
To make an appointment call:
913-5557
Services will be discounted
15% with this ad.

almost every day of the year.
After about two days the contents of
the vats have assumed a more beer-like
color, but the process is still not quite
finished.
"We bottle all of our beer flat,"
Buszka explains. "We add sugar to the
mix so that carbonation occurs in the
bottle or the ke
Bus~a fsai the ber sits in 42-
degree concrete storage caverns for 10
days, then each keg and case is checked
for pressure before it is sold on-site or
trucked away. "We get to poke every
keg to make sure the pressure's OK-
that's always a lot of fun" he added.
As well as teaching visitors how a

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Fax 998-0303
Mon.-Sat. 11-12 AM
Sun. 12 noon- 10 PM

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447 Forest
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Fax 459-3113
Mon.-Sat 11 AM-11 PM
Sun. 12 noon-10 PM

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October 19, 1998
7:00 pm @
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customers in Detroit and another third
to beer enthusiasts in the Chicago area.
~The remaining beer is shutled to parts
of Northern Michigan, Indiana and
Ohio. Bell's Amber Ale currently out-
sels its micro-brewed brothers
"about etery other brey'' Bells pro-
duces on a dzl bas is Ambe Ale,
Yearly the comfpanb sells sonc
20,000 kegs and e40,000 cases of beer
"We have college kids in here all the
time buying our kiegs, says bartender
Rob Rostar, who recommends a glass
of Bell's thick and hoppy Stout. "We
can't really give much of a discount
here, but they know they are getting a
superior product."'
Outside the comfortable, well-worn
red brick bar, with its checkerboard
tables and sparse decoration, is an
enclosed outdoor patio that easily holds
700 people and is known lovingly as the
"Beer Garden' A covered sstaesnetled
under rows of sprawling hops vines,
hosts many local acts who are attracted
to the venue by the promise of all the
good beer they can drink. Last weekend,
local blues-stand-out Robert Bradley
entertained close to1,000 beer-sipners.
"We have a good time out here;
Buszka explains. "It's worth the trip if
you just want to hang out or if you're
looking to take some beer home with
you."
And IBuszka says students need
not worry about themhouranoe-
ru ing over the taste of beer sold
cold.
"A beer only really gets skunked
because of sunlight;' he explains.
"Unless the beer goes from like 30
degrees up to 150 degrees the tempera-
ture really won't affect the taste. If the
beer's in your trunk, it's fine."
If skunking the beer isn't a con-
cern the only thing that may be left
to worry about may be a speeding
ticket.

M Store owners say fake
licenses from warmer
states are common
By Will Weissert
Wekend, Etc. Editor
If you've got a fake ID chances are it
resembles a driver's license from
Florida, California, New York or New
Jersey.
You are also most likely to use it late
Friday or Saturday night - especially
after a Wolverine football game or just
before the hockey team takes the ice.
If you've paid some sketchy fel-
lows with a lamination machine to
make one for you, it will feel, look
or even smell funny. If you are in
possession of an older ID that once
belonged to a friend/sibling you may
slip up when asked about the ID's
birthday, address or even the
spelling of "your" name. If you've
tried to change one of the numbers
of your date of birth using a pen or
computer printer, you may get
laughed at.
Ann Arbor's bouncers and door-
men, cashiers, rnanagers and store
owners say they have seen and heard
it all. They say they are very strict
about carding everyone who wants
to buy Iisuor 'l'hey say they know
dohat t look i our when they look at
an 11) and :hat they try very hard
not toob.'oid
"'l'here are six ways to tell if an ID is
fake they are secrets of the trade say
Bill I ages, owner of Bill's Market and
Deli at, 709 Last Packard Rd. "I can go
through them all in about five seconds
while you stand there And also, if you
don't look like your picture I'll catch
you too."
But fake lI~s do work, at least some
of the time and at least for some stu-
dents.
"I had an ID taken away at
READ DAILY
ARTS.

mug shots.
"The police do
checks - if we get "It's a
caught we lose our
liquor license and her e
that will cost us our
business," said a this is 9
Village Corner
cashier, who asked (m y
that his name not be
published. "It's a
problem here
because of all the
students."
Most beer and liquor stores in town
have some kind of "Wail of Shame"
paying homage to past users t fake IDs
in one form or another But Lagos said
he doesn't see the need to put them on
displ:ay
Why put them up when we can add
them to our collection downstairs, he
asked with a smile. "e have more than
a hundred down there mn we've never
been 'Arong"
Some students who will admit to
having a fake ID say Ihey are using
somebody else's old driver's license
a small square piece of plastic that they
may or may not have memorized back-
ward and forward.
"I just use a license that was my
friend's - it looks enough like me that
I usually don't have anyone ask me any-
thing," said Sarah, an LSA sophomore
who didn't want her last name pub-
lished. "I really don't know anyone who

St. Batwo said he does not keep fake
IDs, only refuses sale of any kind of
liquor.
"If there s any problem they don't get
any beer," he said. But I can't ake
aw heir property tha 11 is stil
theirs"
And a en theud tore amd har
empo ees at'al rtis have seen
every S ruik i the book, it' not
uncommon a encounter a new chap-
te r
"The funniest thing I ha d happen
involved a guy who just didn't have
an ID at all" said 'led Ilumphery, a
manager at Diag Party Shoppe, 340
South State St. "He claimed to be a
football player and was yelling and
screaming when I wouldn't sell to
him without his ID He just kept
yelling 'you'll know me one day
when I'm famous.'
"I don't think he was ever famous."

{

(Village Corner) - my picture is
still up over there and I've had peo-
ple tell me they recognize me," said
LSA senior Parag Desai, who is now
21. "I had four IDs at the time so it
really wasn't a problem - it didn't
slow me down much."
At Village Corner, 601 South Forest
St., Desai's ill-fated ID would have
been cut to pieces and his picture plas-
tered on walls, cash registers and coun-
ters with dozens of other identification

pi
sc
a

actually had a fake one made for them
- I've heard those look really bad."
Lagos said he thinks students do
not have IDs made in the area.
Instead, they tend to come back from
vacation excursions to warmer cli-
mates armed with IDs that some-
body made for them there - a prac-
tice that explains the overflow of
obviously fake IDs from the sunnier
states, he said.
But Gus Batwo, a manager at
Campus Corner
Party Store, says he
'ro e has seen IDs that
usually come from
somebody's older
fraternity brother or
college sorority sister
"They have
these IDs that are
Cashier in the Greek hous-
Village Co er es and we see
them sometimes,"
said Batwo, whose
store is located at 818 South State

}
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Primo Kang, owrw of Blue Front, d
It away If it Is a fake. Local store o
most of the time they catch studen
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3) $2 off for purchase of $10 or more
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Limit one offer per visit. Coupon must be presented
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