Harvest at Newfields October 3-6: A Festival for All the Senses

Harvest at Newfields October 3-6: A Festival for All the Senses

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

The strength of a country is founded on growing things and making things. Just about everything else springs from those two basic acts – they both involve producing something from nothing, even if what you produce is an idea. Indiana has strong roots in both of these fields – we grow stuff and we make stuff. As we come into the fall, it’s time to celebrate what we harvest and what we can make from those things we coax from the earth. And that includes beer.

In a celebration of all things about the Indiana harvest, Newfields in Indianapolis is preparing for the inaugural Harvest Festival, held on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Gardens on the Newfields campus, October 3-6, 2019. Harvest is tribute to all the midwestern fall traditions, and the craft products that come from what the midwest grows, like stunning culinary and brewing art.

Charles L. Venable, Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of Newfields talked about the combination or art and products from the ground, “Newfields strives to curate new ways for our community to have exceptional experiences with art and nature, and Harvest will perfectly combine the two.” The goal is to immerse the attendees in the art of brewing, culinary work, and to help those activities augment an art and nature event.

image credit: Newfields

Tickets will be available here starting on the third of September for the festival taking place on Thursday (4-9), Friday/Saturday (11-9), and Sunday (11-5) and are very affordable. Museum members can pick up tickets for just $5 online ($10 at the gate). Non-members can procure tickets for $20 online ($25 at the gate). Kids 6-18 are $12 online if not a member ($17 at gate) and just $5 if a member. Children under 5 are free. What do you get for your ticket? You receive access to the museum galleries, the gardens and grounds, the garden and gift shop, and of course the entire Harvest celebration.

Harvest will be spread out over 50 acres, mingling in and around the gardens, the Oldfields mansion, and the many works of art on the grounds. In addition to the fall foliage and flowers, over 5000 pumpkins will decorate the festival, including a covered pumpkin bridge spanning a river of blue pumpkins. A larger than life cornucopia of Indiana bounty will flow down the stairs at the culinary center. Inside the museum, you can revel in the Infinity Mirror Room by artist Yayoi Kusama called All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins (created in 2016), but these are just the start of the celebration. The heart of the event is the activities that will heighten the attendees’ appreciation of the craft that comes from Indiana’s harvest.

Beer and other craft beverages. In cooperation with Brewers of Indiana Guild, Newfields will bring attendees an Indiana Oktoberfest with dozens of local fall beers and ciders, both on the grounds and in the covered Sun King beer hall. The featured breweries/cideries in the tent will include Sun King, Big Lug Canteen/Liter House, Four Day Ray, Bier Brewery, Ash & Elm, and McClure’s. The guild will be selling a $15 Indiana Oktoberfest Passport which includes a take home taster glass and a passport that will get you a 4 oz. sample of every Oktoberfest/marzen beer featured at Harvest.

Taking it a step further into himmel (German word for heaven), Liter House will be pairing some classic German foods with the beers, as will Smoking Goose with their brats and other local favorites. Local beer and great German food is reason enough to attend, but there’s more to do with beer at Harvest. Caleb Michalke of Sugar Creek Malt Company will have the portable kiln on site and will be roasting some malts for the people to try. There may be nothing that smells better than malted barley or wheat heating up and taking on some color.

Caleb will be on hand to explain how malts are prepared and used in beer and spirits, just another way that Indiana agriculture supports Indiana industry. But there’s not just malt in beer, Indiana is also home to many great hop farms. The largest is Crazy Horse Hops in Knightstown, and they will be on hand to talk about and show how hops are grown, harvested and used in beer. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to bring the Wolf harvester, it’s as big as a barn, but look for several different activities and demos to help people understand hops in beer.

Jenny from Great Fermentations will give brewing demonstrations all weekend using the ingredients from Crazy Horse and Sugar Creek. This will be a great way to learn how the beers you enjoy at local breweries come to be, and will give people an opportunity to ask questions about learning to home brew. If you like your beer knowledge more theoretical or as a beer tourist, then stop by the Ron Smith’s booth to learn about German styles of beer and pick up information about his Masters of Beer Appreciation (MBA) classes, brewery operations class at IUPUI, or his beer tourist group trips to Germany and Belgium.

image credit: Newfields

Beer may be your true love, but I bet you like wine, cider, and spirits too. Well, Harvest has you covered there as well. There will be wines in the Oliver Winery tent for purchase and sampling, and West Fork Whiskey will be selling fall cocktails each day. McClure’s Orchard and the Tanner Orchard on the Newfields grounds which they are now managing will have ciders of both the hard and soft nature, so there will be something for everyone.

Food. Just like Indiana products can be crafted into beer and other beverages, Indiana is also home to great culinary products and master chefs that know how to create gorgeous dishes from them. As such, Harvest will be a learning and experiencing event featuring some of the greatest chefs from Indianapolis and the surrounding states. All over the grounds there will be places to buys and sample foods, and the culinary arts will be on display in workshops and demonstrations each day.

Local talent will abound, including Abbi Merriss of Bluebeard, Ian Phillips of Three Carrots, Braedon Kellner of Tinker Street, and more than a half dozen others from the local scene. Plus, chefs from around the region, such as Allan Benton of Madisonville, TN, Vinson Petrillo from Charleston, SC and Greg Biggers from Chicago and others will do eat and learn demonstrations.

image credit: Newfields

For the kids. Harvest is an all ages event, so the kids will be thrilled to take part in the pumpkin painting and art activities using natural materials – it is an art museum after all. There will be a pumpkin bounce pad, and a hay bale maze. Sponsors will support a friendly farm animal petting experience and there will be those ciders from McClure’s Apple Orchard.

Even more, there will be horticulture demonstrations and workshops given by experts in the field as well as live bands and a family friendly screening of Rudy (1993) Saturday night. It’s definitely a family event and will have things for kids of all ages.

Harvest is presented by JP Morgan Chase & Co. Jason Noyan, Client Advisor at J.P.Morgan Private Bank, and member of the Board of Governors at Newfields stated, “JP Morgan Chase is proud to sponsor and support Newfields for the inaugural launch of Harvest.” He added, “Newfields has long been a pillar of arts and culture within the Indianapolis and central Indiana community. Our two great institutions have a shared interest in community engagement, education and diversity. It is our hope that this multi-day event brings together these ideas during this unique event.”

Partners for Harvest include, but are not limited to, McClure’s Orchard, Oliver Winery, Sun King Brewing, and West Fork Whiskey. See the Harvest website for a complete list of the partners. Please support all the fine Indiana businesses that are helping to make this inaugural event one that people will come back to year after year.

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