Forget about the pumpkin spice.
For many people out there, the true taste of fall can be found in a spicy, savory bowl of chili.
Pair it with a hearty craft beer, and you’re ready to face the oncoming winter.
People will have the chance to marry the two autumn tastes this weekend during an event to benefit the Noah Kriese Foundation. The inaugural Beer & Chili Festival, hosted by Tried & True Alehouse, will bring together some of the area’s best chefs offering their signature chili.
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In addition, local companies such as Oaken Barrel Brewing, MashCraft Brewing and Taxman Brewing will be on site to sell pints of their beer. Mallow Run Winery will provide the wine.
“If he was here, Noah would be thrilled to be doing this. Because he’s not, we do it in his honor. I can just see that spunky little smile whenever I think of it,” said Susan Kriese, Noah’s mother. “It gives families something to do together that’s memorable and they look forward to, while giving back at the same time.”
The Noah Kriese Foundation was created in honor of Noah Kriese, a 12-year-old Center Grove student who died after falling into the Trummelbach Falls in Switzerland in 2009. Noah was an advocate of helping others during his life and was particularly supportive of friends and classmates with special needs.
The nonprofit organization was formed to help support compassionate projects and service in the community, Susan Kriese said. Many have been focused on helping children with special needs and their families, which was one of Noah’s passions.
“We think he would love the fact that it supports something dear to him. We didn’t start out saying that we’d just help special needs, but that was always close to Noah’s heart. It’s taken that turn, and we love it,” Susan Kriese said.
Oct. 30 would have been Noah Kriese’s 21st birthday. If he was still alive, Susan Kriese could picture him getting into some of the local beer festivals that Johnson County hosts, such as WAMMfest in Greenwood or Death & Taxes in Bargersville.
With this year being a landmark birthday, she thought it would be fitting to celebrate it with a beer festival.
“As all of his friends were talking about what their plans would be, I was thinking what Noah would like to do. I bet he would have like these kind of festivals, so I thought that’s what we should do for fun,” Susan Kriese said.
Susan Kriese approached Tried & True wondering if they wanted to partner on it. The alehouse is a new addition to the Center Grove area, and officials were honored to host an important community event.
“I remember when Noah’s accident happened,” said Laura Gladish, marketing manager for Tried & True Alehouse. “She asked, and we said yes. It was that easy. He’s from Center Grove, and we’re right in the middle of this community. Doing anything we can to help people in Center Grove is really important.”
The festival will feature local breweries selling pints of their product. Johnson County-based companies such as Taxman, Oaken Barrel and MashCraft will be joined by Indianapolis favorites Sun King Brewing and Bier Brewery.
Mallow Run Winery also will be on site to serve glasses to the wine crowd. Soft drinks and water also will be sold.
To go with the beer and wine theme, it made sense to add chili to a fall festival. Tried & True, along with Hops & Fire and O’Reilly’s Irish Bar & Restaurant, will all be serving samples of their homemade chili, to let attendees choose the best one.
The chili sampling is included in the cost of a ticket, Gladish said.
Admission also includes a raffle ticket, with a chance to win prizes provided by local businesses. The festival is all-ages, with a kids area that will feature games, crafts and prizes to keep them entertained.
Other activities include a 50-50 drawing, silent auction and bean-bag toss.
Music will be provided by a pair of regional favorites.
Father Shotgun is a country band based out of Greenwood. Members Justin Barger and Jeff Geoghegan perform a variety of rootsy originals designed to make you get up and dance.
Mike Tetrick is an Edinburgh artist that specializes in a Southern rock sound tinged with Christian influences.
“We’re all about live music here, so that was something we had to have,” Gladish said.
With this being the inaugural version of the festival, organizers are unsure of the turnout or what kind of money that will be raised. All of the proceeds go to the Noah Kriese Foundation, to augment its main fundraiser conducted in December.
“We’re starting to need funds up front to rent space for our main event. We’re hoping some of this can cover the other expenses, with the rest going to help area families,” Susan Kriese said.
The hope is to make this an annual event in support of the foundation.
“This year is special because it’s Noah’s 21st birthday, but we’ll do a beer and chili festival every fall, and hopefully it will get bigger and better every year,” Gladish said.
Beer & Chili Festival
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Tried & True Alehouse, 2800 S. SR 135, Greenwood
What: A family-friendly festival featuring local craft breweries and wineries, in benefit of the Noah Kriese Foundation. People will have the chance to sample chili from area chefs as well. A kids activity area, raffles, silent auctions and live music from Father Shotgun and Michael Tetrick will also be featured.
The Noah Kriese Foundation is a nonprofit organization aimed at supporting compassionate projects and service in the community. The foundation was created in honor of Noah Kriese, a 12-year-old Center Grove student who died after falling into the Trummelbach Falls in Switzerland in 2009.
Tickets: $15 for adults 21 and over; $5 for those 12 to 20; free for kids under 12