Yorkville craft brewers Boyd Ingemunson and Jason Leslie figure their inaugural Harvest Moon Festival will be a success if the county's oldest farmers come, listen, drink - and smile.
The duo comprise Three Angels Brewing, which is named after Leslie's daughers Faith, Hope and Grace. They make beer with a system they built from reclaimed materials in a barn outside Yorkville that dates back to the Civil War era. This weekend, they helped harvest wheat using antique techniques at Dickson-Murst Farm in Montgomery.
“We had our families out there today, and they actually thrashed wheat on site," Leslie said Sunday. "They gave us a bushel that we have today; that’s the honey wheat we’re doing.”
And thus, the pair is trying to bring their hobbies, their passions, back to their roots. Ingemunson behind the LumberJam Music Festival last year in Hayward, WI, but this year, he's planning a music festival in the center of his hometown.
The Harvest Moon Festival will feature at least 10 music acts and about as many craft breweries on Sept. 28 and 29. Sept. 29 is slated to be a full moon, so the festival derives its name from the full moon that - according the NASA Science News - farmers used in the days before electrical light when their crops ripened fast enough to demand working past sundown.
Artists include Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, The Giving Tree Band, The 4onthefloor, The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, and The Heavy Guilt Duo from San Diego, Ingemunson said. Jesse Elliot of These United States is bringing some of his friends, according to the event's Facebook listing.
There also will be a limited amount of Three Angels Brewing beer, as well as more mainstream offerings like 312 and Goose Island.
The weekend will be about more than beer and music, though.
For Ingemunson, a local attorney, and Leslie, a former Yorkville alderman, it represents an American drive to build something from nothing. It's the urge to celebrate the spirit that's left when businessmen, musicians and muses abandon political rhetoric and ideals to celebrate what they have in common.
Leslie and Ingemunson got tangled in those thoughts Sunday as they took a break from brewing.
Ingemunson started: “To take the global, big picture perspective of the philosophies that Jason and I both share (that’s why we work so well together), the country is at a point right now where...”
“It’s division," Leslie interjected.
“It’s absolute division," Ingemunson agreed. "And people are searching for something American.”
"Absolutely," Leslie said.
“American ingenuity," Ingemunson continued. "Just trying to find a niche and building it. And doing something new and cutting edge. It’s just reinventing America.”
For ticket information, follow the Harvest Moon Festival on Facebook here and Three Angels Brewing here.