NEWBURY --What’s a harvest fest without a game of baseball and a truckload of ale?
This Saturday from 12-6 pm at Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm in Newbury, Ipswich Ale Brewery will kick off North Shore Beer Week with its annual Harvest Fest, complete with a bouncy house, vintage baseball games, and four “tapmobiles,” rentable vehicles into which the taps are built, filled with ale.
Since the Brewery opened in 1991, some variation of the festival has been held, and has grown each year, with an estimated 1,600-2,000 attendees expected this year, according to Mary Gormley, 25, of Methuen and the sales and events coordinator of Ipswich Ale Brewery
“This is just one of the events where we get to showcase everything we’ve got,” said Gormley. “We’re really looking forward to it.”
Gormley says the Brewery’s taps and tapmobiles will have a variety of beers available, including a cask ale that is a variation of the brewery’s fall seasonal Harvest Ale.
The tap mobiles might seem a thing of the future as they drive by some of the Fest’s vintage baseball games playing by 1864 rules. Sponsored by the Essex Baseball Organization, four teams have been playing at Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm for eight years now, with Ipswich Ale Brewery a regular sponsor.
“Ipswich Ale has helped us out a lot,” said Brian Sheehy, 31, of Methuen and president of the Essex Baseball Organization. “Since the beginning, they have brought their tapmobile truck to our games, so we’re happy to do what we can to help them out.”
Sheehy said the Clamdiggers will play the Live Oaks at noon, and the Lowell Nine plays the Rockinghams at 1:30, and at 3:00, festival participants are invited onto the field to play a few innings with the teams’ players.
Kaitlyn DeLorenzo, 21, of Beverly said she can’t wait to go to her first beer event.
“I just turned 21 in May and I’ve been waiting to find an event like this,” she said. “I’m hoping it will bring me one step closer to finding my preferred taste in beer.”
But the festival isn’t only for beer fans. It includes events for the whole family, such as a bouncy house for children, games, and pumpkin decorating. Tennessee BBQ out of Peabody will provide catering and the Orville Giddings Band is lined up for live “boogie blues” music. Leashed dogs are allowed as well.
In addition to its annual Harvest Fest, Gormley says the Brewery also plans to open a new location at the former Soffron Brother’s clam-processing plant off Brown Square in Ipswich in 2014. The new space is three times bigger than the brewery’s current location on Hayward Street, Ipswich, where they’ll be able to produce more ale, and also plan to have a pub restaurant on the first floor of the building.
For more information about the Festival, contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-356-3329.
This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and the Gordon College News Service.