Conner Prairie to host craft brew festival

Participants at History on Tap at Conner Prairie in 2013. (submitted photo)
Participants at History on Tap at Conner Prairie in 2013. (submitted photo)

By Holly Kline

Conner Prairie plans to conduct a craft beer festival this month. History on Tap will be from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. May 30. Food will be available and live music, brewing demonstrations and other activities will be provided.

The Conner Prairie Horizon Council started History on Tap and presents the event in cooperation with Conner Prairie. The Horizon Council is a volunteer group consisting of young professionals between the ages of 21 and 40.

“Our goal is to generate interest in Conner Prairie to people within our group’s age demographic,” said Clint Hangebrauck, volunteer head event planner for Horizon Council.

This is the third year for History on Tap and, according to Hangebrauck, about 20 brewers will be there to provide tastings and about 1,000 attendees are expected.

Conner Prairie also will provide samples of their own historical brew.

“We are offering a ginger beer which is considered a short beer,” said Conner Prairie Event Manager Kelly Backus. “Short beers were very commonly brewed in households because it was ready to drink by the next day or within the next week.”

Union Brewing Company in Carmel is also getting into the spirit of History on Tap by brewing a historical batch which includes maple syrup, and it will be available for tasting at the festival.

Other activities include a brewing demonstration from Indianapolis’s Cartel Brewing Company and a “Fireside Chat,” which will be an informal lecture about the art of beer tasting from local expert Ron Smith.

“Our general goal is to have a craft brewing festival that highlights the fantastic craft brewing boom happening in Indiana,” stated Hangebrauck. “We also want to stay true to Conner Prairie’s mission, which is to give people the opportunity to learn about history in ways that history books cannot.”

Tickets are available online at, and they include admission to the park and festival plus beer tastings from on-site brewers and a souvenir glass.