Normal brewery stews have fun Saturday at the Autumn Festival

Brew tea, light candles and prepare your favorite holiday snacks. Fall is here and so are all the fun fall activities. The Destihl Brewery and Beer Hall at Normal got buzzing with them on Saturday for its fall festival.

“Chug the pug” was one of many furry attendees Saturday at the Destihl Brewery Fall Festival in Normal.

Brendan Denison

NORMAL – Brew tea, light candles and pop your favorite holiday snacks.

Fall is here and so are all the fun fall activities. The Destihl Brewery and Beer Hall at Normal got buzzing with them on Saturday for its fall festival.

Amanda Stephens, the brewery’s events specialist, said while they held ‘makers markets’ about once a month with around 32 vendors, Saturday was more of a festival environment for people to have fun , eat and drink. About eight vendors were present.


From right, Marielle Olivares, 10, and her sister Liana Olivares, 4, both of Bloomington, attend the Destihl Brewery Fall Festival in costume on Saturday, just two days before Halloween. Marielle dressed as Sarah Sanderson from Hocus Pocus, and Liana went in Maleficent.


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She said that when they planned the festival, they thought it might be cold outside, but it turned out to be a beautiful, warm day instead.

Other items planned include pumpkin painting, a costume contest, The Zoo Lady face painting, a toffee candy bar and hot dog stand, and music from Kyle Yap.

Bloomington married couple Angela and David Raffety were accompanied by their costumed pug named Chug, who wore a pumpkin sweater.

David Raffety said they love going to fun events around town and trying new dishes. Angela Raffety said she plans to taste apple cider granitas “and try everything”.


“Chug the pug” was one of many furry attendees Saturday at the Destihl Brewery Fall Festival in Normal.

Brendan Denison

As outdoor markets and festivals in Destihl wrap up for the year, Stephens said upcoming indoor events include a Dosvedanya day from November 18-20 and then a Christkindlmarket from December 10-11.

She said they usually only do a one-day Christmas market with vendors, but added a second day this year, as well as a hot chocolate bar and cookie decorating station .

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Fresh wick

A regular returning vendor at Destihl was Farm to Wick, which offers do-it-yourself candle-making classes. Amy Manahan, co-owner of the Stanford-based company, said they host their tutorials at private homes or for businesses, and they work great for birthdays, teen nights, and teambuilding exercises.

She said they had been in business for about a year and held other events at Crafted, Mackinaw Valley Vineyard and Rader Family Farms.

Manahan, of Shirley, said she and her best friend, Alice Long, started the business after discovering a similar one out of state, and wanted to bring it back to central Illinois. She said they previously worked together in the agricultural industry.

Long, from Stanford, said his family has been farming for three generations and all of their wax comes from Midwestern soybeans. She also said they hosted a candle bar at a wedding reception and the guests loved it.


Amy Manahan, left, and Alice Long, right.


They stock about 65 blend flavors for people to choose from and price ranges at $25 per person. The candles take about 40 minutes to dry after mixing the fragrances.

Long says it’s exciting to see what people can mix and match, candle to candle.

Two of Brittany Borchardt’s daughters, including 2-year-old Katie Borchardt, made their own candles. Bloomington’s mum said she loved that there was a hands-on activity her children could do and take home afterwards.

Sweet pops

Handmade caramel popcorn was sold at the festival on Saturday by Pop of the Morning. Dahinda’s owner, Jake Bowman, said it was made with a 100-year-old toffee recipe his family brought from England.

He said they used soft caramel tempered at a high temperature, giving the popcorn a shiny, crisp bite.


Jake Bowman, owner of Pop of the Morning, talks to customers at the Destihl Brewery Autumn Fest at Normal on Saturday about his caramel popcorn flavors.


“It also keeps popcorn for a month, which is perfect,” Bowman said.

It also stocked a Caramel Apple Popcorn flavor. He said it was modeled after the caramel apple lollipops he would have had as a child, although at the time he preferred to get candy by making tricks or treats.

“Now, as I got older, I started to develop a taste for it, and that’s where that flavor came from,” he said.

Bowman said the apple green color really pops.

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Tea time

Peoria’s Saturday Morning Tea Co. also presented the fall festival. Owner Misty Wilson manned her booth with her sister Katrina Wilson and served apple cider slushies as a special treat.

She said her top-selling tea blends include “Mermaid Kisses,” with butterfly pea flowers that turn water blue; a Jasmine-peach green tea; and a spiced orange tea for Christmas.


From right, sisters Misty and Katrina Wilson.


For fall flavors, Wilson offered “Pumpkin Harvest Tea” with pumpkin spice.

She said they will be at the 3rd Sunday Market at the Interstate Center in Bloomington. Wilson said his business was in its second year and Saturday was a good day to hang out.

“It was a great day,” she said, “and we’ve been so lucky this season with the weather holding up to this end of the year that we may still be out.”

Wilson’s goal is to open a physical store in Peoria.

Contact Brendan Denison at (309) 820-3238. Follow Brendan Denison on Twitter: @BrendanDenison

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