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Farmington & Wilton: Your Fall/Winter Brewcation Destination

Farmington & Wilton

If you are looking to mix fun outdoor activities with must-stop local eats fit for the Food Network, while sampling some of Maine’s finest craft beverages, Farmington & Wilton will scratch that itch.

This up-and-coming area now boasts two cutting-edge craft breweries, classic pubs for night life, a blend of eclectic dining choices, and a location that is central to Maine’s world-class playground.

These two vibrant towns are part of a larger community that promotes local economic growth and embraces tourism trends in outdoor recreation, as well as the craft beer and food travel markets. Leading that charge is the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, and their members who are involved in these industries and are spread across western Maine. The Chamber promotes and supports businesses from Wilton and Farmington, all the way up to the High Peaks region that runs along the Canadian border.

Tumbledown Brewing

Photo courtesy of Tumbledown Brewing

HERE FOR THE BEER

Let’s get right to it, Farmington’s craft beer scene all started when Tumbledown Brewing opened in 2014. Since then, owner/brewer, Matt Swan has been brewing beer in small batches with tastes as big as the mountains. Tumbledown Brewing is located in the Eastside Mall on Farmington Falls Road just outside of town. In the winter, they are accessible by area snowmobile trails, so you can park and ride right from their large
parking lot. Their Tasting Room hours are listed here.

Their modest wood finished tasting room provides a welcoming space for families, locals and travelers alike. This small but mighty brewery is pouring beers ranging from the easy-drinking Clearwater Cream Ale, a super smooth and creamy, light hybrid beer to the hearty Bull Horse Double Black IPA.

While they brew a wide variety of styles and continuously experiment with new recipes, here are a few of our favorites that we recommend this fall and winter: Fat Man’s Misery, a delish chocolate, cherry, milk stout and only 4.5%. Dawn Patrol Coffee Porter, brewed with a healthy dose of locally roasted coffee, delights with flavors of chocolate and roasted malts and a smooth hop finish. Artula Pale Ale 6.1% is moderately hopped with Pacific Northwest varieties, not too bitter and has a great finish.

Photo courtesy of Ambition Brewing Co.

Next is Ambition Brewing Co. which opened February, 2019 on Main Street in Wilton. Their primary focus is English style ales and local favorites include Chaga T.E.A. (Traditional English Ale) from their Spottah T.E.A. series. A cozy 30+\- seat tasting room is perfect to hang out for a pint, listen to local musicians play, or enter in their festive cribbage nights. Hours are listed here.

Need local brews on the go? You can grab craft beers from Maine and around New England at Ron’s Market, which carries the greatest selection of beers in the area. Also, the nearby pubs and eclectic restaurants are pouring local brews on tap for thirsty patrons. Two mentions for the pub scene in Farmington include The Roost, a restaurant and pub where locals and college students frequent and Tuck’s Ale House, located on Main Street.

HERE FOR THE FOOD

Noteworthy restaurants that topped our list include, Uno Mas, which just re-opened in the historic, and newly renovated Granary building. They serve freshly made Mexican fare and feature an outstanding, ever changing craft beer and cocktail program.

Calzolaio Pasta Co. in Wilton, is an award-winning Italian restaurant with some American alternatives, which also has a relaxing pub room. Located riverside, you will experience the rustic elegance of a historic former shoe factory building. A new restaurant to the area is Salt and Pepper serving fresh foods with vibrant flavors. Also, check out the Farmington D for that classic diner aesthetic with home cooked meals and great prices, as well as local ingredients and fair-trade coffee.

HERE FOR THE FUN

Epic local hikes are nearby, in fact, one of Maine’s most popular mountain hikes is Tumbledown. A scenic, moderately difficult hike, it is also the namesake of the local Farmington brewery and there’s even a movie named after it, isn’t there? If you are looking to do some Nordic and Alpine skiing this winter, Titcomb Mountain offers both, as well as a small variety of fat bike trails.

For less strenuous options, Bonney Woods is an excellent nature trail, or you can browse the unique local shops. If you are an astronomy fan, you must visit “The Farmington Observatory”.

Need equipment? Mainely Outdoors has rentals for just about any outdoor endeavor. From bikes and helmets to paddleboard and life vests, they will get you out there safely and properly outfitted.

HERE TO STAY

For accommodations, we highly recommend the Wilson Lake Inn in Wilton. Their pleasantly updated rooms are well kept, and Tom, Susan, and their staff are the friendliest and most accommodating innkeepers you will find.

So, what are you waiting for? Take this as an open invitation from us and the Franklin County Chamber and see what else there is to discover here. Come and experience the warmth of local partnerships, community businesses, and the love of craft beer, and of course, please drink responsibly!


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