News Column

Tumbledown Brewing to open in Farmington

July 23, 2014

By Ann Bryant, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine



July 23--FARMINGTON -- Farmington will soon have a beer brewery, Tumbledown Brewing, located at Eastside Mall, 805 Farmington Falls Road.

Owner Matthew Swan has been brewing for about a month in preparation for the grand opening on August 9. The Rolling Fatties food truck, live music and, of course, beer on tap will add to the celebration, he said.

Beer will be sold in growlers and kegs at the site and to local stores and restaurants for on-tap sales. Sampling in the tap room at the site also is available.

Swan's goal was to start small and grow as the demand for the brew grows, he said.

About 10 years ago, a family member bought him a home brewing kit and he just kept going, he said. He's grown from making 5-gallon batches to 120 gallons at a time with the system he has now.

He's able to brew on site about once a week, he said. The process amounts to a 10-hour day and it takes two to three weeks to ferment the beer, he said.

Grain and water steep in a vat which extracts the sugars, he said. The mixture is moved into a kettle to boil for over an hour and then hops and flavoring are added. Then, it's placed in fermenters, where yeast settles to the bottom and is drained, he said.

He now produces three beers -- an Irish Red, a Smoking Stout and a stronger IPA, he said. He's working on a wheat beer.

Swan purchased his equipment from the Granary Brew Pub & Restaurant, which is now closed. Beer was brewed there when Rocell and Tom Marcellino owned it. The equipment stayed in town, he said.

He started renovating the 1,000-square-foot space last fall. He's done much of the carpentry work himself. The space is split between a customer area and the brew facility. Swan even made the wooden tap pulls, he said.

Swan will operate the brewery part-time while continuing to work at Northern Lights Hearth & Sports, he said. The goal is to eventually brew full-time but to go slowly and grow with demand.

The logo features Tumbledown Mountain in Weld, which Swan said he thought was a neat spot. He has hiked it several times since moving here about 10 years ago when he met his wife.

"We brew beer in small batches, but give it taste as big as the mountains that inspire us," he wrote on the Tumbledown Brewing Facebook page.

He specialized in outdoor education during his time at the University of Maine and then provided kayak instruction on the Penobscot River before moving to Farmington.

The growler, a half-gallon bottle of beer, gained its name from old microbreweries who put their product in small Mason jars. When they were opened, they would vibrate and growl, he said.

Swan is starting a Growler Club, where members can refill it at a reduced rate. The growlers can be refilled at the site, but the special rate is only for members, he said. Membership in the club is open until the grand opening.

Several small breweries are starting throughout Maine. Most brewers have been helpful in answering Swan's questions and helping him get started, he said.

More information is available at www.tumbledownbrewing.com.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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(c)2014 the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)

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Source: Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME)


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